Trump may face $100m tax bill if he loses audit fight over Chicago tower – report

Former US president Donald Trump may face a tax bill in excess of $100 million (€92 million) after a government audit indicates he “double-dipped” on tax losses tied to a Chicago skyscraper, according to a report by The New York Times and ProPublica.

The report drew on a yearslong audit and public filings.

The report’s findings could put renewed focus on Mr Trump’s business career as the presumptive Republican nominee tries to regain the White House after losing in 2020.

Mr Trump used his cachet as a real estate developer and TV star to build a political movement, yet he has refused to release his tax filings as past presidential candidates have.

The tax filings that the public does know about have come from past reporting by the Times and a public release of records by Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee in 2022.

Mr Trump’s presidential campaign provided a statement in son Eric Trump’s name saying the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) inquiry “was settled years ago, only to be brought back to life once my father ran for office. We are confident in our position”.

The tax records cited by the report indicate that Mr Trump twice deducted losses on the Trump International Hotel and Tower, which opened in 2009 near the banks of the Chicago River.

The report said Mr Trump initially reported losses of $658 million in his 2008 filings under the premise that the property fit the IRS definition of being “worthless” because condominium sales were disappointing and retail space went unfilled amid a deep US recession.

But in 2010, the published report said, Mr Trump transferred the ownership of the property to a different holding company that he also controlled, using the move to save money on taxes by reporting an additional $168 million in losses over the next decade on the same property.

The report did not have any updates on the status of the IRS inquiry since December 2022, but said Mr Trump could owe more than $100 million, including penalties, if he were to lose the audit battle.

Mr Trump, meanwhile, is appealing against a New York judge’s ruling from February after a civil trial that Mr Trump, his company and top executives lied about his wealth on financial statements, conning bankers and insurers who did business with him.

In early April, Mr Trump posted a $175 million bond, halting collection of the more than $454 million he owes from the judgement and preventing the state from seizing his assets to satisfy the debt while he appeals.

President Joe Biden has said that Mr Trump largely owes his fortune to an inheritance from his father, rather than through his own financial acumen. Mr Biden has gone after Mr Trump for not wanting to pay taxes, while his administration has increased IRS funding in order to increase audits of the ultra-wealthy and improve compliance with the federal tax code.

The Trump campaign opposes the additional funding that Mr Biden and the Democrats provided to the IRS. At campaign rallies, Mr Trump has said the US would be destroyed as a country unless his 2017 tax cuts that are largely set to expire after 2025 are extended.

On Saturday Mr Trump was heading to New Jersey after a long week in court.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee expects to draw what his campaign is calling a “mega crowd” to a Saturday evening rally in the southern New Jersey resort town of Wildwood.

It is 150 miles south of the New York City courthouse where he has been forced to spend most weekdays sitting quietly through his hush money trial.


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