The Tax Man Cometh For Former President Trump

When twice-impeached former president Donald Trump’s Senate trial for the high crime of inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol concludes that won’t be the end of his legal troubles. As has widely been reported Trump is facing criminal and civil investigations in New York state over alleged financial fraud. On Wednesday the prosecutor in Fulton County, Georgia, disclosed she has opened a criminal inquiry into Trump’s aggressive efforts to get state officials to overturn results of the presidential election in his favor.

Now that he no longer enjoys the protection of being a sitting president Trump also is facing new scrutiny from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over a massive tax refund he claimed in 2010 that he may not be entitled to.┬áSince he declared his candidacy for president in 2016 Trump has said he would do what all candidates have done since the 1970s and release his tax returns if only they weren’t under audit. He never said which years were being examined by the IRS and there’s no law prohibiting him from having released them.

The IRS has been reviewing the $72.9 million refund Trump claimed on his 2010 tax return since before he took office. The question is whether he is entitled to claim a charitable deduction for property he owns in New York state that he can’t develop. If the agency rules against him Trump would be on the hook for the original amount of the refund, plus interest, for approximately $100 million. How he would come up with the cash to settle that debt is problematic at a time when the travel and leisure industry – and his properties in particular – are suffering as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

He also faces the difficulties of having the Democratic-controlled Joint Committee on Taxation being poised to renew efforts to obtain his tax returns and the loss of the lead law firm that handled his tax matters having fired him as a client after the Capitol Hill riot.

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