75 thoughts on “Why should I?

  1. HAR says:

    (August 24, 2020): “Manhattan prosecutor agrees to shelve subpoena for Trump tax returns” https://thehill.com/regulation/513370-manhattan-prosecutor-agrees-to-shelve-subpoena-for-trump-tax-returns
    (August 3, 2020): Lawyers for a Manhattan prosecutor trying to get President Donald Trump’s tax returns have told a judge that the request is justified because of public reports of “extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization”. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/da-seeking-trump-taxes-cites-reports-criminal-conduct-200803171940756.html

    “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.” (New York hotel tycoon Leona Helmsley) http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1891335_1891333_1891317,00.html

  2. A line in the sand says:

    “New York attorney general files legal action against Trump Organization, revealing state investigation into the company’s financial dealings” https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/new-york-ag-trump-organization-lawsuit/2020/08/24/882c03a8-e60e-11ea-bc79-834454439a44_story.html “The filing asks a New York state judge to compel the Trump Organization to provide information it has been withholding from investigators — including a subpoena seeking an interview with the president’s son Eric.
    The attorney general’s office said it began investigating after Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer,” Michael Cohen, told Congress in February 2019 that Trump had used these statements to inflate his net worth to lenders.”
    “New York AG seeks to depose Eric Trump in investigation of Trump’s finances” https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/24/politics/new-york-eric-trump/index.html See court filing at https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/24/politics/eric-trump-ag-filing/index.html
    “Four properties are being probed, including the 212-acre (85.8 hectares) Seven Springs Estate in northern Westchester County, north of New York City, whose valuations were used to claim an apparent $21.1 million tax deduction for 2015.
    Other properties include 40 Wall Street in downtown Manhattan, the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, and the Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles.” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-new-york-lawsuit/ny-attorney-general-files-lawsuit-against-trump-organization-court-records-idUSKBN25K1XG

    Alphonse Gabriel Capone (AKA: “Scarface”) with his lawyers while facing federal tax evasion charges in 1931

  3. Keep on Truckin' says:

    Robert Crumb has a personal history with the IRS

    “Keep on Truckin’ is a one-page comic by Robert Crumb. It was published in the first issue of Zap Comix in 1968. A visual riff on the lyrics of the Blind Boy Fuller song “Truckin’ My Blues Away”, it consists of an assortment of men, drawn in Crumb’s distinctive style, strutting confidently across various landscapes.” https://groovyhistory.com/content/102410/b786aaf0b18ab14701d98e337db991f2.jpg
    “In the early 1970s, Crumb’s lawyer started threatening lawsuits against anyone using the image without permission. Crumb and A.A. Sales, a producer of unlicensed Keep On Truckin’ merchandise, reached a settlement of $750 for the past usage. But A.A. continued to sell unlicensed products after the settlement without paying additional license fees. In 1973, Crumb went to the U.S. Federal Court, and wound up in the courtroom of Judge Albert Charles Wollenberg, who had previously ruled against the Air Pirates. [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Pirates ] A.A. Sales claimed the work was in the public domain, because Crumb had not included the copyright symbol on the work, although he had in Zap #1 as a whole. The work was covered under the 1909 Copyright Act, and any omission of notice caused the work to be public domain. The drawing had appeared on the business card of Crumb’s publisher without the copyright symbol. Based on that, Wollenberg granted A.A. Sales’ request for summary judgment and Keep On Truckin’ became public domain. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keep_on_Truckin%27_(comics)#Copyright_issues
    In 1977, the IRS demanded Crumb pay $30,000 in back taxes they said he owed on past royalties. Crumb ended up moving to France, returning a year later, after the matter had been settled to the feds’ satisfaction.
    Jacques Hyzagi (interview of Robert Crumb 10/14/15): “You had a revolutionary creature at some point [in the ’60s]—Frosty the Snowman—who was throwing bombs at the Rockefeller mansion. Do you think that’s why the IRS came after you right after that?”
    “What do you think?” he [Crumb] said https://observer.com/2015/10/robert-crumb-hates-you/

    Arcade, The Comics Revue #4 (October 1975); story and art by Robert Crumb
    “…The other notable inclusion is a series of half page strips introducing a new character, ‘Frosty the Snowman and his Friends’. Frosty himself is drawn in a cute style reminiscent of children’s illustration and each strip is introduced with a panel of snowy fun that wouldn’t be out of place on a Christmas card. However Frosty is promoting the uprising of the downtrodden proletariat, and his two friends are out to help him blow up the home of a noted Capitalist. None of the characters are politically consistent, spouting slogans and egging each other on through a series of comic misadventures. In the end they succeed in their mission, but it turns out the house was falling down and the owner is glad of an excuse to demolish it and build a new one. Sometimes cited as supporting terrorism, this strip is thought by many to be the reason the IRS investigated Crumb the following year, with punitive effect.” http://theslingsandarrows.com/the-complete-crumb-comics-vol-10-crumb-advocates-violent-overthrow/
    “Frosty the Snowman and His Friends” (1975) excerpt: https://stendec7.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/frost2.jpg?w=701

