Even though the statutes of limitations may have expired for criminal tax fraud (because the events took place so long ago) that would not be the case for the imposition of civil tax penalties. Which would mean Trump and his family may be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars. It is not far-fetched to think that this could possibly wipe out his entire net worth and bankrupt him.
The Times documented many “instances of outright fraud” that could be subject to civil — if not criminal — penalties.
In the Trump family financial records there are such fraudulent transactions as inflated invoices where a contractor gives an invoice to a subcontractor that inflates the cost of the work so that they could get a kickback.
There is also evidence of another type of fraudulent transaction: bogus loans. This is where money is transferred to one person, and loan paperwork is completed, but the loan is never repaid. That money transfer should have been taxed as income, but it never was.
According to the Times report Trump’s father used fraudulent loans over many decades to illegally avoid paying taxes on money transfers to Donald and his siblings.
Another type of fraud is mis-representations of the value of real estate properties in official filings. According to the Times, the Trumps would undervalue real estate for tax purposes, and thus illegally avoided paying taxes that would have been due.
They also overvalued the same property in bank documents when applying for loans, which is another type of fraud.
Even if Trump can’t be charged with crimes might eventually be required to pay tens or hundreds of millions in back taxes under the civil penalty rules of the IRS.
It addition to the potential IRS problems, New York state tax officials are also investigating the fraud allegations detailed in the Times investigation.
According to CNBC they received an email from a spokesman from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance who wrote:
“The New York Tax Department is reviewing the allegations in the New York Times article and is vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation.”
From CNBC: NY state tax officials are looking into the allegations against Trump and his family business deals laid out in today's extensive @nytimes piece. https://t.co/YsQq8IIdkM pic.twitter.com/e3LdRMmSjz
— 11th Hour (@11thHour) October 2, 2018
The New York Times article was a disaster for Trump and his family, both politically and financially. The IRS is limited to how far back it can look when filing criminal charges, but there is no statute of limitations for civil tax fraud. For civil tax fraud the IRS can come after you any time.
Even though Donald Trump may never go to jail for his crimes, there is now a good chance that he may get wiped out financially for tax fraud. It appears that for Donald Trump and his family justice may not be denied.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.