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They got a tenant for their old home, but eventually he moved out and the house was vacant. They fell behind on their mortgage payments and the interest rate and monthly payments on their home started to rise. Foreclosing on their second home would result in forgiven debt that would not be tax-exempt under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act. It can go into your bank account and take your funds if you don’t pay for long enough.

tax stories

Though the Trump International Hotel in Washington is loaded with debt and losing money, its credit card transactions have risen with Mr. Trump’s political ascent. Based on the financial disclosures, which report much of his income in broad ranges, Mr. Trump’s earnings from the Istanbul towers could have been as low as $3.2 million.

The tax records show that the cost of existing leases there has risen, and at least four law firms appear to have moved in since Mr. Trump ran for president. Yet the tax records show that the Trump Corporation wrote off as business expenses fees paid to a criminal defense lawyer, Alan S. Futerfas, who was hired to represent Donald Trump Jr. during the Russia inquiry. Investigators were examining Donald Jr.’s role in the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians who had promised damaging information on Mrs. Clinton. When he testified before Congress in 2017, Mr. Futerfas was by his side. The tax records reveal another way Seven Springs has generated substantial tax savings. In 2014, Mr. Trump classified the estate as an investment property, as distinct from a personal residence. Since then, he has written off $2.2 million in property taxes as a business expense — even as his 2017 tax law allowed individuals to write off only $10,000 in property taxes a year.

Analysts have predicted that the hotel business will not fully recover until late 2023. Now his tax records make clear that he is facing a battery of threats to his business and his own financial well-being. His core businesses were reporting mounting losses — more than $100 million over the previous two years. The river of celebrity-driven income that had long buoyed them was running dry. One Trump enterprise that has been regularly profitable, and is a persistent source of concern about ethical conflicts and national security lapses, is the Mar-a-Lago club.

What You Need To Know Before You File Your Taxes This Year

Early on in filing her taxes, Courtney Keene tried to cut costs by foregoing a certified public accountant in favor of a freelance enrolled agent . “I’ve had better experiences with EAs since, but this one was an absolute nightmare,” says Keene, a self-employed director of operations at the online contractor marketplace MyRoofingPal. Because this EA didn’t understand the sources of her income nor the tax industry itself, they filed incorrectly, apparently cutting her tax liability by about $6,000.

States like Iowa, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey exempt pumpkins from a sales tax but only if they will be eaten and not carved. Pittsburgh has a 5% amusement tax on anything that offers entertainment or allows people to engage in entertainment. Pennsylvania has a tax on coin-operated vacuum machines at gas stations. New York City places a special tax on prepared foods, so sliced bagels are taxed once as food and again as prepared food, thus creating a sliced bagel tax. Japan imposed a tax on whiskey which is based on the percentage of alcohol by volume, so Japanese whiskey manufacturers began diluting their product with water to avoid the tax. European whiskey manufacturers were prohibited from doing so; therefore, Japanese whiskey had an advantage in Japan.

This led to a dramatic decline in the popularity of wigs.Salt was a very popular thing to tax because consuming it is necessary to humans. The British placed a tax on salt, and the salt tax gained worldwide attention when Gandhi staged nonviolent protests against it.England has a tax on televisions. If you own a television in your home, you must pay an annual fee, formally called a television license, for each television you own. Color televisions are taxed at a higher rate than black and white televisions. Interestingly enough, if a person is blind an owns a TV in his or her home, he or she still has to pay the tax, but only half of it. In 1997, a number of taxpayers convergedon a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee to share their stories of mistreatment and abuse by the IRS, including Californian Katherine Lund.

