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‘IRS Not Connecting the Dots’: Trump Tax Dodges Unlikely to Bring Consequences

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A New York Times investigation recently revealed that US President Donald Trump received at least $413 million from the real estate empire of his father, most of which was allegedly hoarded through the tactics of tax evasion.

According to a recent Politico report, however, Trump is unlikely to pay a legal or financial penalty even if the allegations are found to be true.

The New York Times article cited thousands of confidential documents obtained from former advisers and employees who worked with Fred Trump — the father of POTUS — alleging that the two used various tax evasion schemes to prevent Uncle Sam from getting his hands on family funds. 

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The investigative piece also revealed that a majority of the family money was transferred to various relatives through sham companies established to disguise monetary gifts. The Trumps also allegedly used tax deductions to undervalue real estate holdings.

Referring to whether a case could be made today against Trump's tax practices — given that the statutes of limitation for tax evasion charges have expired — Beth Shapiro Kaufman, a former Treasury Department tax official, suggested that "it's certainly possible, although the age of these transactions raises some questions about whether any of it will be collectible," cited by Politico.

The White House, as expected, criticized the report, with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders describing it as a "misleading attack against the Trump family by the failing New York Times."

According to Mark Matthews, a former IRS deputy commissioner who was responsible for the agency's Criminal Investigation Division, proving that Trump engaged in criminal fraud is "exceedingly unlikely," Politico reported last week, as Trump would have needed to commit a "constant pattern of overt acts and obstruction-like behavior up until much closer to the present." 

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"If taxes were not paid, it was by the president's father, now long dead," noted Howard Abrams, a corporate tax specialist, cited by Politico.

The allegations outlined in the Nytimes.com report reveal the ease with which money can be moved without detection through corporations, according to Michael Sullivan, a former IRS agent.

"That's what people rely on, the IRS not connecting the dots," Sullivan told Politico.

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