Accuracy in Media

An extensive story by the New York Times, “Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father,” tracked down what it called “295 streams of revenue that Fred Trump created over five decades to enrich his son.”

The article is contradictory in its assertions.

“Much of his giving was structured to sidestep gift and inheritance taxes using methods tax experts described to The Times as improper or possibly illegal,” the article said. Yet the paper also admitted that “These maneuvers met with little resistance from the Internal Revenue Service, The Times found.”

Times reporters advance their biased narrative that the rich don’t pay enough taxes and do everything they can to cast a shadow on the president’s financial history without definitively proving any wrongdoing.

“The line between legal tax avoidance and illegal tax evasion is often murky, and it is constantly being stretched by inventive tax lawyers,” the Times writes. “There is no shortage of clever tax avoidance tricks that have been blessed by either the courts or the I.R.S. itself. The richest Americans almost never pay anything close to full freight. But tax experts briefed on The Times’s findings said the Trumps appeared to have done more than exploit legal loopholes. They said the conduct described here represented a pattern of deception and obfuscation, particularly about the value of Fred Trump’s real estate, that repeatedly prevented the I.R.S. from taxing large transfers of wealth to his children … According to tax experts, it is unlikely that Mr. Trump would be vulnerable to criminal prosecution for helping his parents evade taxes, because the acts happened too long ago and are past the statute of limitations. There is no time limit, however, on civil fines for tax fraud.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders responded to the reporting and called for a correction by the Times.

“Fred Trump has been gone for nearly twenty years and it’s sad to witness this misleading attack against the Trump family by the failing New York Times,” she said. “Many decades ago the IRS reviewed and signed off on these transactions. The New York Times’ and other media outlets‘ credibility with the American people is at an all-time low because they are consumed with attacking the President and his family 24/7 instead of reporting the news.”

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