– No tax evader – VG

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“YOU’RE FIRED”: In 2006, entrepreneur Donald Trump performed his punchline from the reality series “The Apprentice”, which Trump directed from 2004 to 2015. Foto: Fred Prouser / Reuters

The President of the United States has demanded a business deduction for private holiday homes, aircraft and hairdressing expenses. He has also booked debts from multiple years back, revelations show.

Tax professor Ole Gjems-Onstad has plowed through the New York Times’ large document on President Donald Trump’s tax returns for the past 20 years.

– What has been revealed is not so terrible for tax purposes. Everyone in the US does tax planning, much harder than we are used to, says Ole Gjems-Onstad, professor of tax law at BI Norwegian Business School, to VG.

Before he took over the White House, the reality series “The Apprentice” was one of the things Donald Trump was best known for. The show has also contributed heavily to the business mogul’s wealth.

The revelations to the New York Times show that the accounting of the income from the television program has been important for Trump in avoiding paying taxes for ten of the last 15 years.

TAX INVESTIGATION: President Donald Trump outside the White House on Monday. Foto: TASOS KATOPODIS / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA

Loses big on business

He avoided paying taxes in part because he demanded tax exemptions for the use of everything from leisure property, to hairdressing expenses and private jets during the years he participated in the program.

But another important explanation is that many of Trump’s businesses, which he owns and operates himself, have suffered heavy and persistent losses.

– He is a boastful pope, not at all as big a businessman as he wants it to be, says Gjems-Onstad.

EXPERT: Professor of tax law at BI Norwegian Business School Ole Gjems-Onstad. Photo: BI

The losses are booked so that it has largely exempted Trump from paying federal income tax on the billion-dollar revenues from “The Apprentice” and associated brand agreements and investments.

Being a presenter in prime time made Trump a more attractive brand for investors. He also secured half of the proceeds from the show. In total, this amounted to 427.4 million dollars, well over four billion kroner, writes the New York Times.

Modest taxpayer

The effective tax rate paid by the richest one percent of Americans would cause Trump to pay more than $ 100 million in taxes, the newspaper writes.

ALSO READ: This is how Trump changed the United States

Instead, he paid a modest $ 750 ($ 7,000) in federal income tax in 2016 when he won the presidential election and $ 750 in income tax the first year as president in 2017.

– He is a man who has contributed little with tax money to the community. But many will probably say that he has, after all, created many jobs, the BI professor points out.

“Saves” losses for later years

Throughout his career, Donald Trump’s business losses have often reached sums that are greater than what can be used to reduce the tax on other income within a year.

But the tax model in the United States allows business owners in some cases to present “residual losses”, to reduce taxes in future years. It has been used extensively.

“I love depreciation,” Trump said during a presidential debate in 2016, the New York Times notes.

“FOLLOW THE MONEY”: Bill Christeson demonstrates outside the Supreme Court in Washington DC in July this year, when the court issued rulings on the publication of the presidents’ tax returns. Photo: JIM LO SCALZO / EPA

– No tax evader

Gjems-Onstad points out that the revelations are not about tax evasion.

– You can not call Trump a tax evader. But he secures himself to the maximum and conducts tax adjustment in a country where the deduction possibilities are great, says the BI professor.

The economic challenges are in line for the president: Over the next four years, Trump will have to service loans for which he is personally responsible, equivalent to $ 300 million.

– The figures presented by the New York Times do not provide a comprehensive presentation. Trump also has assets. We have no balance that shows whether he can go bankrupt, says Gjems-Onstad.

also read Trump strikes back: “Fake news”

The “picture of the rich” cracks

The New York Times article is based on tax returns from over 20 years – documents that Trump himself did not want to publish. He is the first president in the history of the United States to have denied access to his tax returns.

The newspaper writes that the insight into the tax returns reveals a president with an economy under severe pressure and millions of dollars in debt. In 2018, for example, Trump announced in the revelation that he had earned at least $ 434.9 million.

The tax records, on the other hand, give a completely different portrait of his bottom line, namely 47.4 million in losses.

RIVERS: Joe Biden and Donald Trump are fighting to be elected president of the United States. Photo: AFP

Debate Tuesday

Recent revelations show that a growing portion of Trump’s revenue comes from businesses that could lead to, or have already created, conflicts of interest with the presidency.

The tax revelations about Trump come just two days before the important, first debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

– The articles are part of the election campaign. The New York Times is not neutral, but a newspaper that runs hard against Trump and wants to create unrest around him, says Professor Ole Gjems-Onstad.

The Democrats were quick to use the tax case for all it’s worth. Already on Sunday night, Joe Biden’s election campaign apparatus began selling stickers that read: “I have paid more taxes than Donald Trump.”

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