Tax records show 200 entities funneled money to Trump properties while reaping benefits from White House: NYT

A New York Times analysis of tax records showed that more than 200 companies, special-interest groups and foreign governments have funneled millions of dollars to President TrumpDonald John TrumpNorth Korea unveils large intercontinental ballistic missile at military parade Trump no longer considered a risk to transmit COVID-19, doctor says New ad from Trump campaign features Fauci MORE’s properties while reaping benefits from the president and his administration. 

Nearly a nearly a quarter of the entities have not been previously reported.

Sixty patrons, who promoted specific interests to the Trump administration, spent almost $12 million on expenses associated with the Trump Organization during the first two years of Trump’s presidency. The Times reported nearly all of these customers saw their interests move forward. 

In interviews with almost 250 business executives, club members, lobbyists, Trump property employees and current administration officials, sources detailed to Times how Trump conducted business and interacted with customers who were seeking help from the administration.

The newspaper also used Trump’s tax-return data, lobbying disclosures, Freedom of Information Act requests and other public records to construct a database of groups, companies and governments that had business before the administration and spent money on Trump properties.

The Trump Organization’s customers included foreign politicians, Florida barons, a Chinese billionaire, a Serbian prince, clean-energy advocates, petroleum industry leaders, small government advocates and contractors. The newspaper noted that some of the president’s customers did not see their interests fully fulfilled but noted “whether they won or lost, Mr. Trump benefited financially.”

More than 70 advocacy groups, businesses and foreign governments held events at Trump Organization properties that previously were at different locations or developed new events to be hosted at the properties. Religious organizations also participated by throwing prayer meetings, banquets and tours on Trump properties.

At least two dozen patrons who reserved events for 2017 and 2018 at Trump properties had interests involving the administration. The analysis also found that more than 100 companies that sought action from the federal government spent money at Trump properties.

The Times noted that the tax records do not include all payments to Trump properties, but additional data is tracked by the Town of Palm Beach where Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club is located. Organizations that had special interests reported spending $3.3 million on events at the club from 2017 to now. 

The records and membership rosters for Mar-a-Lago and Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, N.J., also show how much money his business was making once he sat in the White House.

Being a member of his clubs also allowed leaders to get time with the president and sometimes his support, as he offered ambassadorships to five members and chose others for advisory roles in his administration.

White House spokesperson Judd Deere told The Hill in a statement that the Times report was “Just more fake news.”

“This is yet another politically-motivated hit piece inaccurately smearing a standard business deal,” he said. “During his years as a successful businessman, Donald Trump was long-time partners with

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Trump returns to White House, state GOP files lawsuit against Pritzker tax amendment and the return of Dark Lord imperial stout



a bottle of wine on a table: Three Floyds Brewing in Munster, Ind. will release its coveted Dark Lord imperial stout via touch-free pick up this fall instead of at its usual Dark Lord Day festival in the spring.


© Gregg Gearhart / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Three Floyds Brewing in Munster, Ind. will release its coveted Dark Lord imperial stout via touch-free pick up this fall instead of at its usual Dark Lord Day festival in the spring.

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a man talking on a cell phone: Cubs President Theo Epstein talks with GM Jed Hoyer and manager David Ross before a game against the White Sox on Sept. 25, 2020, at Guaranteed Rate Field.


© John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Cubs President Theo Epstein talks with GM Jed Hoyer and manager David Ross before a game against the White Sox on Sept. 25, 2020, at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Good morning, Chicago. Illinois public health officials reported Monday 1,853 new known coronavirus cases and 14 additional confirmed deaths. In Chicago, the positivity rate has increased over the last three days: it’s now at 4.4%.

Meanwhile, the CDC updated to its COVID-19 guidelines to say the virus can spread more than 6 feet through the air. Some experts said the updated guidance isn’t enough — here’s why.

Also, a Chicago-area study showed that nearly one-third of coronavirus patients experienced some type of altered state. The neurological symptoms identified ranged from confusion to delirium to unresponsiveness.

Here’s more coronavirus news and other top stories you need to know to start your day.

