Trump IRS Nominee Didn’t Disclose He Owns Trump Branded Properties

President Donald Trump’s new nominee to be in charge of the Internal Revenue Service improperly failed to disclose that he owns Trump branded properties during the due diligence process for his nomination.  Trump has nominated tax lawyer Chuck Rettig to run the IRS, and according to a report in POLITICO, Rettig did not disclose his relationship with two Trump branded hotels as he was required to do.

Rettig owns rental properties at the Trump International Hotel Waikiki and Tower in Honolulu and although in his disclosures he did report an ownership stake in “Honolulu rental units” he did not say where they were located or that they were in a Trump property. According to a staff memo, Rettig disclosed the more detailed information at a later time when asked about the properties.

According to the staff memo, “Committee staff raised this at the nominee’s June 21st due diligence meeting. The nominee plans to provide more detail on his Committee Questionnaire to include the full name of the property.”

The staff memo was circulated Wednesday to Senate Finance Committee members ahead of their hearing on Rettig’s nomination.

The revelation about the Trump-branded hotel will certainly come up and be discussed in more detail when Rettig testifies later in the week.

Rettig also will provide details on the properties with in the context of his government ethics agreement, and he has promised to make “appropriate amendments” regarding the properties, the memo said.

The report also said that Rettig improperly failed to disclose interest and expenses he incurred after he made a personal loan to his family.  He made three $200,000 loans to the family member in 2014, and the loans were fully repaid this year, but Rettig failed to record interest income related to the loans on his 2014, 2015 and 2016 tax returns. Also, no interest expense related to the loans was deducted in 2014 or 2016, but he deducted $17,856 of interest expense in 2015.

The funds should have been treated as a loan at that time, with interest income reported and any interest expense deducted, the memo said.

It’s odd that a tax lawyer would make these kinds of errors on his tax returns, but after the disclosures came out he agreed to amend his tax returns to fix the “mistakes.”

Trump nominated Rettig in February to the IRS commissioner post, which was vacated in November, when former Commissioner John Koskinen’s term ended. He is a specialist in tax controversies for clients of his firm in Beverly Hills, California.

The fact that Rettig did not properly disclose his financial interests, and also made tax “errors” means that he will fit right in with the rest of the corrupt Donald Trump administration.