A newspaper just busted Trump in a massive decades-long tax evasion scheme

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A Florida newspaper just ripped the mask off of Donald Trump’s multi-decade tax scam to intentionally hide material information about the Mar-a-Lago Club from the IRS in an illegal multi-million dollar tax shelter scheme.

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The Palm Beach Post reviewed public records dating back to Trump’s 1993 approvals with the government to transform the Mar-a-Lago estate from a private home into a private club where he proposed to the Town of Palm Beach what the IRS calls one of America’s dirtiest tax scams. By claiming that Trump’s development preservation easement to the Town – which they required to get a permit – was actually a charitable donation, Trump stole a multi-million dollar tax break only available for donations without a quid pro quo.

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Trump ran the golf course tax loophole scheme to keep an illegal tax deduction on $5.7 million in 1995 income, thereby saving today’s equivalent of $3 million dollars. The Post reports:

Donald Trump’s deal with the town of Palm Beach to turn Mar-a-Lago into a private club hinged on an act of charity crafted to skirt IRS scrutiny and deliver for Trump a seven-figure tax break, a Palm Beach Post investigation has found.

To make sure Trump could get the $5.7 million deduction, America’s future president and his lawyers intentionally left out those details from the written agreement with town officials.

Trump proceeded to donate a permanent conservation easement to the National Historic Preservation Trust – a charity headquartered today in the Watergate Offices – which binds him to maintain Mar-a-Lago permanently for its historic value, but he did only because the Town of Palm Beach essentially paid him for doing so by awarding him a club permit.

Today, the Town’s permit enables Trump to charge $200,000 per person membership fees at the club. A real charitable donation cannot have a return benefit to the donor.

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There’s no way Trump could plausibly claim not to know that making the donation a permit requirement wouldn’t cancel the tax deduction because his own lawyers said as much in a public meeting transcript which The Post found was their excuse to leave the issue out of their agreement:

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Donald Trump didn’t stop there with his use of the golf course tax deduction loophole. He’s used the same mechanism to claim $100 million in tax breaks across the country as part of what Fortune calls a billion dollar tax loophole.

At top tax rates, this could’ve saved Trump more than at least $28 million dollars in tax payments to the IRS.

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This week’s GOP Tax Scam Bill preserves the Trump golf course tax loophole.

This is just one of many reasons why Donald Trump steadfastly refuses to release his tax returns to the public, which every other major party presidential contender has done since Republican President Richard Nixon.

Nixon eventually released his taxes under public pressure for Watergate in 1973, while he was under audit.

If Donald Trump is really under IRS tax audit, experts agree that his extensive use of golf course deductions is one of the likely sources of his tax woes, but in the meantime, he gets to keep his money while fighting it out with the government and the public is still clueless.

One has to wonder if the IRS will review this newest, almost irrefutable evidence of tax evasion by the President since there’s no statute of limitations on bringing a taxpayer to court for filing a fraudulent tax return.

Grant Stern

Editor at Large

Grant Stern is a columnist for the Washington Press. He's also mortgage broker, writer, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida.

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