Paul L. Caron

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Dean: The Truth About Taxes — George Floyd Died, Donald Trump Got Millions

Steven Dean (NYU), The Truth About Taxes: George Floyd Died, Donald Trump Got Millions:

This year, each of us has lost something. I am fortunate that my biggest loss has been my faith in our tax system.

In 2014, Eric Garner died at the hands of police officers after being suspected of evading taxes by selling cigarettes without tax stamps. That same year, Donald Trump was also suspected of evading income taxes. But unlike Garner, who was killed by police, Trump reached a favorable legal settlement with the IRS.

The New York Times recently revealed that Trump had not engaged in “smart” tax planning as he had boasted during his 2016 presidential campaign but seems to have simply lied to secure a $72.9 million refund. And, thanks to a highly successful effort by Republicans to weaken the IRS, Trump has gotten away with it for years.

Tax law has long been more a secular religion than a job for me. It embodies the commitment we make to one another as Americans to support our shared values by funding our schools and our troops and caring for our most vulnerable. ...

Among all the horrors we have seen in recent months, I am embarrassed to say that a trivial detail has haunted me. George Floyd’s death came after he fell under suspicion of spending a counterfeit $20 bill. ... We all witnessed the swift, ruthless response to George Floyd’s $20 bill and to Eric Garner’s cigarettes. But after years of controversy, almost nothing seems to have been done about Trump’s suspected multimillion-dollar heist. ...

Starved of resources, a defunded IRS has not attempted to collect billions of dollars owed by wealthy Americans who failed even to file tax returns. Measured in billions, Trump’s more than $70 million refund hardly seems worth the effort. But counted in $20 bills, it looks quite different.

Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink


This is politics, not tax analysis.

Posted by: Mike Livingston | Oct 26, 2020 2:23:52 AM

Regarding Eric Garner, the police were carrying out a dictate from Mayor De Blasio to crack down on illegal cigarette sales. No mention of the mayor's culpability in that unnecessary death, so I'll mention it.

George Floyd also had drugs in his system, and was acting accordingly. He also had a criminal record, specifically of holding a pregnant woman hostage and pointing a loaded gun at her belly.

Just thought I'd fill in more pertinent information that was conspicuously left out.

Posted by: MM Classic | Oct 25, 2020 2:36:43 PM

Strange logic.

Donald Trump “lied” on tax returns that no one but the NY Times has seen. (And those tax returns were most likely stolen.) This is somehow related to selling loose cigarettes and passing counterfeit $20s.

Bill DiBlasio ordered the crackdown on loose cigarettes because he wanted the revenue – no Trump here. And George Floyd may have been suspected of passing a bad $20 but the police were called because he passed out in his car in a fast food restaurant. (I am not claiming that either incident was an example of the best of local police work.)

Whatever Trump did, he did not fight with local police who were trying to make an initially legal arrest. What links these incidents other than random thoughts or TDS I cannot fathom. George Floyd did not die because of taxes and Eric Garner only tangentially died because of taxes. And to determine Trump “lied”, I need actual evidence.

Steven Dean is an NYU tax professor and director of their graduate tax program. I apparently got my Tax LLM from a quite different NYU many years ago. To say another way, the author is entitled to think anything he wants to – I just cannot see how these three thoughts are connected.

Posted by: aircav65 | Oct 25, 2020 10:51:04 AM