  4. Working stiff says:

    “The Ugly Numbers Are Finally In on the 2017 Trump Tax Rewrite : Radical Republicans Ramrodded that Law through Congress, and, You Guessed It, the Rich Made Out Like Bandits While the Rest of Us Got Bupkis” (David Cay Johnston) https://www.dcreport.org/2020/09/05/the-ugly-numbers-are-finally-in-on-the-2017-trump-tax-rewrite/
    “The figures in this story come from my annual analysis of IRS data known as Table 1.4. The income figures are pre-tax money that must be reported on tax returns. https://www.irs.gov/statistics/soi-tax-stats-individual-statistical-tables-by-size-of-adjusted-gross-income I adjusted the 2016 data to reflect inflation of 4.1% between 2016 and 2018 (slightly more than 2% a year).
    This is the first data on the first full year when Trump was president. It also is the first year of the Radical Republican tax system overhaul, passed in December 2017. The Trump tax law, the most significant tax policy change since 1986, was passed without a single public hearing or a single Democratic vote.
    Trump policies overwhelmingly favor the top 7% of Americans. And, oh, do they benefit!
    Prosperous and rich people, the data reveal, include half a million who are not even filing tax returns. Yet they are not being pursued as tax cheats, a separate report by the Tax Inspector General shows. https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2020reports/202030015fr.pdf

  5. Hey, Rube! says:

    “How Income-Tax Secrecy Benefits Trump and Hurts You : The Super-Rich Pay, or Don’t Pay, Pretty Much Whatever They Wish; Congress Looks Over Your Shoulder, Not Your Boss’s” https://www.dcreport.org/2020/09/18/how-income-tax-secrecy-benefits-trump-and-hurts-you/

    President Ronald Reagan, who sought office as a tax rate cutter and then delivered, opposed such favors and argued against a system that “allows the wealthy to avoid paying their fair share.”
    Reagan complained that loopholes “sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10% of his salary, and that’s crazy,” he said a 1985 speech at a Georgia high school.
    “What we’re trying to move against is institutionalized unfairness. We want to see that everyone pays their fair share, and no one gets a free ride. Our reasons? It’s good for society when we all know that no one is manipulating the system to their advantage because they’re rich and powerful. But it’s also good for society when everyone pays something, that everyone makes a contribution,” Reagan said.
    President Ronald Reagan’s Remarks at Northside High School Gymnasium in Atlanta, Georgia, June 6, 1985 https://catalog.archives.gov/id/75717810

  6. BOGUS POTUS says:

    “New York Times: Trump paid no income taxes in 10 out of 15 years beginning in 2000” https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/27/politics/trump-income-taxes-new-york-times-report/index.html
    “Trump tax returns: 5 highlights from The New York Times report” https://www.al.com/news/2020/09/trump-tax-returns-5-highlights-from-the-new-york-times-report.html
    New York Times (9/27/20): “The President’s Taxes : Long-Concealed Records Show Trump’s Chronic Losses and Years of Tax Avoidance”
    “Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750.
    He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.
    As the president wages a re-election campaign that polls say he is in danger of losing, his finances are under stress, beset by losses and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due that he has personally guaranteed. Also hanging over him is a decade-long audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses. An adverse ruling could cost him more than $100 million.”

  7. HAR says:

    (Fox News): “Biden campaign spotlights Trump taxes story with new digital video” https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-campaign-spotlights-trump-taxes-story-with-new-digital-video “According to the New York Times report [link], Trump, who has fiercely guarded his tax filings and is the only president in modern times not to make them public, paid $750 in taxes to the federal government the year he was elected and $750 again his first year in office.
    Trump, whose net worth is claimed to be in the billions, denied that he paid such a small amount in taxes.
    “It’s fake news, it’s totally made up,” Trump said Sunday during a press briefing less than an hour after the story broke in the newspaper. “Everything was wrong, they are so bad.”
    As of Monday morning at 9 a.m. ET, the video had more than 2.2 million views on Twitter. There’s no word from the vice president’s campaign if they plan to put money behind the spot to run on digital or TV.”

  8. Oligarchy malarkey says:

    “IRS: Sorry, but It’s Just Easier and Cheaper to Audit the Poor” (ProPublica 10/2/20) https://www.propublica.org/article/irs-sorry-but-its-just-easier-and-cheaper-to-audit-the-poor
    “Congress asked the IRS to report on why it audits the poor more than the affluent. Its response is that it doesn’t have enough money and people to audit the wealthy properly. So it’s not going to.
    Since 2011, Republicans in Congress have driven cuts to the IRS enforcement budget; it’s more than a quarter lower than its 2010 level, adjusting for inflation.” See https://www.propublica.org/article/how-the-irs-was-gutted (also https://www.propublica.org/article/irs-now-audits-poor-americans-at-about-the-same-rate-as-the-top-1-percent )

  9. Update says:

    Federal appeals court rules Trump can’t block New York subpoena for his tax returns https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/07/politics/trump-tax-returns-subpoena-ruling/index.html
    A federal appeals court in Manhattan rejected President Donald Trump’s effort to block enforcement of a grand jury subpoena that demands years of his income tax returns from his accountants.
    But court suspended enforcement of that subpoena by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., giving Trump time to ask the Supreme Court, for a second time, to step into the case and block the subpoena permanently.
    Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow said he will ask the Supreme Court to stay the unanimous decision against the president by the three-judge panel on U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/07/trump-loses-appeal-to-block-subpoena-for-tax-returns-by-prosecutor.html

