The Washington Post just ran a breaking story, saying they have substantial evidence that President Donald Trump committed criminal tax fraud. They didn’t treat the story lightly, either.
They found that Trump used a limited liability company to sell two condominium apartments to his son, Eric Trump, at less than market value. Trump sold him the condos for $350,000 a piece, yet just a few months prior to that was listing the price at $790,000 and $800,000, respectively.
Here’s where we get into the interesting details: Since Trump didn’t sell them at fair market value, he should have paid a gift tax on the sale, but he didn’t. How do we know this? Well, President Trump’s tax returns aren’t publicly available (we wonder why) but there’s evidence proving he didn’t.
When Trump made the sale, according to New York property records, Trump paid $13,000 in state and local transfer taxes. He did this correctly. However, if he properly filed his gift tax returns, he wouldn’t need to pay the state and local transfer taxes. That means the sales weren’t gifts at all.
According to the Post, who went more in-depth with the analysis:
“And on the real estate forms filed in New York, Trump didn’t check any of the boxes indicating that these were sales between relatives or sales of less than the entire property. It would seem, then, that he treated the transactions as if they were sales for fair market value to a stranger.
In our combined 40 years of experience as tax lawyers, we are unaware of a situation in which a taxpayer would report a transaction as a fair market value between strangers on the state level (and thus incur real estate taxes) but treat it as a gift at the federal level (and thus incur an additional tax). It’s fair to infer that Trump didn’t follow the rules.”
They went on to explain that “willful failure to file a tax return, including a gift tax return, is a misdemeanor, punishable by a $25,000 fine, imprisonment of up to one year or both.”
If Trump fraudulently failed to file, the punishment can be worse – that carries a fine of up to $100,000, imprisonment up to five years or both.
Bottom line: Trump needs to release his tax returns.