US President Donald Trump has had more than $ 287 million in debt forgiven since 2010, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.
The American president’s income tax records obtained by the newspaper show that the vast majority of debt forgiven by creditors is related to the design of a 92-story building in Chicago, o Trump International Hotel & Tower.
The project included 486 condominium units, 339 hotel rooms, restaurants, a bar, two parking lots, a health club, a spa and a convention and retail space.
According to “NYT”, “how Trump found problems in Chicago – and maneuvered out of them – it’s a case study of the Trump way of doing business“.
Now, forgiven debts are part of an investigation into the business of the American president conducted by the New York attorney general.
These debts would normally generate a large tax collection because the IRS treats canceled debts as revenue. But the newspaper says that Trump seems to have paid almost no income tax on the value because of large losses in other businesses.
Alan Garten, legal director of the Trump Organization, told the NYT that Trump and his company accounted for and paid all taxes due on forgiven debts.
“All of these transactions were carried out under normal market conditions, voluntarily concluded between sophisticated parties, many years ago, after the 2008 global financial crisis and the resulting collapse of the housing markets,” said the Trump Organization’s chief legal officer.
According to the report, the project encountered financial problems, with delay in construction and difficulty in selling the available spaces, but not only did debtors give Trump more time to pay off the debt, they lent more money later – and they were even sued by the U.S. president.
For the newspaper, the Chicago experience is the latest example “of Trump’s ability to strengthen ties with financial institutions and exploit the American tax code to cushion the blow of his repeated business failures. ”
The report says Trump got a loan of more than $ 700 million for the Chicago project and went to Deutsche Bank. The bank agreed to lend $ 640 million and, after construction delays, the debt matured while parts of the building were still unfinished.
Deutsche first granted a loan extension, but later denied a request for an additional extension. That’s when Trump sued the bank, along with the Fortress Investment Group – which had provided a $ 130 million loan for the project – and other banks and funds that had purchased part of those loans.
Trump, according to the newspaper, accused Deutsche Banck of “predatory lending practices”. The bank responded with its own lawsuit and demanded repayment of the loan.
In 2010, Deutsche Bank, Fortress and the then businessman reached a private agreement, the terms of which were not disclosed. According to the newspaper, Trump’s income tax returns and a document show that he had about $ 270 million in project debt.
The revelation is part of a series of reports that the New York Times has done based on the American President’s income tax records – which he has always refused to reveal, unlike all his predecessors.
The newspaper reported that Trump paid no federal income taxes in 10 of the 15 years between 2000 and 2015, claiming that he lost more money than he earned.
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The “NYT” also revealed that the US president paid only $ 750 in federal taxes both in the year he was elected and in his first year at the White House.
Trump denied the story when it was released and said he paid “a lot” in federal income taxes.
Recently, a newspaper report also showed that an American president’s company had an undisclosed account in China.
According to the newspaper, the company paid $ 188,500 in taxes in the country between 2013 and 2015 – which became the target of a joke in China.