  10. p/s says:

    In a surprise appearance with the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), today harshly questioned Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig on the IRS’s continued refusal to release details on Donald Trump’s tax returns and the IRS’s systematic failure to hold rich tax cheats to account. Pascrell appeared on the panel following an invitation from Chairman Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11). https://www.insidernj.com/press-release/pascrell-blisters-irs-chief-refusal-give-trump-tax-testimony/
    As Chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, Rep. Pascrell has made oversight of the IRS one of the panel’s absolute top priorities.
    Pascrell has invited Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig to appear before the Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee October 13 in an urgent hearing on taxpayer fairness and reports of the IRS admitting it deliberately targets poorer Americans for audits over the rich. Rettig has refused to reply or confirm his attendance.

    Pandemic challenges highlight staffing shortages at the IRS https://www.federaltimes.com/management/2020/10/07/pandemic-challenges-highlight-staffing-shortages-at-the-irs/
    “Like many agencies, the IRS sought to find ways to keep its workforce safe while continuing to meet its mission. But it didn’t stand a chance. It’s gutted workforce and anachronistic IT systems were simply not enough,” Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., said at an Oct. 7 House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on the state of the IRS.

  11. Chump-O-Gram says:

    “Trump Engineered a Sudden Windfall in 2016 as Campaign Funds Dwindled : Tax records expose more than $21 million in highly unusual payments from the Las Vegas hotel Donald Trump owns with Phil Ruffin, routed through other Trump companies and paid out in cash.” (NYT) https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/10/09/us/donald-trump-taxes-las-vegas.html
    Trump got a $21 million tax break for saving the forest outside his N.Y. mansion. Now the deal is under investigation. (WAPO) https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-got-a-21-million-tax-break-for-saving-the-forest-outside-his-ny-mansion-now-the-deal-is-under-investigation/2020/10/07/de84c1ba-ff6b-11ea-830c-a160b331ca62_story.html
    “A goat herd is helping President Donald Trump pay thousands of dollars less in property taxes on his New Jersey properties, thanks to a state law designed to benefit farmers.
    The Wall Street Journal estimated in 2016 that Trump paid less than $1,000 a year in property taxes on land that would typically require roughly $80,000.” (Aug 2018) https://www.businessinsider.com/goats-helping-trump-pay-less-taxes-new-jersey-2018-8

    President Trump’s Seven Springs estate covers 212 acres, including rolling woodlands that spread over three Westchester County towns. (Johnny Milano)

  12. 4MOREYEARS says:

    “The Swamp That Trump Built : A businessman-president transplanted favor-seeking in Washington to his family’s hotels and resorts — and earned millions as a gatekeeper to his own administration.” (NYT). https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/10/10/us/trump-properties-swamp.html
    “Key takeaways from the New York Times’ investigation into Trump’s taxes while in office” https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/10/11/key-takeaways-nyt-look-into-trumps-taxes-while-office/5960622002/
    “A New York Times analysis of tax records showed that more than 200 companies, special-interest groups and foreign governments have funneled millions of dollars to President Trump’s properties while reaping benefits from the president and his administration.” https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/520549-tax-records-show-200-companies-groups-and-foreign-governments

  13. Teflon Don says:

    “Trump Lawyers Once Again Cross Their Fingers, Ask Supreme Court to Shut Down Criminal Subpoena for President’s Tax Returns” https://lawandcrime.com/supreme-court/trump-lawyers-once-again-cross-their-fingers-ask-supreme-court-to-shut-down-criminal-subpoena-for-presidents-tax-returns/
    See “Emergency application for a stay pending the filing and disposition of a petition for writ of certiorari” https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/20/20A63/157461/20201013102953654_Trump%20v.%20Vance%20II%20-%20Emergency%20Stay%20App.pdf
    “Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office hinted earlier this month that its subpoena is part of an investigation into “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization,” including potential fraud allegations detailed in media reports in recent years.” https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/520796-trump-again-asks-supreme-court-to-shield-tax-records
    “The Supreme Court on Tuesday put an end to a lawsuit brought by congressional Democrats that accused President Donald Trump of violating anti-corruption provisions in the U.S. Constitution with his business dealings.” https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-emoluments/u-s-supreme-court-ends-democratic-lawmakers-anti-graft-lawsuit-against-trump-idUSKBN26Y1ZW

