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Donald Trump Shrugs Off Report Revealing a Fortune in Tax Dodges, Parental Gifts

Donald Trump has often boasted that he built a multi-billion dollar real estate empire from a small loan from his father, Fred, himself a prominent New York builder.

AFP

Updated:October 3, 2018, 9:24 PM IST
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Donald Trump Shrugs Off Report Revealing a Fortune in Tax Dodges, Parental Gifts
File photo of US President Donald Trump. (Image: Reuters)
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Washington: US President Donald Trump on Wednesday shrugged off a New York Times investigation that concluded he made his fortune with the help of more than $400 million from his parents, partly through tax schemes, as a boring, often-told "hit piece."

Trump has often boasted that he built a multi-billion dollar real estate empire from a small loan from his father, Fred, himself a prominent New York builder.

But the Times reviewed a vast trove of confidential tax returns and financial records that it said showed he actually received $413 million in today's money, in part through schemes to avoid taxes.

"They used the concept of 'time value of money' in doing a very old, boring and often told hit piece on me," he tweeted.

"Added up, this means that 97% of their stories on me are bad. Never recovered from bad election call!"

Forbes magazine, meanwhile, estimated Trump's fortune at $3.1 billion -- the same as last year, but a third smaller than it was in 2015. Forbes ranked Trump's fortune at 259 in the world, down from 248 the year he was elected president.

The Times story said that from the time Trump was a toddler, his father funneled millions of dollars to his four children through a sham corporation to avoid gift taxes.

The Times said the records also indicate that Trump helped his father take millions more in improper tax deductions. And he helped devise a scheme that undervalued his parents real estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars, sharply reducing taxes on those properties when they were transferred to their children, according to the paper.

A lawyer for Trump, Charles Harder, called the account "100 percent false, and highly defamatory."

"There was no fraud or tax evasion by anyone. The facts upon which The Times bases its false allegations are extremely inaccurate," he added.

"President Trump had virtually no involvement whatsoever with these matters."
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