Sunday, May 19, 2019
The Hill op-ed: Getting to the Bottom of Trump's Tax Secret, by James R. Repetti (Boston College):
Recent revelations in the New York Times about President Trump’s $1.17 billion tax losses during the period from 1985-1994 have revived demands that he release his tax returns.
Moreover, many have discredited the attempt of his advisors to attribute the losses to generous depreciation deductions. His losses of $1.17 billion were far too large to be attributable merely to tax depreciation deductions.
Rather, a significant portion of his losses likely were operating losses. Indeed, Trump has hinted publically at least once that he struggled financially during this time period.
But lurking behind the veil of secrecy created by Trump’s failure to disclose his returns lurks another, more troubling, secret. Because of tax law nuances, it is possible that either Trump’s losses were significantly higher than the reported $1.17 billion (approximately $2 billion during that period) or, alternatively, that Trump was insolvent. ...
To understand why Trump’s losses were possibly much higher or why he was likely insolvent, we need to explore the structure of some of his debt and the tax laws that existed during that time.