We love our friends on #TaxTwitter, so after the New York Times released its exposé last night on how much President DJT has paid in income taxes (or the lack thereof) in the past 15 years, we knew they would have a lot to say on the matter, even though they are up to their eyeballs in Oct. 15 extensions.
And they didn’t disappoint:
First, here’s your yearly reminder about the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion:
Remember, Tax Avoidance is LEGAL! Tax Evasion is ILLEGAL.
— Eric Pierre, CPA (@yourfavecpa) September 28, 2020
Be careful here to maintain distinction between tax evasion and tax avoidance. If evasion (nobody is claiming), shame on Trump. If avoidance, shame on Congress.
Commercial real estate enjoyed big tax advantages before the TCJA. More opportunities now.https://t.co/riF6ifYt5r
— Martin Sullivan (@M_SullivanTax) September 28, 2020
What Joe Thorndike of Tax Notes tweeted has some truth to it:
Will the Trump tax story change the trajectory of the presidential campaign. Who knows.
But here’s one thing I do know after studying U.S. tax history for more than 20 years: Americans don’t hate paying taxes—they hate other people NOT paying their taxes.
— Joe Thorndike (@jthorndike) September 28, 2020
Our pal Tony Nitti has some questions:
2. The Times' article seems to be conflating two separate tax issues with respect to Trump abandoning his partnership interests in the casinos. The article says if you receive anything of value, your loss is limited to $3,000 a year. But I don't think that's right…
— nittiaj (@nittiaj) September 28, 2020
But then…why would Trump have had suspended losses under S469 if the casinos were treated as nonpassive businesses? This is why it's so frustrating to just see pieces of the puzzle.
— nittiaj (@nittiaj) September 28, 2020
And here are some of our other favorite takes about Trump’s taxes from #TaxTwitter:
— Lucia Pacioli, CPA (@LuciaPacioli) September 28, 2020
Non-tax people on Trump's taxes: "Look how little he pays!"
Tax people: "Idc about that but what the hell is driving the losses tho"
— Kat Allen (@katallentax) September 27, 2020
Just helping edit the NY Times….
*always helpful if peeps specify what type of tax we're talking about. pic.twitter.com/H2ERgegTL0
— Andrea Carr CPA (@andreacpa0) September 28, 2020
#taxtwitter The NYT article about Trump’s tax returns does raise questions & concerns from our perspective. However the biggest concern we as tax preparers should have now are the incoming emails from clients asking: “How can I pay no taxes like Trump?!”
— Albert J. Campo, CPA, MBA (@ajthecpa1226) September 28, 2020
Ok #TaxTwitter – get ready for Monday morning calls/emails asking why you forgot to claim that itemized deduction for haircuts.
— Shaun Hunley (@ShaunHunley) September 28, 2020
What I find most interesting is everyone is talking about this like Trump prepared those tax returns. I mean, he's not off the hook. He signed them. Theoretically. But some well paid people took those haircuts as deductions. Hello? OPR? Is this thing on?
— Amber Gray-Fenner, EA ??? (@taxtherapist505) September 28, 2020
This is my take, as well. Trump hires attorneys and accountants to keep him from going over the legal line in the sand.
I do think the debt on his properties and the continual losses are problems worth looking into. https://t.co/NrqQbRuNP4
— Brian Streig, CPA (@cbriancpa) September 28, 2020
Thoughts to the 23,000 @MazarsGroup employees – 99% who had jack nothing to do with these #TrumpTaxReturns but y’all about to get blown up with questions.#TaxTwitter I would take preemptive shelter too as your ‘friends’ will be coming out of the woodworks to see what you think.
— John Young, CPA (@AccountableJohn) September 28, 2020
— Nicole Davis (@wifemomcpa100) September 28, 2020
Great. So this morning, we've already identified that it's entirely possible that Trump received an earned income credit and an EIP. Well done, #TaxTwitter. Well freaking done. https://t.co/jGL0M62vV0
— Adam Markowitz (@adammarkowitzEA) September 28, 2020
Lost in all this and no one is asking is that Biden paid $3.7M in taxes which means his taxable income in 2017 would’ve been more than $9m.
— John K (@Jkpaul44) September 28, 2020
— Alex Lewis (@_alexmlewis) September 28, 2020
And finally, from our good friend Joe Kristan:
Sorry, this didn't happen. It's extension season. Ask me in 2 1/2 weeks. https://t.co/LRpb1ePUQj
— Joe Kristan (@joebwan) September 27, 2020