Dispatches

Trump Organization under tax investigation: report

An investigation has reportedly been launched into Trump National Golf Club's financial records.
Deutsche Welle 21 October 2021 13:19 IST
Updated: 21 October 2021 14:00 IST

U.S. media reports that Trump National Golf Club's finances are under scrutiny.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump's family business, which is already under indictment, now faces another investigation, according to a report published in The New York Times on October 20. Citing sources with knowledge of the matter, the publication reported that finances at a golf course The Trump Organization owns are under scrutiny.

What did the report say?

The district attorney's office is understood to have subpoenaed financial records from the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester. Records from the town of Ossining, which administers the areas taxes, have also been requested, the report states.

According to the publication, the investigation is being led by District Attorney Mimi E. Rocah, and centers around whether Trump's company submitted misleading valuations of the golf course, in order to benefit from a lower tax threshold. The Trump Organization said in a statement that the investigation was politically motivated and labeled it a witch hunt. "The suggestion that anything was inappropriate is completely false and incredibly irresponsible," the statement said. "The witch hunt continues."

This is not the first criminal probe to be launched against Trump's family business. In July, the Trump Organization, which is an unlisted family holding company that owns golf clubs, hotels and luxury properties, was charged with tax crimes, along with Trump Payroll Corporation and its Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, in a tax avoidance scheme. According to the indictment from 2005 through this year, Weisselberg and the Trump Organization cheated the state and city out of taxes by conspiring to pay senior executives "off the books."

Trump's tax conundrum

While Trump himself was not implicated in that indictment, the former president has been in a long-running battle to prevent handing over his tax returns and financial records to prosecutors. In July, the Justice Department ordered the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to hand his tax records over to Congress.

The New York Times reported in September 2020 that Trump paid just $750 (€644) in federal income taxes in 2016, the year he ran for president, and in 2017, his first year in the White House. He also paid no federal income taxes in 10 out of 15 years because he reported losing more money than he made, the report said. At the time, Trump dismissed the accusations as "totally fake news."

kb/sri (AP, Reuters)

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