WWE, Owned By Trump Cabinet Member’s Family, Made More In Tax Refunds Than It Paid In 2018 Taxes, Report Says

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Linda McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, whose husband Vince McMahon remains the majority shareholder the pro wrestling company, currently serves as head of the Small Business Administration in the Donald Trump administration. But her service in Trump’s Cabinet did not stop the wrestling firm run by her husband from actually making money from the United States government last year, thanks to the Trump-backed tax cuts passed by Congress in 2017. The figures on WWE’s revenue come from a report by wrestling industry expert David Meltzer, as quoted by by Wresting Rumors.net.

According to the analysis by Meltzer, publisher of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the WWE turned a company-record profit of nearly $99 million in 2018. But thanks in large part to the Trump tax cuts, McMahon’s company paid only $81,000 in United States federal taxes last year. New content deals with Saudi Arabia and Australia contributed significantly to the increase in the WWE’s bottom line.

“They also got a deferred U.S. tax refund of $1,774,000,” Meltzer wrote. “When all was said and done, the company actually received back $742,000 more than they were taxed for the year that they made nearly $99 million in profits.”

But as the WWE was actually profiting off the tax cuts, according to the Washington Post the average American family saw its tax refund shrink by nine percent this year, due to provisions of the new tax laws. In addition, the Internal Revenue Service reported, per the Post, fewer Americans will receive refunds this year, with the number of refunds issued already about one million fewer than last year, with two months remaining before the April 15 tax filing deadline.

Linda McMahon
Linda McMahon, head of the Administrator of the Small Business Administration underDonald Trump, who is also former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment.Featured image credit: Drew AngererGetty Images
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The WWE’s profits are expected to increase sharply over the next two years, according to Meltzer’s analysis, with new television rights deals taking effect. The company can expect to rake in $1.2 billion in revenue in 2020, Meltzer said, and should make about $344 million in profit.

Linda McMahon had a flush year financially in 2017, her first year in Trump’s cabinet, as well. According to Forbes, the Small Business Administration head and her husband raked in about $100 million from their personal investments and sales of stocks and bonds in 2017.

Trump and the McMahons have long had a close relationship, with Trump taking part in a number of events and skits on WWE television broadcasts, as Mother Jones has compiled. In 2013, Trump was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and Vince McMahon openly supported Trump during his 2016 campaign.