  14. Superhuman acumen says:

    Synopsis: Trump maintains bank accounts in China, Britain & Ireland, according to an analysis of the president’s tax records, which were obtained by the New York Times. The accounts do not show up on Trump’s public financial disclosures.
    “Trump paid more than $188,000 in taxes to China as he pursued business deals there in 2013-15 while paying next to nothing in the US, financial records show” (Daily Mail UK) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8861925/Trump-paid-188-000-taxes-China-paying-treasury.html
    (NYT): “Trump Records Shed New Light on Chinese Business Pursuits : As he raises questions about his opponent’s standing with China, President Trump’s taxes reveal details about his own activities there, including a previously unknown bank account.” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/20/us/trump-taxes-china.html
    “The Chinese account is controlled by Trump International Hotels Management L.L.C., which the tax records show paid $188,561 in taxes in China while pursuing licensing deals there from 2013 to 2015.
    …Trump International Hotels Management – the one with a Chinese bank account – has direct ownership of THC China Development, which in 2017 reported an unusually large spike in revenue — some $17.5 million, more than the previous five years’ combined. It was accompanied by a $15.1 million withdrawal by Mr. Trump from the company’s capital account. [read the details and small print between the lines]
    (CNN): “The new details gleaned from Trump’s tax records build on a previous New York Times report that detailed how the President paid no federal income taxes whatsoever in 10 out of 15 years beginning in 2000 because he reported losing significantly more than he made.” https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/20/politics/trump-china-taxes-financial-records/index.html

  15. Hide and seek says:

    “President Trump ran out the clock Wednesday in his long-running legal battle to shield his tax and financial records from Congress when a federal appeals court declined to rule on the matter and sent the case back to a lower court.
    The brief order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit does not mean that the effort by House Democrats to access Trump’s business records is over. But the congressional term will expire and Trump will leave office in January without having his financial data turned over to lawmakers.
    The D.C. Circuit emphasized that it was not taking sides. The one-page order noted that the House intends to reissue the subpoena to Trump’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, at the start of the new Congress next week.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/trump-taxes-house-lawsuit/2020/12/30/47dbf89c-24ef-11eb-a688-5298ad5d580a_story.html

  16. Forging Ahead says:

    (1/20/21): “Investigators probing outgoing US President Donald Trump’s finances have gotten hold of some of his tax records, allowing them to move ahead even without a Supreme Court order that would give them eight years of his returns, sources tell” Bloomberg.https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/1/20/bbinvestigators-probing-trump-finances-have-some-of-his-tax-recor “Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who subpoenaed Trump’s accounting firm Mazars USA in 2019, is leading one of the most closely watched cases that could result in criminal charges. While Vance agreed to await a high-court decision on forcing the handover of tax records from 2011 to 2018, his office now has some of the information from other sources, according to people familiar with the matter.
    …The Supreme Court, without explanation, has deferred action for the past three months on Trump’s bid to block Vance’s subpoena. The delay has kept the document demand on hold because Vance agreed in October not to enforce the subpoena while the Supreme Court considered Trump’s request.
    Should the court reject Trump, Vance would be free to insist that Mazars turn over the information. Mazars has said it will comply with its legal obligations.”

  17. Update says:

    The Supreme Court cleared the way for a New York prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns, dealing a massive loss to Trump who has fiercely fought to shield his financial papers from prosecutors.
    The documents will be subject to grand jury secrecy rules that restrict their public release.
    The ruling is a bitter loss for Trump, even if the tax records are shielded from public disclosure, after he consistently argued that the subpoena issued by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance was overbroad and issued in bad faith.
    It means that the grand jury investigation into alleged hush money payments and other issues will no longer be hampered by Trump’s fight to keep the documents secret.
    The ruling was issued without comment or dissent.

  18. Pinche says:

    “The richest Americans don’t report at least 20 percent of their income to the IRS, new research suggests” https://news.yahoo.com/richest-americans-dont-report-least-054441854.html
    “The top 1 percent of U.S. households don’t report about 21 percent of their income, and a big slice of that — 6 percentage points — is from sophisticated tax-avoidance strategies that aren’t detected in spot IRS audits, The Wall Street Journal reports. The top 0.1 percent of households may hide nearly twice the amount of income projected by conventional IRS methodologies, the researchers found.
    The main drivers of this tax avoidance by the super wealthy are hiding money offshore and the increasing use of pass-through businesses like investment funds, real estate enterprises, closely held family firms, and other partnerships, the researcher found. In such businesses, income passes through an owner’s individual tax returns and is not taxed at the corporate level, the Journal explains.”
    (WSJ): “High-Income Tax Avoidance Far Larger Than Thought, New Paper Estimates
    The very top sliver of high-income Americans may underreport their income at levels far beyond what was suggested by prior IRS research, according to a new paper” https://news.yahoo.com/richest-americans-dont-report-least-054441854.html

  19. 3Card Monte says:

    Former President Trump’s personal lawyers on Monday urged a federal judge to find that a New York state law on congressional tax return requests no longer pertains to the former president because he’s out of office. https://thehill.com/policy/finance/547863-trump-lawyers-argue-ny-tax-return-law-no-longer-applies-to-him
    Judge Carl Nichols, a federal district judge in Washington, D.C., appointed by Trump, ordered the House Ways and Means Committee to provide the court and Trump with contemporaneous notice if committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) requests Trump’s state tax returns under a New York law. Nichols also ordered the committee to not receive any requested state tax returns for a period of 14 days, during which time the court could decide whether the request is lawful. https://thehill.com/policy/finance/471017-judge-orders-democrats-to-give-notice-if-request-trump-tax-returns

