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JLeslie's avatar

Do you care if the Trump family has been avoiding taxes?

Asked by JLeslie (56421points) October 3rd, 2018 from iPhone

This Sunday is the show about how the Trump family has transferred wealth while avoiding taxes. I’m not clear if it’s using legal tax loopholes, or if they were doing it illegally.

Does it matter to you that the family has passed down wealth evading taxes? If it was legal does it matter? I think the show talks about money from Trump’s father to Trump, and then from him to his children.

Here is a trailer:

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22 Answers

mazingerz88's avatar

I care and Americans who vote should care. Especially those who pay their taxes fairly and honestly.

The last thing Americans should do is justify things like this trump family tax evasion because this is what rich Americans do. And worse, admire them for being that smart to get away with it.

Or ignore it if the guilty party aligns with their political views.

canidmajor's avatar

Yes, I care. I pay a boatload of taxes for services, maintenance of infrastructure, etc etc. Damn straight I think the Trumps should pay their share, they are using the same services I am, they won’t be hungry or homeless if they contribute fairly.

elbanditoroso's avatar

The article in the NYTimes just confirms what I had thought all along. Trump is a dirty scummy liar, and he inherited that skill (and lots of money) from his father.

Nothing new.

ucme's avatar

I have not a single fuck to give, more steam for haters engines though :D

chyna's avatar

I care. I have to pay taxes on the small amount of money I make, he should too.

JLeslie's avatar

One thing I read was that Trump sold a condo to his son for much less than it was worth, and that’s being called tax evasion. If I understood it correctly, if you’re the builder/developer it’s legal. Maybe there are some limits, because he didn’t sell it for $100, it was still
Something like $300,000. I’m not sure how much that bothered me. I would want to put some sort of limit, like maybe not more than once in a life time, or only have ownership of one at a time, or the price can’t be more than 20% from appraised value, or something. Only because I think of smaller builders, and if they wanted to sell an apartment to their kid at cost it seems like a perk of the industry that isn’t unreasonable necessarily.

I do care about it though. As you know I fully believe in estate taxes, and I think the exemption should only be around $2 million and then a progressive tax bracket after that.

KNOWITALL's avatar

It’s legal and no, I don’t care. Everyone does that, as do businesses.

And if you come at me on this, you better tell your tax person every year that you want to pay more taxes than you are required to pay.

flutherother's avatar

I care. The president should set a good example, I’m old fashioned that way. Third world countries can have scumbag presidents but I hope for more from America.

josie's avatar

I won’t attempt to defend Donald Trump because he makes it sort of impossible.

Tax evasion is illegal.

Tax avoidance is not.

“Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.”
Gregory v. Helvering, 69 F.2d 809, 810 (2d Cir. 1934)

“Over and over again courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging one’s affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody does so, rich or poor; and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant.”
Commissioner v. Newman, 159 F.2d 848, 851 (2d Cir. 1947) – dissenting opinion

—Judge Learned Hand

“The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is the thickness of a prison wall.”—Denis Healey

“People who evade taxes are breaking the law. People who do not avoid taxes are giving too much of their money to the government.”—Me

KNOWITALL's avatar

@josie Exactly right. No one begs to pay $5.00 for milk if they can pay $3.00….it’s common sense. Don’t hate the player, hate the game (to use an old phrase.)

flutherother's avatar

Let’s not confuse the price of milk with integrity in government.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@flutherother Again, any of you who don’t take every break you are eligible for, please speak up.
Integrity in following current tax laws does not mean giving up legal breaks.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL Plenty of people I know don’t take every break they probably could regarding taxes. I don’t. I know my parents don’t. I know people who own businesses (I own a business) who put meals out with their spouse on the business in excess, when it’s not a business meeting. I don’t do that. I know people who charge every bit of clothing they buy to the business and chalk it up to uniforms, I don’t do that. Some people buy luxury cars and put it on their business, I don’t do that. I do charge part of my Kia to my business, but only part, because I do use it for personal use also. Cash businesses sometimes don’t record all their sales. Once in a while a customer pays us cash (very rare) and it gets recorded. Just a week ago someone paid us over $700 cash for a job and it is in my books.

Some people don’t do those things, because they don’t want to raise a red flag, even though some of it might be within the tax laws as legal. It’s not worth an audit to save the few thousand dollars in their minds.

Not that I don’t use some tax laws to my advantage, I absolutely do, but I don’t push the limit, or go over the line and hope I don’t get caught. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.

@josie I was one of the people who defended Romney answering honestly when he was asked what tax percent he pays. It was your kind of thinking that using the tax laws to save money isn’t criminal. But, the thing is, the people in power create tax law to benefit themselves, and it can harm others. The money has to come from somewhere.

seawulf575's avatar

I would say that if they have been avoiding taxes legally, good for them. Wish I could. If they have been lying or falsifying records to avoid taxes, then they should get in trouble, just like everyone else.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Right, so at best, he is signing his tax documents probably with very little input.

So literally, us regular folks are probably much more culpable than DJT, because we make the choice, as you said.

JLeslie's avatar

^^No, he is culpable. He asks his accountants and gets advice and knows the basics for what affects his taxes.

He grew up around people who work the tax system, he rubs elbows with people who work the system, and he probably takes liberties with what he claims is a business expense.

People who grow up lower middle class blue collar have no idea all that these people do to get out of taxes. All the benefit they get. Generally speaking the middle class finds it offensive to talk money, but the semi wealthy and wealthy talk money, they share how they get around stuff, give each other free advice, and make friends with people who pass laws.

Ask 100 people who make $50k a year if they know they can sell their house after two years, and make a gain of $200k tax free. And I think at least half don’t know. As people who make $300k, they know.

If his son sells his $300k property for $800k, he will pay no tax money to the fed for the gain. So, he saved on local taxes when he bought, and will on Fed and local when he sells.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I disagree that it’s wrong, and if it is then the IRS deals with it, so it’s on him ultimately.

I work with my accountant on all new tax breaks every year and try my best to comply, such as a few years ago when we got the double tax break for an IRA and a 401k. No, I don’t have a business or complicated taxes by any means, so it’s not big money like his, but the same concept imo.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m with you that if it’s legal it’s legal. Accountants process the information given to them by their clients. The IRS is the one who does the audit to see if any laws were broken.

Just know that the rich continue to make tax laws that help them specifically. Sure anyone can use the tax laws, but if you’re living check to check you never have the ability to take advantage of them.

On an aside: I remember Trump in an interview talking about dinner out years ago and how the restaurants would comp him and his party. He said it’s crazy. He said if he couldn’t afford the restaurant he would have to pay, but because he’s rich he doesn’t have to pay.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie William Henry Harrison, the ninth President of the U.S. (1841), said in an October 1, 1840 speech, It is true democratic feeling, that all the measures of the government are directed to the purpose of making the rich richer and the poor poorer.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL That’s some quote. What did he mean, and what does that mean to you?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Well the democratic feeling means it supports democracy (to him), which means rule by the people. So I would say he could be implying that that it’s human nature, or even govt intent, to make the rich richer and keep the poor poor.

What it means to me? Don’t ever rely on the govt to take care of me and mine, I’ll do it myself.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Maybe he was talking about the Democratic Party or Democrat politicians? Back then the Democrats were more like the Republicans of today in some ways.

The Whig party during the time you are referencing was concerned about protecting minorities I think, from what little I remember from government class in Jr. High. The Democrats were the opposition to that. I hope someone on this thread knows more about it. My knowledge is extremely limited in this realm. History and government are not my strong suit.

I’d have to google the quote I guess, and see the context in which it was said.

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