content-header__row content-header__hed” data-testid=”ContentHeaderHed”>Ivanka Trump: How DARE You Investigate My Father for Tax Fraud, Which He Definitely Didn’t Use Me to CommitThe first daughter is extremely testy about the possibility her father is going to be criminally prosecuted.
November 20, 2020
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Among the many consequences of Donald Trump losing the election to Joe Biden is the fact that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner will likely do everything they can to reenter polite society, which will likely slam the door in their faces. Oh, sure, as a source put it to my colleague Emily Jane Fox, they’ll “probably be welcomed by real estate types and that group of Upper East Side and Palm Beach families that read about themselves in Quest magazine but don’t matter,” but the people whose opinions the couple actually care about will presumably have lost their numbers. Also probably at the top of Javanka’s mind are the billboards circling Trump Tower reminding passersby about their role in the COVID-19 crisis, which they really, really don‘t appreciate. But seemingly the most pressing issue keeping the first daughter up at night is the prospect of her father going to prison, if her unusually huffy response to the news that he’s being investigated for tax fraud is any indication.
Commenting on a New York Times report that both Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance and New York state attorney general Letitia James have expanded their probes of Trump and his businesses to include suspicious tax write-offs on millions of dollars of consulting fees, some of which appear to have gone to his favorite child, Ivanka fumed on Twitter that this whole thing is apparently a witch hunt designed to take her extremely innocent father down:
She added: “This fishing expedition is very clearly part of a continued political vendetta.”
According to the Times, both Vance and James’s office issued subpoenas to the Trump Organization in recent weeks relating to the consulting fees, following an investigation by the paper that revealed the president paid little to no income tax in the last two decades. That report also showed that Trump was able to reduce his taxable income by deducting approximately $26 million in fees to “consultants” as business expenses between 2010 and 2018. While the consultants’ identities were not shown on tax records, some of the fees definitely seem like they were paid to Princess Purses, which might explain her testy reaction:
On a 2017 disclosure she filed when joining the White House as a presidential adviser, she reported receiving payments from a consulting company she co-owned, totaling $747,622, that exactly matched consulting fees claimed as tax deductions by the Trump Organization for hotel projects in Hawaii and Vancouver, British Columbia.
The subpoenas were focused on fees paid to the firm on her disclosures, TTT Consulting LLC, and represented just a portion of the $26 million, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The name of the firm appears to be a reference to Ms. Trump and other members of her family. Ms. Trump was an executive officer of the Trump companies that made the payments, meaning she appears to have been treated as a consultant while also working for the company. While companies can deduct professional fees, the Internal Revenue Service requires that consulting arrangements be market-based and reasonable, as well as “ordinary and necessary” to running a business.
The examination of fees apparently paid to his older daughter is likely to arouse even more vitriol from the outgoing president. And it raises questions about whether the payments were a tax-deductible way for him to compensate his children, or avoid gift taxes he might incur from transferring wealth to them, something Mr. Trump’s father had done through legally questionable schemes uncovered by the Times in 2018.