  20. ¡Ay, pobrecito! says:

    The U.S. government filed a lawsuit Friday against Roger Stone, claiming he owes the Internal Revenue Service almost $2 million in unpaid tax bills stretching back more than a decade — another legal blow for the political consultant convicted of obstructing Congress and later pardoned by his longtime friend, President Donald Trump. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/roger-stone-taxes-irs/2021/04/16/2050619c-9f05-11eb-b7a8-014b14aeb9e4_story.html
    Stone characterized the lawsuit as political, claiming the case “is motivated by blood lust and liberal hysteria.” Stone claims he and his wife were working to pay off their tax bill but then the cost of defending himself “financially destroyed” them and they are now “virtually bankrupt.” He vowed to “fight these politically motivated charges,” which he characterized as “yet another example of the Democrats weaponizing the Justice Department in violation of the rule of law.” https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/04/roger-stone-unpaid-taxes-justice-department-lawsuit.html

  21. Rah-rah says:

    The Billionaire Playbook: How Sports Owners Use Their Teams to Avoid Millions in Taxes https://www.propublica.org/article/the-billionaire-playbook-how-sports-owners-use-their-teams-to-avoid-millions-in-taxes
    Eight Takeaways From ProPublica’s Investigation of How Sports Owners Use Their Teams to Avoid Taxes : How do billionaire team owners end up paying lower tax rates not only than their millionaire players, but even the person serving beer in the stadium? Let’s go to the highlights. https://www.propublica.org/article/eight-takeaways-from-propublicas-investigation-of-how-sports-owners-use-their-teams-to-avoid-taxes

  22. Update says:

    The income tax returns of former President Donald Trump must be released by the IRS to Congress, the Department of Justice says. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/30/trump-tax-returns-can-be-released-to-congress-doj-says.html
    The DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel said Congress had made a legitimate request to see Trump’s tax returns.
    The decision came more than a year after the Supreme Court said Trump’s tax returns and other financial records had to be turned over by his longtime accountants to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. as part of a criminal probe.

  23. Grasping@straws says:

    Attorneys for former president Donald Trump on Wednesday blasted a Justice Department ruling that directed the Treasury Department to turn over his tax returns to Congress, formally asking a court to block their release and arguing that records of former presidents as well as presidents should be similarly protected from subpoenas by lawmakers.
    Trump’s lawyers called last week’s decision by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel the latest effort at partisan retaliation against him by Democrats, and denied that the House Ways and Means Committee sought six years of his tax returns out of a legitimate interest in closing tax loopholes exploited by wealthy Americans.
    The July 30 OLC legal analysis overturned an April 2019 memorandum by the same office under Trump’s administration.
    Ways and Means Committee’s Request for the Former President’s Tax Returns and Related Tax Information Pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 6103(f)(1) https://www.justice.gov/olc/file/1419111/download

  24. Och aye says:

    As prosecutors in Manhattan continue their investigation into the Trump Organization’s finances, attorneys in Scotland are citing its progress to advocate for opening a parallel investigation into how the former US president’s company financed golf courses in the country. https://www.businessinsider.com/scottish-lawmakers-may-investigate-trump-organization-mcmafia-order-2021-8
    At a virtual court hearing in Scotland Thursday, the attorney Kay Springham asked a judge to allow the government to issue an “unexplained wealth order” (UWO), also known as a “McMafia order,” The Scotsman reported. The order would force the Trump Organization to open up its books and explain how it financed the acquisition of its two Scottish resorts. https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/court-told-over-real-and-substantial-concerns-about-finances-of-trump-organisation-3328135
    In trying to persuade the judge, Springham pointed to the criminal proceedings in New York, where the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has filed tax-fraud charges against the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg.
    Weisselberg played roles in operating the company’s two golf courses in Scotland. Insider first reported several days after the New York indictments were filed that Weisselberg was terminated from his role as director of Trump International Golf Club Scotland, the holding company that owns Trump’s Aberdeenshire golf resort, the Trump International Golf Links.

  25. 4theRecord says:

    “The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.” (Gore Vidal)

  26. 4theRecord says:

    Secret IRS Files Reveal How Much the Ultrawealthy Gained by Shaping Trump’s “Big, Beautiful Tax Cut” : Billionaire business owners deployed lobbyists to make sure Trump’s 2017 tax bill was tailored to their benefit. Confidential IRS records show the windfall that followed. https://www.propublica.org/article/secret-irs-files-reveal-how-much-the-ultrawealthy-gained-by-shaping-trumps-big-beautiful-tax-cut
    Ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWI) are defined as having a net worth of at least US$30 million in constant 2018 dollars. It is the wealth segment above very-high-net-worth individuals (>$5 million) and high-net-worth-individuals (>$1 million). Although they constitute only 0.003% of the world’s population (less than 1 in 33,000), they hold 13% of the world’s total wealth. By 2017, there were 226,450 individuals designated as UHNWI, representing an increase of 3.5%, with their combined total wealth increasing to $27 trillion. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra_high-net-worth_individual