Beyond Stimulus Checks: All The Tax Breaks Parents And Retirees Should Know About

They showed that, in many years, Mr. Trump lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer. Five months later, the journalist David Cay Johnston obtained two pages of Mr. Trump’s returns from 2005; that year, his fortunes had rebounded to the point that he was paying taxes. And he has previously bragged that his ability to get by without paying taxes “makes me smart,” as he said in 2016. But the returns, by his own account, undercut his claims of financial acumen, showing that he is simply pouring more money into many businesses than he is taking out. People are filing their taxes at a blistering pace so far this year, underscoring how serious Americans are about getting any tax refund due or any stimulus-check money they missed last year. The IRS began accepting and processing 2020 tax returns slightly later than usual because its systems needed a breather after distributing a second round of stimulus checks in late December.

tax stories

He finally got his refund years later after many hours wasted on explaining his situation to the IRS. What if the IRS will not send your tax refund because they say you are dead? That is what happened to a young mother from Philadelphia, PA. She is still waiting for her $3,700 refund because their records show that she died 11 and a half years ago.

The second agent then told her that the form was filled out wrong and the first agent must have made some mistakes. The correction and re-filing process took the second agent almost 3 hours to complete. Some time after the taxes were filed, the woman received a letter from the IRS stating that they found mistakes in her tax return and that they corrected them for her.

Mr. Trump’s net income from his fame — his 50 percent share of “The Apprentice,” together with the riches showered upon him by the scores of suitors paying to use his name — totaled $427.4 million through 2018. A further $176.5 million in profit came to him through his investment in two highly successful office buildings. The committee interviewed a top Miss Universe executive, Paula Shugart, who said the Agalarovs offered to underwrite the event; their family business, Crocus Group, paid a $6 million licensing fee and another $6 million in expenses. All of the information The Times obtained was provided by sources with legal access to it. While most of the tax data has not previously been made public, The Times was able to verify portions of it by comparing it with publicly available information and confidential records previously obtained by The Times. At the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla., a flood of new members starting in 2015 allowed him to pocket an additional $5 million a year from the business. In 2017, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association paid at least $397,602 to the Washington hotel, where the group held at least one event during its four-day World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians.

An Audited Couple Incurs An Irs Agents Wrath

The man’s ex-wife reported him to the IRS and he had all of his financial information seized for investigation. He had to spend millions of dollars in legal fees to prove that he was innocent and did not evade taxes.

To see what a successful business looks like, depreciation or not, look no further than one in Mr. Trump’s portfolio that he does not manage. “I love depreciation,” Mr. Trump said during a presidential debate in 2016. Over all, since 2000, Mr. Trump has reported losses of $315.6 million at the golf courses that are his prized possessions. His three courses in Europe — two in Scotland and one in Ireland — have reported a combined $63.6 million in losses. As his celebrity income swelled, Mr. Trump went on a buying spree unlike any he had had since the 1980s, when eager banks and his father’s wealth allowed him to buy or build the casinos, airplanes, yacht and old hotel that would soon lay him low.

There is no indication that the I.R.S. has questioned Mr. Trump’s practice of deducting millions of dollars in consulting fees. If the payments to his daughter were compensation for work, it is not clear why Mr. Trump would do it in this form, other than to reduce his own tax liability. Another, more legally perilous possibility is that the fees were a way to transfer assets to his children without incurring a gift tax. Mysterious big payments in business deals can raise red flags, particularly in places where bribes or kickbacks to middlemen are routine. But there is no evidence that Mr. Trump, who mostly licenses his name to other people’s projects and is not involved in securing government approvals, has engaged in such practices.

tax stories

The vast new trove of information analyzed by The Times completes the recurring pattern of ascent and decline that has defined the president’s career. Indeed, his financial condition when he announced his run for president in 2015 lends some credence to the notion that his long-shot campaign was at least in part a gambit to reanimate the marketability of his name. “The Apprentice,” along with endorsements and other income that sprang from his growing fame, brought Donald Trump $427.4 million. Ultimately, Mr. Trump has been more successful playing a business mogul than being one in real life. The Times obtained Donald Trump’s tax information extending over more than two decades, revealing struggling properties, vast write-offs, an audit battle and hundreds of millions in debt coming due. Detailed overview of the tax history in United States and the world. In 2014, the hit Netflix show, House of Cards, halted filming in the State of Maryland as film tax credits were expected to run out.