Trump, after receiving unprecedented level of care, downplays COVID-19 threat and returns to White House — without a mask

President Donald Trump staged a dramatic return to the White House Monday night after leaving the military hospital where he was receiving an unprecedented level of care for COVID-19. He immediately ignited a new controversy by declaring that despite his illness the nation should not fear the virus that has killed more than 210,000 Americans — and then he entered the White House without a protective mask.



a man standing next to a tree: Scott Sheridan, a tenured professor of French and Italian at Illinois Wesleyan University, is losing his job as the school eliminates many offerings in the humanities.


© Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Scott Sheridan, a tenured professor of French and Italian at Illinois Wesleyan University, is losing his job as the school eliminates many offerings in the humanities.

Trump’s message alarmed infectious disease experts and suggested the president’s own illness had not caused him to rethink his often-cavalier attitude toward the disease, which has also infected the first lady and several White House aides, including new cases revealed on Monday.

GOP-aligned group files lawsuit challenging ballot language on Pritzker’s graduated-rate income tax amendment

The Illinois Policy Institute, a GOP-aligned group opposed to Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s graduated-rate income tax plan, filed a lawsuit suit Monday contending the explanation of the proposed state constitutional amendment sent to voters was “misleading” and needs court-ordered clarification.



J.B. Pritzker wearing a suit and tie: Gov. J.B. Pritzker holds a news conference at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago on Sept. 22, 2020.


© E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Gov. J.B. Pritzker holds a news conference at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago on Sept. 22, 2020.

The Pritzker-backed Vote Yes for Fairness group backing the proposed amendment called the lawsuit “frivolous” and said it was simply an attempt to gain attention to efforts to

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Trump avoids tax return questions as he brings yet another truck to the White House

President Trump ignored every pressing topic Monday as he welcomed one of his favorite things to the White House.

The New York Times dropped a bombshell report Sunday evening revealing Trump leveraged business losses to avoid paying taxes for years, as well as used other dubious financial strategies to lower his tax bills. Trump denied the report in a Sunday press conference, and on Monday, avoided questions about his tax returns altogether as he praised an electric pick-up truck.

The White House unexpectedly called reporters to the South Lawn on Monday, where they found Trump inspecting a Lordstown Motors 2021 electric pick-up truck. “We’ve all done a good job,” Trump said after praising the truck’s manufacturers, and then, out of nowhere, said “it’s hotter now than it was before, and that’s something really different.” But before he could get too close to acknowledge fossil fuels’ roles in warming the Earth, he pivoted to call the truck “an incredible piece of science” and implied electrification is sure to “happen with more and more trucks and cars.” He then walked away to reporters shouting “can you say anything about the tax returns?” and “when are you going to release them?”

It’s far from the first time Trump has brought trucks to the White House, though they’re usually a bit bigger than this one. And as The Washington Post has reported, it’s something his advisers will do to cheer the president up when he’s “inconsolable.”

More stories from theweek.com
Trump literally can’t afford to lose the election
Most of Trump’s charitable tax write-offs are reportedly for not developing property he owns
5 outrageously funny cartoons about Trump’s election scheming

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Stalled auction of 89-year-old’s house over 6-cent tax bill spurs new proposed rule

A law that allowed an 89-year-old woman’s house to be put up for auction because she owed 6 cents in back taxes would be amended under a bill that her state senator plans to introduce in the coming weeks.

The story of the octogenarian Ocean Township homeowner, Glen Kristi Goldenthal, drew international attention this week after her daughter in Virginia bitterly denounced township officials in a video she posted September 9 on Twitter.

“Today, I spent the entire day saving her home from a tax sale that was happening today that she didn’t want to tell me about because she has Alzheimer’s,” Goldenthal’s daughter, Lisa Suhay, said in the video, posted above.

“So, half the time she didn’t even remember it was happening, and the other half the time she was too terrified to tell me, and too ashamed, and too afraid and too worried,” Suhay said. “A tax sale for an 89-year-old woman’s home in the middle of a pandemic. And do you want to know how much my mother owed? Six cents. Six pennies. And for that, they put her house up for sale today.”

Goldenthal’s house didn’t get auctioned off. After the video was posted, Mayor Christopher Siciliano intervened to take the home off auction block. And since then, Siciliano said Suhay had paid what was owed on the property, which actually totaled more than $300, including fees.

Siciliano also reached out to State Sen. Vin Gopal, D-Monmouth, asking the lawmaker to introduce legislation to prevent such a minuscule debt from threatening the loss of a home in the future.