  27. Never-ending "why's" says:

    “Five whys (or 5 whys) is an iterative interrogative technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem. The primary goal of the technique is to determine the root cause of a defect or problem by repeating the question “Why?”. Each answer forms the basis of the next question. The “five” in the name derives from an anecdotal observation on the number of iterations needed to resolve the problem.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_whys

  28. Update says:

    Former President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit against The New York Times, three of its reporters, and his niece—claiming they hatched an “insidious plot” to obtain his private records for a story about his tax history. https://www.thedailybeast.com/donald-trump-sues-new-york-times-and-his-niece-mary-trump-over-tax-story
    “…Times reporters David Barstow, Susanne Craig, and Russ Buettner—who won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting in 2019 for what they revealed about the taxes the former president had refused to disclose, and how little he’d paid in federal income taxes—also weren’t party to the confidentiality agreement Mary Trump had signed in 2001.”
    (NYT 10/2/18) “Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father” https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/02/us/politics/donald-trump-tax-schemes-fred-trump.html

  29. Pedant says:

    The meaning and origin of the expression: Scot free https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/scot-free.html
    …’Skat’ is a Scandinavian word for tax or payment and the word migrated to Britain and mutated into ‘scot’ as the name of a redistributive taxation, levied as early the 10th century as a form of municipal poor relief.
    ‘Scot’ as a term for tax has been used since then in various forms – Church scot, Rome scot, Soul scot and so on. Whatever the tax, the phrase ‘getting off scot free’ simply refers to not paying one’s taxes.
    The first reference in print to ‘scot free’ is in a forged copy of the Writ of Edward the Confessor. We don’t have a precise date for the forged version of the writ but Edward died in 1066 and the copy was made sometime in the 13th century.
    The use of the figurative version of the phrase, that is, one where no actual scot tax was paid but in which someone escapes custody, began in the 16th century.

  30. Credulous pawn says:

    “More Than Half of America’s 100 Richest People Exploit Special Trusts to Avoid Estate Taxes
    Secret IRS records show billionaires use trusts that let them pass fortunes to their heirs without paying estate tax. Will Congress end a tax shelter that has cost the Treasury untold billions?” https://www.propublica.org/article/more-than-half-of-americas-100-richest-people-exploit-special-trusts-to-avoid-estate-taxes
    “How (Not) to Tax Billionaires : A plan from House Democrats targets the merely rich rather than the plutocrats, insuring that our new Gilded Age will continue.” https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/how-not-to-tax-billionaires

    • p/s says:

      “With Democrats preparing to pass a reconciliation bill that will spend up to $3.5 trillion on investments and aid for American families, the next few months are going to be full of debate about how to pay for this new spending.
      One of the changes proposed by the Biden administration is eliminating the stepped-up basis, an egregious loophole that allows the rich to pass down billions of dollars in assets through generations without ever having to pay a single penny on their growing value. It’s a $42 billion per year tax break that overwhelmingly goes to millionaires and billionaire heirs, and it has no place in a fair tax code.
      Despite the fact that it’s obviously absurd to let millionaire and billionaire heirs avoid paying taxes on their inherited wealth, we’re already seeing conservatives (and some moderate Dems) pushing back on fixing this ridiculous loophole. Here’s why they’re wrong, and why we need to get rid of it.” https://patrioticmillionaires.org/2021/08/19/its-time-to-end-the-stepped-up-basis/

  31. Will C. says:

    “The Pandora Papers reveal the inner workings of a shadow economy that benefits the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of everyone else.” https://www.icij.org/investigations/pandora-papers/global-investigation-tax-havens-offshore/
    Meanwhile: in July, President Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced that an agreement for a 15% global minimum tax rate on corporations was signed by the Group of 20 plus many other countries, for a total of 130 nations, representing over 90% of the global GDP. The agreement overseen by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is now making its way through the legislative bodies of each country. That means the multinational companies that currently avoid paying about $240 billion in taxes annually would no longer be able to pit countries against each other. https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/what-to-know-about-a-global-minimum-tax-rate/ar-AALG0XF

  32. Representative democracy Inc. says:

    “Recent White House Study on Taxes Shows the Wealthy Pay a Lower Rate Than Everybody Else” https://www.propublica.org/article/recent-white-house-study-on-taxes-shows-the-wealthy-pay-a-lower-rate-than-everybody-else
    “When ProPublica compared the richest Americans’ wealth gains to the taxes they paid, we found a system that benefits billionaires. White House economists recently used a similar method to calculate tax rates, revealing stark inequality.”

    • p/s says:

      “The Democratic plan to crack down on individual retirement accounts worth hundreds of millions, even billions, of dollars and to tighten the rules governing IRA investments is facing intense opposition from several industry groups seeking to kill or soften the proposed reforms.
      Several retirement industry firms, including one backed by tech investor Peter Thiel, who amassed a multibillion-dollar IRA, have mounted a lobbying push against the plan, disclosure filings show. They have hired an array of former Capitol Hill staffers, a former congressman and at least one former U.S. senator to fight efforts to rein in and regulate the accounts.” (ProPublica) https://www.propublica.org/article/proposal-to-rein-in-mega-iras-faces-lobbying-resistance-from-retirement-industry

  33. Law & Oder says:

    “Judge questions why Justice reversed course on Trump taxes : The Trump appointee is considering a drive by the former president to block Congress from seeing his returns.” https://www.politico.com/news/2021/11/16/judge-trump-taxes-522774
    “U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee, implied that the reversal was driven by politics and he said the new stance might dictate that Congress could be entitled not only to Biden’s returns — which have already been made public — but even the taxes filed by Biden’s son Hunter.”

