Just one week after the New York Times published an explosive piece on President Donald Trump’s tax history, another member of the White House’s taxes have come under scrutiny. This time, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is the focus of an investigation by the New York Times. According to the report, Kushner dodged paying federal income tax from 2009 to 2016, according to a new story from Business Insider.
The New York Times took a look at dozens of pages of documents showing that Kushner’s family real estate business frequently listed massive losses. This tactic is often used as a way to minimize the amount of taxes an individual or company owes.
Real estate tax law in the United States allows investors to claim a loss on the decline in value of any holdings. This depreciation reduces the amount of money owed on taxes. The current tax code gives investors a great deal of flexibility when calculating depreciation. Unlike wage earners, investors can use tax obligations from their business to reduce what they owe on their personal taxes.
Kushner used this strategy to reduce the amount of taxes he owed to almost nothing. This despite the fact that his personal net worth has quintupled to over $323 million over the last 10 years.
Kushner released the documents as part of a bid to obtain financing from an investor. The Times reviewed those documents, totaling more than 40 pages, which included federal tax filings.
Last year, the White House advocated for a massive tax overhaul that would eliminate many of the loopholes that allow people to inflate their deductions. The only industry that wasn’t touched by this overhaul was the real estate industry.
“The Trump administration was in a position to clean up the tax code and promised to get rid of some of the complexity that certain taxpayers use to their advantage. Instead, they doubled down on those provisions, particularly the ones they have familiarity with to benefit themselves,” Victor Fleischer, a tax law professor, told the New York Times.
The White House last year championed a sweeping revision of the nation’s tax laws that expanded many of the benefits enjoyed by real estate investors, allowing them to reap even larger deductions. https://t.co/vkOssRGwPc— Jesse Drucker (@JesseDrucker) October 13, 2018
It appears that Kushner’s father has used the same strategy to minimize the amount of federal taxes he pays as well. According to the documents reviewed by the Times, Charles Kushner probably didn’t pay any taxes from 2012 to 2016.
“If I had to live my life over again, I would have been in the real estate business. It’s fantastic. You get tax deductions for things you don’t pay for.” said Jonathan Blattmachr, a principal at Pioneer Wealth Partners, told the Times.