Reached on Thursday, Gopal said he would do just that, with a bill that would set a minimum dollar amount owed, probably $100 or less, before a property was subject to auction.

As it stands now, state law governing tax sales, NJSA 54:5-20.1 calls for an auction when a lien exceeds $100, but leaves it up to the discretion of the local tax collector to decide whether and when to put a property up for a tax auction when the amount owed is less than that.

“This would remove the discretion,” said Gopal, who added that there was an increased likelihood that property owners of any age might fall behind on their taxes amid the coronavirus-related economic downturn.

“I think it’s a little ridiculous and unfortunate, and we need to do everything we can to make sure that those who are most vulnerable shouldn’t be shut out, especially during these tough times,” Gopal said.

In defense of Ocean’s tax officials, Siciliano said the six cents owed on the property was part of a years-long pattern of delinquency related to Goldenthal’s Redmond Avenue property that persists to this day. He said her address was among those on a computer-generated list of properties subject to auctioning due to non-payment of liens, without details of the property owners’ ages or other circumstances.

The six cents owed from 2019, he said, was actually the amount that a purchaser of a

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WATCH: House GOP unveils tax cuts, police funds in election agenda

WASHINGTON — House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy rolled out Republicans’ priorities of tax breaks and police funding Tuesday, the GOP’s calling card to voters as they try to wrest back seats from Democrats in a long-shot November election bid for majority control.

Republicans campaigning alongside President Donald Trump are promising to restore the country to the way it was before the COVID-19 crisis hit, tapping into the same themes of health care and infrastructure investment that have been mainstays of the Democratic platform. They’re also taking a page from Trump’s playbook by portraying Democrats as aligned with the racial injustice protests in American cities, vowing a tougher approach.

“Republicans helped build the greatest economy in a generation and the American way of life was thriving,” said McCarthy, flanked by lawmakers on the steps of the Capitol, to present the “Commitment to America.” He said, “We will do it again.”

Republicans are bracing for a tough campaign for control of Congress in the fall, needing to flip some 19 seats to take over control of the House from Democrats. The Senate has a slim GOP majority that’s at risk.

The GOP rollout comes as House Democrats are vowing to try again to pass a new round of coronavirus relief after a Senate bill collapsed last week. Democrats said late Monday at the Capitol that leadership would consider extending the legislative session into October if a new aid bill could be approved.

READ MORE: States plan for cuts as Congress deadlocks on more virus aid

House Republicans typically present their own priorities for the campaigns, dating back 30 years to then-leader Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America.” But it’s especially important this year after the broader Republican Party under Trump declined to present a GOP platform at the Republican National Convention.

“We need to double down on a commitment to God and the Constitution,” said Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif.

The House Republicans’ economic priorities include new tax breaks for businesses, forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans for companies struggling during the coronavirus shutdown, and making the 2017 GOP tax cuts for families permanent.

To fight the virus outbreak, Republicans call for tripling COVID-19 testing and investing in therapeutics for treatments. Taking a page from the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, they vow to preserve insurance coverage for those with pre-existing health conditions — even though Republicans are suing to end health care coverage under the 2010 law.

They promise more money for police departments and commitments to social issues, including abortion rights and access to firearms.

As lawmakers gathered Tuesday outside the Capitol, the No. 2 GOP leader, Rep. Steve Sclaise, R-La., the GOP Whip, said, the party will “renew and restore” the nation.

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House GOP Unveils Tax Cuts, Police Funds in Election Agenda | Political News

By LISA MASCARO, AP Congressional Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy rolled out Republicans’ priorities of tax breaks and police funding Tuesday, the GOP’s calling card to voters as they try to wrest back seats from Democrats in a long-shot November election bid for majority control.

Republicans campaigning alongside President Donald Trump are promising to restore the country to the way it was before the COVID-19 crisis hit, tapping into the same themes of health care and infrastructure investment that have been mainstays of the Democratic platform. They’re also taking a page from Trump’s playbook by portraying Democrats as aligned with the racial injustice protests in American cities, vowing a tougher approach.

“Republicans helped build the greatest economy in a generation and the American way of life was thriving,” said McCarthy, flanked by lawmakers on the steps of the Capitol, to present the “Commitment to America.” He said, “We will do it again.”