  34. Stay tuned says:

    “N.Y. prosecutors set sights on new Trump target: Widely different valuations on the same properties” https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-organization-investigation-property-values-vance-james/2021/11/19/78c15850-4706-11ec-95dc-5f2a96e00fa3_story.html
    Why would the Washington Post publish a sixty paragraph article about the New York criminal probe into Donald Trump that doesn’t really contain any new information?

    …wait for it

  35. Grinding slowly says:

    A federal judge on Tuesday rejected former President Donald Trump’s bid to stop the Biden administration from turning over his tax returns to the House.
    The decision stems from the case initially brought by House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal against the Treasury Department under the Trump administration, when the department rebuffed his request for the returns under a law that allows disclosure of an individual’s tax returns to the committee. https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/14/politics/trump-irs-disclosure-tax/index.html

    • Update says:

      New York Attorney General Letitia James asked a court late Tuesday night to compel Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump to testify under oath, saying that her office’s investigation into the Trump Organization had uncovered “significant evidence” of fraud. https://www.thedailybeast.com/new-york-attorney-general-we-found-significant-evidence-of-trump-organization-fraud
      “…James’ office said that the alleged misleading statements were shared with lenders, and insurers alleged that “virtually all of the benefits from the misleading valuations accrued to Donald J Trump.” The office also said it has evidence indicating Trump may have obtained more than $5 million in federal tax benefits from allegedly misleading valuations obtained from tax benefits taken at the family compound in New York, known as Seven Springs, and the Trump National Golf Course in Los Angeles.” https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/19/politics/new-york-attorney-general-trump-organization-investigation/index.html

      • Implausible Deniability says:

        Nearly three years into their investigation into Donald Trump and his company, Manhattan prosecutors have assembled a trove of potentially incriminating financial documents bearing the former president’s handwritten signature, initials or other writing, Insider has learned.
        The documents — marked by the bold lines of Trump’s ubiquitous black Sharpie, and some in prosecutors’ possession for a year or more — are evidence in an ongoing investigation into possible tax, banking and insurance fraud, according to three people directly involved in the probe.
        One described these hard copy documents as extensive. https://www.insider.com/donald-trump-prosecutors-have-cache-sharpie-scrawled-documents-2022-2

      • Heads up says:

        “The accounting firm Mazars has fired the Trump Organization as a client after saying that a decade’s worth of statements of ex-President Donald Trump’s financial condition “should no longer be relied upon,” the New York Attorney General’s office revealed in a court filing.
        Mazars, which for years prepared Trump’s income tax returns, informed the Trump Organization’s top lawyer Alan Garten of that move and conclusion in a letter last Wednesday.
        The letter was cited by AG Letitia James’ office on Monday as it asked a state judge to order the Trump Organization, Donald Trump Jr. and his sister Ivanka Trump, and others to comply with subpoenas seeking documents and testimony.” https://www.cnbc.com/2022/02/14/trump-tax-firm-says-documents-not-reliable.html
        “The Mazars letter to the Trump Organization is dated February 9th – the middle of last week. On February 14th, just five days later, New York Attorney General Letitia James included a copy of the letter in a court filing. This almost certainly means that Mazars provided James with a copy of the letter when it sent the letter to the Trump Organization last week. In other words, Mazars appears to be working with New York against Trump.
        Numerous observers are asking whether Mazars has criminal exposure here. How could a major accounting firm go a decade or more without figuring out that one of its most notorious clients was fudging the numbers? This could explain why Mazars appears to be working with prosecutors.” (Bill Palmer) https://www.palmerreport.com/analysis/did-mazars-just-turn-states-evidence-against-donald-trump/44024/

      • Will C. says:

        NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump must answer questions under oath in New York state’s civil investigation into his business practices, a judge ruled Thursday.
        Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Trump and his two eldest children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., to comply with subpoenas issued in December by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
        Trump and his two children must sit for a deposition within 21 days, Engoron said.
        Engoron issued the ruling after a two-hour hearing with lawyers for the Trumps and James’ office. https://apnews.com/article/business-new-york-manhattan-donald-trump-subpoenas-0aa45e4644b13f7a3ef76d9c00491298

  36. Uh-oh says:

    “If you’re filing your 2021 taxes online, you’ll soon be required to submit a selfie to the Internal Revenue Service to verify your identity before accessing your account.
    To protect users’ privacy and reduce fraud, the IRS has contracted with ID.me, a third-party service with an exhaustive registration process that includes taking a video selfie with a smartphone or webcam-enabled computer, as well as submitting sensitive government documents and verifying your credit history.
    You can still access basic tax info without registering, but starting this summer the new verification procedure will be needed to view and make payments, access the Child Tax Credit Update Portal and perform “other routine tasks,” according to a November 2021 release, with additional IRS applications transitioning to the new method over the course of 2022.” https://www.cnet.com/personal-finance/taxes/taxes-irs-account-selfie-how-to-id-me-verify/

