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Kushner Didn't Pay Federal Taxes for Years: NYT

Documents show how real-estate developers avoid paying
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2018 9:40 AM CDT
In this Aug. 29, 2018, file photo, White House Adviser Jared Kushner waves as he arrives at the Office of the United States Trade Representative in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
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(Newser) – Seems President Trump isn't the only one who avoids paying taxes. Jared Kushner paid little to no taxes from 2009 to 2016 by exploiting a quirk of the tax code that benefits real-estate developers, the New York Times reports. A review of his private financial documents shows that Kushner—like many others in his business—reported losses due to depreciation of his properties, which left him owing nothing. For example, he earned $1.7 million in 2015 but reported $8.3 million in losses, mostly from "significant depreciation" on properties owned by Kushner and his company. In theory this protects developers from having their investments diminish as buildings decline. In practice it can be "a lucrative giveaway," says the Times.

What's more, Kushner bought the properties with borrowed money: "If I had to live my life over again, I would have been in the real estate business," says Jonathan Blattmachr, a lawyer who helped review the documents. "It's fantastic. You get tax deductions for things you don't pay for." Seems Kushner only owed taxes once in the given timespan: $1.1 million in 2013. A spokesman for his attorney says Kushner "properly filed and paid all taxes due" and says the documents—which Kushner helped create in trying to get a loan—were obtained "in violation of the law." CNN notes that Kushner resigned as CEO of Kushner Companies in 2017 after Trump became president. Since then, a GOP tax overhaul was widely seen as a boon to real-estate developers, per Bloomberg. (Read more Jared Kushner stories.)

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