Republicans are bracing for a tough campaign for control of Congress in the fall, needing to flip some 19 seats to take over control of the House from Democrats. The Senate has a slim GOP majority that’s at risk.

The GOP rollout comes as House Democrats are vowing to try again to pass a new round of coronavirus relief after a Senate bill collapsed last week. Democrats said late Monday at the Capitol that leadership would consider extending the legislative session into October if a new aid bill could be approved.

House Republicans typically present their own priorities for the campaigns, dating back 30 years to then-leader Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America.” But it’s especially important this year after the broader Republican Party under Trump declined to present a GOP platform at the Republican National Convention.

“We need to double down on a commitment to God and the Constitution,” said Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif.

The House Republicans’ economic priorities include new tax breaks for businesses, forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans for companies struggling during the coronavirus shutdown, and making the 2017 GOP tax cuts for families permanent.

To fight the virus outbreak, Republicans call for tripling COVID-19 testing and investing in therapeutics for treatments. Taking a page from the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, they vow to preserve insurance coverage for those with pre-existing health conditions — even though Republicans are suing to end health care coverage under the 2010 law.

They promise more money for police departments and commitments to social issues, including abortion rights and access to firearms.

As lawmakers gathered Tuesday outside the Capitol, the No. 2 GOP leader, Rep. Steve Sclaise, R-La., the GOP Whip, said, the party will “renew and restore” the nation.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Trump’s payroll tax deferral nixed for House employees

It wasn’t immediately known what the Republican-controlled Senate will do.

The deferral, which is available for workers earning less than $104,000 a year, was one of several unilateral moves Trump made in August that he said would boost the coronavirus-battered economy.

But the administration has had a hard time convincing private-sector employers to take part in the plan. Companies are concerned it is too risky or complicated, especially if Congress doesn’t ultimately excuse workers from having to pay back the taxes when the deferral expires at the end of the year.

Kiko raised similar concerns, citing recent Treasury Department guidelines.

“The taxes are deferred, and absent subsequent action by Congress, employees still owe, and employers are still required to collect the taxes,” he wrote. “Starting in January of 2021, employers would be required to begin withholding taxes from paychecks at higher rates to fully collect the tax owed by April 30, 2021.”

“Like all pay disbursing officials, the CAO must weigh the benefit of the deferral against the challenges of implementing this change and the practical impacts to the House workforce.”

The administration recently announced that the deferral would be applied to the paychecks of executive branch employees and the military. They’d have to repay their obligations next year unless Congress makes the deferral permanent.

Some GOP lawmakers have said they would like to hold back payroll taxes for their staffers under Trump’s directive. Kiko’s office didn’t immediately respond when asked if his decision was binding across all House offices.

But a Democratic staffer said it removes the option for Republican lawmakers, unless they get Kiko to alter his decision or create an exception. The administrative office has total control over payroll and would have to be directly involved in any kind of deferral, the staffer said.

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U.S. House staff won’t participate in payroll tax deferral

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds her weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill on Aug. 13, 2020.

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

The U.S. House of Representatives won’t be rolling out the payroll tax deferral to its employees.

Sept. 1 was the first day of President Donald Trump’s order deferring the 6.2% employees pay toward Social Security. The so-called holiday, which applies to workers whose biweekly pay is below $4,000, is in effect until the end of the year.

The tax delay is only a deferral and not forgiveness. Congress would need to pass legislation in order to forgive the taxes.

Though private employers are expected to shy away from adopting the deferral due to its complexity, the federal government will be extending it to its employees, including military service members.  

Employees of the House, however,  won’t be deferring their 6.2% share of Social Security taxes, according to an email to staffers from Philip Kiko, Chief Administrative Officer of the House.

The chief administrative officer handles a range of functions for House employees, including payroll administration and benefits.

“After reviewing the guidance and considering the unique structure of the House, the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, with the concurrence of the Committee on House Administration, has determined that implementing the deferral would not be in the best interests of the House or our employees,” Kiko wrote.

“As a result, we will not implement the payroll tax deferral.”

Avoiding a surprise

Employers affected by the payroll tax deferral have the burden of withholding and remitting those delayed taxes to the IRS next year.

