The NYT's Obtained Trump's Illegally Obtained 1995 Tax Returns And....

Are jubilant, but I'll respond.  I'll also post the Trump campaign's response at the end.  Article:

Trump Tax Records Obtained by The Times Reveal He Could Have Avoided Paying Taxes [more]

The New York Times ^ | OCT. 1, 2016 | By DAVID BARSTOW, SUSANNE CRAIG, RUSS BUETTNER and MEGAN TWOHEY

Donald J. Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years, records obtained by The New York Times show.

The 1995 tax records, never before disclosed, reveal the extraordinary tax benefits that Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, derived from the financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s through mismanagement of three Atlantic City casinos, his ill-fated foray into the airline business and his ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.

Tax experts hired by The Times to analyze Mr. Trump’s 1995 records said tax rules that are especially advantageous to wealthy filers would have allowed Mr. Trump to use his $916 million loss to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income over an 18-year period.

 Although Mr. Trump’s taxable income in subsequent years is as yet unknown, a $916 million loss in 1995 would have been large enough to wipe out more than $50 million a year in taxable income over 18 years.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...

Donald J. Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years, records obtained by The New York Times show.

So it "could have" allowed him to "legally" avoid paying federal income tax for 18 years.  In other words, the Times is speculating, and even if it did, it was perfectly LEGAL.

The documents consisted of three pages from what appeared to be Mr. Trump’s 1995 tax returns. The pages were mailed last month to Susanne Craig, a reporter at The Times who has written about Mr. Trump’s finances. The documents were the first page of a New York State resident income tax return, the first page of a New Jersey nonresident tax return and the first page of a Connecticut nonresident tax return. Each page bore the names and Social Security numbers of Mr. Trump and Marla Maples, his wife at the time. Only the New Jersey form had what appeared to be their signatures. 

The three documents arrived by mail at The Times with a postmark indicating they had been sent from New York City. The return address claimed the envelope had been sent from Trump Tower.

So the NYT held onto them for possibly a month? Of course they would as they timed this until Trump had a bad week in the media. It's an interesting time to drop these considering it's Saturday night, but I suppose they want them to be a topic of discussion on the morning news shows Sunday.
It's not a lot of documents, and they were sent from Trump Tower - either someone close to Trump or likely someone trolling by mailing it from there.

The tax experts consulted by The Times said nothing in the 1995 documents suggested any wrongdoing by Mr. Trump, even if the extraordinary size of the loss he declared would have probably triggered extra scrutiny from Internal Revenue Service examiners. “The I.R.S., when they see a negative $916 million, that has to pop out,” Mr. Rosenfeld said.

The bottom line is that he did nothing illegal, and you know that the NYT tried to find an expert to say that he did. According to Trump, he has been audited every year for the past 12 years. If he had done something illegal, then I'm certain the IRS would have come down on him.

The tax documents also do not shed any light on Mr. Trump’s claimed net worth of about $2 billion at that time.

This obviously shows that Trump has gotten wealthier since then. He claims $10 billion, but even if we go with Forbes number, then his net worth now is around $3.7 billion. As the Times says:

Nor does the $916 million loss suggest that Mr. Trump was insolvent or effectively bankrupt in 1995.

Also:

....They also suggest Mr. Trump took full advantage of generous tax loopholes specifically available to commercial real estate developers to claim a $15.8 million loss in 1995 on his real estate holdings and partnerships.

Trump took advantage of tax laws. Scandalous.

But the most important revelation from the 1995 tax documents is just how much Mr. Trump may have benefited from a tax provision that is particularly prized by America’s dynastic families, who, like the Trumps, hold their wealth inside byzantine networks of partnerships, limited-liability companies and S corporations. 

Trump took advantage of a legal provision the other wealthy people use. Scandalous.

Trump took advantage of laws on the books.  If those attacking Trump have a problem with tax law, they should have worked to change it under Obama or should take it up with their legislators.

“Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.  Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.”

by:
Judge Learned Hand
(1872-1961), Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals

Source:
in the case of Gregory v. Helvering 69 F.2d 809, 810 (2d Cir. 1934), aff’d, 293 U.S. 465, 55 S.Ct. 266, 79 L.Ed. 596 (1935)

It's not like the Clintons would ever use the tax laws to their advantage:

The surprises yielded by the tax return were more trivial than scandalous. They showed, for example, that the Clintons paid $62,670 in Federal income taxes on an adjusted gross income of $293,757. The Clintons decided to apply a refund of $7,982 to their 1994 taxes.


