Citing an extensive trove of tax returns and documents, the New York Times recently reported that Trump owes virtually all of his private wealth to a series of illegal schemes his father used to sheltered his inheritance and family business from taxes. In total, Trump's father transferred over $1 billion to his children without paying taxes on it.
Now, I know this will shock you, but it appears that Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner also doesn't pay taxes.
Although Kushner's personal wealth has "quintupled to almost $324 million" over the past decade according to the New York Times, he has paid little to no federal income taxes on that wealth.
Kushner has reportedly sheltered his income from taxes by claiming losses that don't actually exist. And that may sound familiar, because the Trumps have used similar tactics for the past 50 years.
Mr. Kushner’s losses, stemming in large part from the depreciation deduction, appeared to wipe out his taxable income in most years covered by the documents.
He is reporting the losses even though he bought his properties with borrowed funds. In many cases, Mr. Kushner kicked in less than 1 percent of the purchase price, according to the documents. Even that small amount generally was paid for with loans. Mr. Kushner’s credit lines from banks rose to $46 million in 2016 from zero in 2009, the documents show.
The result: Mr. Kushner is getting tax-reducing losses for spending someone else’s money, which is permitted under the tax code.
Using Kushner's tax returns from 2015 as an example, the New York Times illustrates how Kushner turned a yearly income of nearly $2 million into negative $6.6 million by claiming losses that only exist on paper. And speaking of which, I am reminded that Kushner has routinely forced tenants out of his properties by renovating and remodeling the buildings and he has almost certainly recorded that as a loss.
Records show that Kushner actually received a tax return of $4,000 in 2015, and while that's not a lot of money for someone like him, that does mean he was effectively subsidized by taxpayers.
What all of this tells us is there's plenty of money out there that could fund infrastructure and health care if we closed the loopholes that allow the super rich to pay less taxes than the middle and lower classes do.
If you the person reading this paid any taxes at all over the past 8 years, you probably paid more than Jared Kushner did.