You’ve likely heard by now that over the weekend the New York Times dropped a bombshell story about the Trump Organization’s tax records, which appear to be rife with fraud.
There’s a lot in the report. Like how Trump didn’t pay any taxes in 10 of the last 15 years. Or how spent $70,000 on his bad ’80s combover then wrote it off as a business expense.
Also in the report is something that may mean trouble for none other than Ivanka Trump.
Ivanka is not protected by the presidency. She will likely be one of the first to be criminally prosecuted thanks to her daddy.
Report: Financial records appear to show Ivanka Trump got 'consulting fees' to reduce father's tax bill https://t.co/fFCBb1Xjrr
— Mr. Spock ? (Commentary) (@SpockResists) September 28, 2020
According to the Times, Trump Organization tax records show that between 2010 and 2018, the company wrote off $26 million in “consulting fees.” Of that $26 million, almost $750,000 appear to have gone directly into Ivanka’s pockets.
Reports show that the Trump Organization paid $747,622 to some random consulting company Ivanka owns, then it turned around and wrote that exact same amount off as a tax deduction for hotel projects in Hawaii and Vancouver.
Kindy shady, right?
But it gets shadier.
Because those same hotel projects in Hawaii and Vancouver were also being managed by Ivanka, as part of her responsibilities as executive officer with the Trump Organization, for which she drew an annual salary of approximately $480,000.
In other words, it appears Ivanka hired herself as a consultant on a project for her dad’s company that she was already being paid to oversee, which could end up being a biiiiig problem for the Trumps, since it’s against the law for business owners to write off huge fees to “independent contractors” who aren’t really independent contractors.
– @IvankaTrump was a full-time employee of the family biz
-Yet, @realDonaldTrump paid her $747,622 in consulting fees on three hotel deals
-He wrote off these consulting fees as “biz expenses”
Arguing he paid so little bc he knows how to optimize the system is not supported here
— Stephanie Ruhle (@SRuhle) September 28, 2020
Speaking to Insider, Michael Dambra, associate professor of accounting and law at the University at Buffalo School of Management, says this is a textbook tax avoidance scheme.
“I would say for family companies, it’s a typical tax avoidance strategy,” he explains.
Dambra adds that the Trump Organization will likely have to prove that the $750,000 in consulting fees it paid to Ivanka really was a valid business expense and that her rate, which was almost $275,000 more than her annual salary, was reasonable.
Dambra also calls Ivanka’s enormous consulting fee “a little unusual,” but “it’s possible that Ivanka Trump has a fantastic consulting business and so they were the best company for the job.”
Given her track record with every other business she and her family has ever owned, we doubt that.
Ivanka Trump checking Twitter tonight pic.twitter.com/OPgiTHv103
— Mike Tague (@rhymeswithbeg) September 28, 2020