Most of the income was the President's salary ($200,000 annually, but last year only $189,167 because he started on Jan. 20). From their blind trust, the Clintons received gains, interest and dividends of $42,284. Other income included $2,473 for appearances by the President and Mrs. Clinton on the Arsenio Hall Show. 


The largest deduction on their tax return was $38,683 for moving expenses that the White House said was paid to United Van Lines. 


In previous returns, when Mr. Clinton was the Governor of Arkansas and his wife was a partner in a Little Rock law firm, the Clintons had gone so far as to deduct $2 for underwear donated to charities. The deduction was ridiculed by comedians and pundits, and the White House did not itemize the Clintons' $17,000 in charitable contributions on the 1993 return. 


A $66 deduction for the personal property tax paid on the Clintons' 1986 Oldsmobile prompted penetrating questions, like where was the car kept (somewhere in Arkansas) and who was driving it (the senior aides said they did not know). 

http://www.nytimes.com/1994/04/16/us/clinton-taxes-laid-bare-line-by-line.html

Clinton, on the other hand, has valued his underwear as high as $2 a pair. And a pair of long underwear, per Clinton on his 1988 return, is worth $15.

A typically extensive document -- which apparently Clinton wrote out in his own hand for the tax return filed for 1986, when he was serving his third term as governor of Arkansas -- is titled "Salvation Army 12/27" and lists items numbered 1 through 17, for which Clinton took a deduction of $555.

Item No. 1 is "Gabardine Suit=Ripped pants -- $75." No. 8 is "Brown Sportscoat -- 100." No. 10 is "6 pr. socks -- 9." And No. 12 is "3 pr. underwear -- 6."

But itemized 1988 deductions that appear to be written in Hillary Clinton's hand -- for clothes given to Dorcas House, a Little Rock shelter for battered women and their children -- are far less extravagantly priced. A striped cotton dress is $2, gloves $1, and 5 "long warm pajamas" belonging to Chelsea are valued at $1 a pair.

Those prices are seemingly on a different planet from Clinton's "Blue suit-wool -- 100" and "Green sweater -- 25" on their 1987 joint return, or his tan jacket -- listed as given to the rescue mission on the 1984 return -- that he appears to have appraised initially at $30, a figure he seems to have crossed out and raised to $50.

(Snip)

Historians studying these and other lists (such as one in the 1988 return itemizing "Running shoes -- near new -- $40") will no doubt have a raft of mysteries to ponder, analyze and attempt to resolve: Why, for instance, does Clinton in the 1980s consistently value his donated secondhand clothes at prices significantly higher than those called for in current guidelines published by the Salvation Army and Goodwill? (The 1992 guidelines value men's jackets in good condition, for instance, at $10 to $45, a far cry from Clinton's $100 sport coat.) Why does Clinton value 1984 underwear at $1 a pair, while putting 1986 underwear at twice the price? Why so many cross-outs and apparently revised valuations? What does "near new" mean, anyway? Is that, indeed, Clinton's handwriting? (It sure does look like it.)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1993/12/28/bill-clintons-great-skivvies-give-away/0dac853d-cf3d-4faf-8104-bcf124bd93b4/

Even the wealthiest of liberals have losses.  Why Warren Buffet himself lost $2.7 Billion in IBM.

Warren Buffett’s big bet on Big Blue is looking like a bigger booboo for the investing legend. He’s now lost $2.6 billion on his investment in tech giant IBM IBM 0.47% . That was an increase of nearly $600 million in the last three months of 2015 alone, and it was only one of a number of positions that lost money in Berkshire’s portfolio in 2016.

http://fortune.com/2016/02/27/warren-buffetts-biggest-losers/

To round it off:

TRUMP CAMPAIGN STATEMENT

"The only news here is that the more than 20-year-old alleged tax document was illegally obtained, a further demonstration that the New York Times, like establishment media in general, is an extension of the Clinton Campaign, the Democratic Party and their global special interests. What is happening now with the FBI and DOJ on Hillary Clinton's emails and illegal server, including her many lies and her lies to Congress are worse than what took place in the administration of Richard Nixon - and far more illegal.

"Mr. Trump is a highly-skilled businessman who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required. That being said, Mr. Trump has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real estate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes, along with very substantial charitable contributions. Mr. Trump knows the tax code far better than anyone who has ever run for President and he is the only one that knows how to fix it.

"The incredible skills Mr. Trump has shown in building his business are the skills we need to rebuild this country. Hillary Clinton is a corrupt public official who violated federal law, Donald Trump is an extraordinarily successful private businessman who followed the law and created tens of thousands of jobs for Americans."

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/trump-campaign-statement1




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