    • New Normal says:

      Here’s what you need to know about the IRS’ facial recognition program https://www.cnet.com/personal-finance/taxes/taxes-irs-account-selfie-how-to-id-me-verify/
      To access important tax info, you’ll need to upload a video selfie to ID.me. Here’s and explanation of how to do it and what the risks are.
      “This announcement signals one of the largest expansions of facial recognition technology in the U.S. and there is no question that it will harm peoples’ privacy,” Caitlin Seeley George, campaign director at Fight For the Future, told Axios.
      While ID.me doesn’t sell personal info to other corporations, it does retain the right to share it with the police and other government agencies.
      There are also concerns the system often misidentifies women, people of color and gender-nonconforming individuals — and that the need for a smartphone or webcam-enabled computer creates undue hurdles for economically disadvantaged Americans, seniors and other groups. According to Seeley George, when ID.me was used for state unemployment benefits, people had problems with the system. https://www.axios.com/irs-face-recognition-hackles-id-me-0235a30d-8066-4664-82b2-383313bd1962.html

  37. Retribution says:

    Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Wednesday said an investigation should be launched into how he and former FBI Director James Comey were both selected by the Internal Revenue Service for an intensive tax audit. https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/06/politics/andrew-mccabe-james-comey-irs-tax-audit/index.html
    The New York Times reported earlier Wednesday that the IRS conducted intensive tax audits of McCabe and Comey, both fierce critics of former President Donald Trump. The Times noted that the odds of any one person being selected for the audit are about one in 30,600, raising questions about how two of Trump’s most visible critics were both selected https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/06/us/politics/comey-mccabe-irs-audits.html
    Charles Rettig, a Trump appointee, has lead the IRS since 2018. The agency said in a statement to the Times he has no role in selecting candidates for audits.

  38. Taxman says:

    “Why does the IRS need $80 billion? Just look at its cafeteria.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/interactive/2022/irs-pipeline-tax-return-delays/
    “As of July 29, the IRS had a backlog of 10.2 million unprocessed individual returns. Blame the pandemic, sure, but also the agency’s embarrassingly outdated, paper-based system, which leaves stacks and stacks of returns cluttering shelves, hallways and even the cafeteria.
    On the Pipeline, paper tax returns aren’t scanned into computers; instead, IRS employees manually keystroke the numbers from each document into the system, digit by digit.”
    It gets worse

  39. Update says:

    Former President Donald Trump’s federal income tax returns and those of Trump business entities must be turned over to the House Ways and Means Committee, a federal appeals court panel said in a ruling Tuesday.https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/09/trump-tax-returns-must-be-given-to-congress-court-says-.html
    Trump is likely to ask the full lineup of judges on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to re-hear the case or to directly petition his U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal of the ruling.

  40. Jig is up says:

    The IRS has given six years of former President Donald Trump’s federal income tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee, a week after the Supreme Court rejected his effort to block the Democratic-controlled panel from getting those records.
    The committee had been seeking Trump’s tax returns since 2019, when the Republican was still president.
    The committee will not publicly disclose the returns, either.
    It is a felony for federal employees to disclose the contents of a tax return. Members of Congress are federal employees, as are congressional staff. https://www.cnbc.com/2022/11/30/irs-gives-trump-tax-returns-to-house-committee-after-3-year-legal-battle.html

  41. Teflon Don says:

    In closing remarks, prosecutors say evidence shows Trump ‘explicitly’ knew about tax fraud https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/in-closing-remarks-prosecutors-say-evidence-shows-trump-explicitly-knew-about-tax-fraud
    Trump himself is not on trial, as Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Joshua Steinglass reminded jurors, but Judge Juan Manuel Merchan gave him the green light to talk about Trump’s possible awareness of the scheme after the company’s lawyers, in their summations, claimed that Trump knew nothing about it.

  42. Chump change says:

    The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) failed to pursue mandatory audits of Donald Trump on a timely basis during his presidency, a congressional committee found on Tuesday, raising questions about statements by the former president and members of his administration who claimed he could not release his tax filings because of such ongoing reviews. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/dec/21/irs-donald-trump-tax-audit-failure
    A report by the Democratic majority on the House ways and means committee indicated the Trump administration may have disregarded an IRS requirement dating to 1977 that mandates audits of a president’s tax filings. The IRS only began to audit Trump’s 2016 tax filings on 3 April 2019, more than two years into his presidency and months after Democrats took the House. That date coincides with Richard Neal, the panel chairman, asking the IRS for information related to Trump’s tax returns.
    The New York Times previously found that before he entered the White House, Trump was facing an IRS audit potentially tied to a $72.9m tax refund arising from $700m in losses claimed in 2009. Documents released on Tuesday indicated that Trump continued to collect tax benefits from those losses through 2018.
    The report raised red flags about Trump’s filings, including carryover losses, deductions tied to conservation and charitable donations, and loans to his children that could be taxable gifts.

    “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.” (New York hotel tycoon Leona Helmsley)

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