Trump Could Face 'Staggering' Tax Penalty

NY officials 'vigorously pursuing' investigation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 4, 2018 2:51 AM CDT
A portrait of President Trump's father Fred Trump in the Oval Office .   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
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(Newser) – Though President Trump insists he did nothing wrong on his taxes, experts say he could be on the hook for tens of millions of dollars in civil fines if state and federal authorities substantiate a New York Times report that found he and his family cheated the IRS for decades. The statute of limitations for bringing criminal charges has long run out, but civil cases have no such limits, and the financial penalties could be staggering, the AP reports. Civil fraud charges for intentionally underpaying taxes, as the Times alleged the Trump family did, could include a penalty of up to 75% of the unpaid federal taxes and double the unpaid state amount, experts say.

The penalties "could be substantial, and if the allegations are proven in court, they should be levied," says Norman Eisen, chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The Times said Trump received at least $413 million from his father over the decades, much of that through dubious tax maneuvers, including outright fraud. The New York tax department said it is studying the report and "vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation." New York City also said it would investigate. A spokesman for the Internal Revenue Service declined to comment, while the White House dismissed the report as a "misleading attack against the Trump family by the failing New York Times."

(Read more President Trump stories.)

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