The investigation concluded that Trump received at least US$413 million in today's dollars from his father's real estate business with much of the money being funnelled through tax evasion schemes of questionable legality.
The findings contradict President Trump’s repeated claims he is a self-made billionaire and received little financial support from his father, Fred C. Trump.
The newspaper uncovered transfers from Trump senior to Donald which began when Donald was an infant and continued after he graduated from college and was given the equivalent of US$1 million each year. Later, Donald Trump was given a yearly amount in excess of US$5 million and he received US$177.3 million (US$236.2 million in today’s dollars) when his father died in 2004.
The report also states Trump “participated in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud”.
Through a spokesperson, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance said it is already “reviewing the allegations in the New York Times article and is vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation.”
Due to the date of alleged crimes, however, the Statute of Limitations will likely prevent authorities from prosecuting Trump.
JUST IN: New York State Tax Department is reviewing allegations Donald Trump received millions of dollars from his father, possibly as part of alleged tax fraud schemes. https://t.co/g2QX80Unv8 pic.twitter.com/aNXKuUjE1X
— ABC News (@ABC) October 2, 2018
Donald Trump accused of large scale tax evasion
The article goes on to allege Trump and his siblings established a “sham corporation” which disguised millions of dollars in gifts from their billionaire parents. Donald Trump then reportedly helped his father make a series of illegal tax deductions, saving himself millions.
Donald Trump also allegedly helped his parents undervalue his parents’ real estate portfolio by hundreds of millions of dollars meaning the tax bill was much lower when they transferred the properties to him and his siblings.
In all, Fred and Mary Trump transferred more than US$1 billion to their children which should have resulted in a tax bill of US$550 million due to the 55% tax rate then levied on gifts and inheritances. Instead, the Trump children only paid a total of US$52.2 million for the transactions.
The newspaper reviewed more than 100,000 documents to compile the report.
JUST IN: White House says New York Times article on Trump family taxes is 'misleading' and the 'IRS reviewed and signed off on these transactions' https://t.co/N3gOE8aKi6
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) October 2, 2018
The White House responds to the claims in the New York Times
The White House moved quickly to reject the claims, with Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders describing the article as “misleading” and saying ““many decades ago the IRS reviewed and signed off on these transactions”.
Trump’s lawyer Charles Harder also issued a statement in response to the story. “The New York Times’ allegations of fraud and tax evasion are 100 percent false, and highly defamatory,” it said.
“There was no fraud or tax evasion by anyone. The facts upon which the Times bases its false allegations are extremely inaccurate.”
State tax authorities are already looking into Trump’s charity, the Trump Foundation. That investigation has been widened to include the business affairs of Michael Cohen, formerly Trump’s personal attorney and ‘fixer’.
During his election campaign, Trump broke with tradition for presidential candidates by refusing to release his own tax returns, a stance he has maintained since being elected.