New York Times reprints in-depth investigation on how Donald Trump evaded tax to build empire in 1990s

Almost a week after The New York Times' explosive investigative report accusing US president Donald Trump of helping his parents to dodge taxes was published, the national daily on Monday (IST) reprinted the story in its entirety.

In the almost 15,000-word article, The New York Times reported that by the age of three, Trump was earning $200,000 a year (adjusted for present rates) from his father’s empire. The report details how Trump engaged in "dubious tax schemes" in the 1990s, and vastly multiplied the fortune he got from his parents by also participating in "instances of outright fraud".

The report said that, "He was a millionaire by age eight. By the time he was 17, his father had given him part ownership of a 52-unit apartment building. Soon after he graduated from college, he was receiving the equivalent of $1 million a year from his father. The money increased with the years, to more than $5 million annually in his 40s and 50s."

However, Trump has repeatedly claimed that he has made his way up the ladder based on his own efforts over the years. In October 2015, Trump had said, "It has not been easy for me. And you know I started off in Brooklyn, my father gave me a small loan of a million dollars."

In February 2016, Trump reiterated how he got a "small" loan from his father. The then-presidential candidate had said, "He (Marco Rubio) also said I got $200 million from my father. I wish. I wish. I got a very, very small loan from my father many years ago. I built that into a massive empire and I paid my father back that loan… The number is wrong by a factor of hundreds of — I mean, by a fortune. I got a small loan. I started a business."

File photo of US president Donald Trump. AP

File photo of US president Donald Trump. AP

The Times investigation reveals details of the Trump family's financial documents. The report said that Trump and his father, Fred, avoided gift and inheritance taxes by setting up a sham corporation and undervaluing assets to tax authorities.

The daily said that the report is based on more than 100,000 pages of financial documents, including confidential tax returns from the father and his companies.

The findings by the article is based on interviews with Fred Trump's former employees and advisers and trove of documents explaining and describing the "inner workings and immense profitability of his empire. They include documents culled from public sources — mortgages and deeds, probate records, financial disclosure reports, regulatory records and civil court files."

Reacting to the story, Trump accused the newspaper of "doing a very old, boring and often told hit piece on me."

The US president said, "The Failing New York Times did something I have never seen done before. They used the concept of “time value of money” in doing a very old, boring and often told hit piece on me." He added that it meant that in total, "97 percent of their stories" on him are "bad". He also said, "Never recovered from bad election call."

With inputs from agencies


Updated Date: Oct 08, 2018 15:55 PM

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