Donald Trump has been accused of claiming almost a billion dollars in losses in 1995, and as a result, has not had to pay any federal income taxes for two decades. Recently,a reporter sat down for an interview with the man behind the money, Trump’s accountant, Jack Mitnick. What did the financial expert expose about the presidential candidate?
Last week, New York Times reporter Susanne Craig found Trump’s tax returns, photocopied them, and sent them out to the press. Another Times reporter named Benjamin Wallace-Wells was then determined to speak to the 80-year-old real-estate accountant, Jack Mitnick, to see if he would reveal more about Trump’s shady financial past.
Jack Mitnick was tracked down in Florida, where he lives in semi-retirement. The reporter confirmed with the accountant, whose signature was on one of the tax firms, that the documents were legit.
Mitnick quickly became comfortable speaking with the Times reporter. He told him about his career practicing at a Long Island accounting firm that specialized in helping the great New York real-estate families retain their wealth.
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Mitnick mentioned that he was also the accountant for Trump’s father, Fred Trump, and his brother, Freddy Trump Jr., who according to the Inquisitr, hated the Donald.
The accountant told the Times that the Republican nominee was brash and undisciplined, much unlike his father Fred.
Mitnick went on to explain that wealth in New York is often built not on talent but on dumb luck and greed.
Mitnick claims that he had done Donald Trump’s taxes for more than 30 years, up until 1996.
CNN also interviewed Mitnick last Wednesday where he claimed that Trump had dealt with the tax code “brilliantly.”
The real-estate accountant said that Trump had “virtually zero” role in preparing his own taxes.
“Those returns were entirely created by us.”
Jack Mitnick verified that the 1995 New York return, where Trump and his then-wife, Marla Maples, declared their federal adjusted gross income to be -915.729.293, was legitimate because of the first two digits in the loss looked out of sorts.
The accountant explained that tax software in the mid-nineties wasn’t equipped to handle more than a seven-digit loss. Mitnick had to run the page through the typewriter and add in the extra digits.
Trump’s financial loss was literally so big that the tax machine couldn’t even compute it.
By claiming such a high loss, Trump may have been carrying over losses from the near-collapse of his empire in the early nineties. The presidential nominee basically went on a shopping spree which included a number of Atlantic City casinos, the Plaza Hotel, Trump Air, and a $29 million yacht, which he was later forced to sell at a loss.
Donald Trump is the first presidential candidate to refuse to release his tax returns since the seventies, when questions were raised about Richard Nixon’s taxes.
Trump claimed that this was because he is under audit by the I.R.S. However, the I.R.S. said that there is no prohibition against Trump making them public.
Trump’s tax returns contain an array of information that could be considered valuable to citizens who are considering electing him president. For example, how much he donates to charity, what tax rate he pays, whether he pays federal taxes at all, and whether he receives other income from foreign sources.
Trump’s tax returns would also shed some light as to whether his presumptuous claims that his net worth is as high as he says are true.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Staff/Getty Images]