Strange & Unusual Taxes Throughout History

When the IRS concluded he owed them only $480 and they owed him $8,300, Black paid his dueswhile the government defaulted, saying the statute of limitations had run out. Because he sold milk for cash at farmer’s markets and had small but frequent bank deposits, the IRS presumed Sowers’ guilt and seized his account, worth more than $60,000. Between 2005 and 2012, the agency seized more than $242 million for such structuring violations, for one third of which they reported no suspected criminal activity. Faced with exorbitant legal fees and a grand jury subpoena implying the prospect of jail time, Sowers was forced to negotiate a lower forfeiture amount of $29,500. Thanks to media scrutiny and the advocacy of the Institute for Justice, the federal government later agreed to reimburse him.

  • Tax law requires the committee to weigh in on all refunds larger than $2 million to individuals.
  • It’s worth noting, however, that when comparing average 2021 refunds eight days into this tax-filing season with average refunds as of Feb. 7, 12 days into last year’s filing season, the refund amounts are actually up.
  • The tax lasted until 1923 when a law was passed banning Chinese people from entering Canada altogether with a few exceptions.
  • Since she couldn’t produce the necessary documents, she was fined for $18,000.
  • In Arkansas, body piercings, pet grooming, and gutter cleaning are all subject to a 6% sales tax.
  • The IRS showed the instructions for the next year’s tax return which did specify that rule.

Helping to reduce Mr. Trump’s tax bills are unidentified consultants’ fees, some of which can be matched to payments received by Ivanka Trump. Refunds require the approval of I.R.S. auditors and an opinion of the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, a bipartisan panel better known for reviewing the impact of tax legislation. Tax law requires the committee to weigh in on all refunds larger than $2 million to individuals. Mr. Trump has often posited that his losses are more accounting magic than actual money out the door. When “The Apprentice” premiered, Mr. Trump had opened only two golf courses and was renovating two more. By the end of 2015, he had 15 courses and was transforming the Old Post Office building in Washington into a Trump International Hotel. But rather than making him wealthier, the tax records reveal as never before, each new acquisition only fed the downward draft on his bottom line.

Third-party blogger may have received compensation for their time and services. This blog does not provide legal, financial, accounting or tax advice. Intuit does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the content on this blog. Comments that include profanity or abusive language will not be posted. It’s worth noting, however, that when comparing average 2021 refunds eight days into this tax-filing season with average refunds as of Feb. 7, 12 days into last year’s filing season, the refund amounts are actually up.

We provide the tax news and insight you need to stay ahead on critical issues. Covering U.S. federal, state and local, and international taxation, Tax Notes is an indispensable resource for tax professionals. Covering all federal tax laws, regulations, and policy developments, Tax Notes is unparalleled in its field. It’s prudent to remember that the IRS never initially reaches out via telephone, email, text messages, or social media. They will also never involve local police or request personal information over the phone or via email. If you suspect you’re being scammed, report to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at or The IRS can also get careless with who it employs, which is bad news for taxpayers whose fate often depends on the discretion of a single auditor.

However, the fact that some of the consulting fees are identical to those reported by Mr. Trump’s daughter raises the question of whether this was a mechanism the president used to compensate his adult children involved with his business. Indeed, in some instances where large fees were claimed, people with direct knowledge of the projects were not aware of any outside consultants who would have been paid. But evidence of this arrangement was gleaned by comparing the confidential tax records to the financial disclosures Ivanka Trump filed when she joined the White House staff in 2017. Ms. Trump reported receiving payments from a consulting company she co-owned, totaling $747,622, that exactly matched consulting fees claimed as tax deductions by the Trump Organization for hotel projects in Vancouver and Hawaii. Mr. Trump was using the precise wording of I.R.S. rules governing the most beneficial, and perhaps aggressive, method for business owners to avoid taxes when separating from a business. Records show that the results of an audit of Mr. Trump’s refund were sent to the joint committee in the spring of 2011.