Former New York City mayor and Donald Trump campaign supporter Rudy Giuliani appeared on CNN this morning, where he was interviewed concerning his thoughts on a newly released report by the New York Times suggesting that the Republican presidential nominee may not have paid any tax at all for “up to 18 years.”
Giuliani described a Trump “fiduciary obligation:” one where the candidate could be “sued” if he didn’t take advantage of every legal avenue available to minimize his personal taxes and maximize profits, for him, his partners, and investors.
While it is true that Donald Trump may act as a fiduciary with some of his associates, and possess a duty to act “ethically” and in their “best interests,” as this duty is defined by Investopedia, it would seem that he has no duty to anyone but himself when paying his own, personal income taxes.
Why would Rudy Giuliani claim that Donald Trump has a fiduciary obligation to pay the least amount of tax possible? Perhaps Mr. Giuliani is merely mistaken. Perhaps it is some strawman being erected that the campaign hopes will suffice to silence the questions of those who might ask them.
CNN’s Jake Tapper notes that Donald Trump is the first presidential candidate to not release their tax returns since 1976.
Tapper asked Giuliani if Donald Trump is “smart,” as he called himself during last Monday evening’s debate, for not paying any taxes, as was suggested by Democrat Hillary Clinton, is it then reasonable to surmise that average Americans, who do pay taxes, are “stupid.”
Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump must be aware that Jake Tapper, and most Americans, know that corporations donate millions of dollars to charity each year. A skimming of the Toronto-Dominion Bank (NYSE: TD) website, as an example — chosen at random from thousands of companies — shows that the multinational bank has donated $2.5 million to a program entitled “Housing for Everyone,” which is only one part of what appears to be an extensive program of charitable giving. Why aren’t the executives responsible for this being sued? Have they breached their fiduciary duties to shareholders?