The taxes will be withheld from workers’ paychecks ratably — or proportionally over time — from Jan. 1 through April 30, 2021.

For employees who participate, they’ll see a 6.2% boost to pay this fall, but their pay will dip early next year as their employers recoup the deferred taxes from their compensation.

This is among the reasons that employers might be chilly toward putting the payroll tax suspension into effect.

More from Personal Finance:
How many weeks of extra $300 unemployment benefits are coming?
Second $1,200 stimulus checks could be a longshot
The CDC banned evictions, but some renters are still vulnerable

Though employers could opt into deferral, whether employees can opt out is ultimately up to the company they work for.

Military service members, for example, won’t be able to drop out of the deferral if their wages meet the appropriate threshold, according to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service’s website. This entity provides payroll services for the Department of Defense.

The House decision to skip the deferral arrives on the heels of a push among lawmakers to allow federal employees to opt out of the tax holiday.

“While some federal employees may want to defer their payroll tax payments, unions representing federal workers have made clear that many others do not,” wrote Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., in a Sept. 8 letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Office of Management and

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Interior Urges Tossing Tax Services Co.’s Suit To Shield Docs

Law360 (September 9, 2020, 1:49 PM EDT) — A Texas-based tax services and software provider’s suit to prevent disclosure of its confidential information should be dismissed because the company brought claims in the wrong court, the U.S. Department of the Interior told a Texas federal judge.

The U.S. government asked the judge Tuesday to dismiss the suit, filed by Ryan LLC to prevent the disclosure of confidential company information. Because Ryan’s headquarters is outside the Texas district of the court where it filed the complaint and Interior is located in Washington, D.C., the case should be dismissed or at the very least transferred, the government said.

“Consequently, the only…

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Which Home Improvements are Tax Deductible? (2020, 2021)

home owner tax deductionsAre you looking to renovate your home? Usually, you can’t expect to deduct anything from your Federal tax return just because you decided to make changes to your home.

But certain home-improvements are tax deductible and can be utilized to reduce the amount of tax you pay to Uncle Sam.

There are both tax credits and deductions that can be taken when the purchase was made or afterwards. Let’s look at them.

Use Your Mortgage to Improve Your Home

mortgage interest tax deduction

If you’re buying a home, then you can reduce the costs of your renovation project by making the changes when you purchase the home.

Sometimes a mortgage will also include money for any changes you need to make.

But the key is this can be added to the price you paid for the home. Therefore, you can claim any mortgage interest as part of the mortgage interest deduction.

Making Improvements for Medical Reasons

There are home improvements you can also make that technically count as medical expenses. The catch is they must be considered a medical necessity.

For example, you can install entrance ramps, create modified bathrooms, lower cabinets, widen doors, add handrails, and create special doors. These are all improvements that can be deducted through the medical expense’s deduction.

The deductions must be considered reasonable and must have a practical use. Architectural and aesthetic purposes don’t count.

However, any improvements designed to increase the value of your home can’t be deducted through the medical expense’s deduction.

Get Tax Credits for the Way You Generate Energy

Certain energy-generating modifications can also allow you to lower your taxes. Energy tax credits can be worth up to 30% of the cost of installation.

These credits apply to improvements like solar panels, wind turbines, fuel cells, geothermal heat pumps, and solar-powered water heaters. All these credits were valid through the 2016 tax year. The solar credits, though, were extended to 2019 and then are available on a reduced basis until 2021.

Green energy systems may also be eligible for tax credits on second and vacation homes. Fuel cells are the exception to this.

The 30% tax credit applies to both labor and installation costs. There are no maximum limits on the amount refunded, other than for fuel cells. For example, if you spend $20,000 on installing new solar panels, you would get a credit for $6,000.

You must apply for this tax credit during the tax year that you have them installed. You must also submit a Manufacturer Certification Statement. You should visit the IRS website for energy tax credits for further information.

Exclusion on the Sale of Your Home

Capital Gains Exclusion for Home Sale

There’s also a home sale exemption to consider. A qualified seller can avoid paying any capital gains tax on any profits they make when they sell their primary residence. This applies to a profit of $250,000 in profit for a single taxpayer and $500,000 for a married couple filing jointly.

The reasoning behind this is that renovations will reduce the amount of profit

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