For the last several months, I’ve been meeting a guitarist and sometimes other musicians at a Chicago park to play outdoor socially-distanced jazz. This Sunday, driving home, my wife asked me if we knew what Trump had paid in taxes. “Of course not,” I confidently responded. “It looks like we do now,” she said.
And with that, my work goals for this week changed. I’m sure everybody reading this has seen Sunday’s New York Times story (and probably also its follow-up from yesterday). Along with a ton of other tax people, I’ve been trying to make sense of and contextualize the story, both to myself and to the public. And I’ve largely been doing my thinking in real-time on Twitter.[fn1]
I thought that I’d assemble a lot of those Twitter threads here into one place. At most I’ll lightly edit them and I’ll link to the actual threads on Twitter, too. Because over there I included GIFs on almost every tweet and I think I outdid myself. The relevant content will be here, though. Continue reading “#TrumpTaxReturns”→
Today Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, David Cay Johnston, Phil Hackney, and I got together for a 30 minute podcast discussion regarding the recent NY Times follow-up article about Mr. Trump’s $916 million tax loss (“NOL”).
Here is link if you missed hyper-link above: http://share.sparemin.com/recording-5131
The topics ranged from the current tax reporting regarding Mr. Trump’s 1990s tax returns to the Trump Foundation to potential criminal sanctions against Mr. Trump. It was fantastic to be a part of and I hope everyone listens.
Great news, the awesome clerks at the Delaware Courts were nice enough to help me get my hands on the trial transcript. I guess I have some heavy reading to do now. My goal is to first look through the transcript to see if anything jumps off the pages. My longer goal is to try to create a tax opinion using the transcript and any depositions if necessary. I would like to see whether I agreed with Cravath or L&W. After all, the judge did not decide whether the transaction withstood a should opinion. Rather, he plotted the various opinions and decided that there was not a sufficient cluster to consider a should opinion was warranted.
[As a quick aside, I can’t believe that all the documents are not readily available for free on the court web site. The judge (chancellor) references the trial transcript in his opinion, yet, the supporting document is not available on-line for free. I have free lexis access as an academic and can find portions of documents but not the docket or the document. As a member of society, this certainly raises an access to justice problem. Thankfully, the clerks are super helpful and accommodated me.]
I also have received some thoughtful responses and theories about the case. I will be wrapping them up into my opinion post later (sorry you have to follow me on twitter (@professortax) to know when it hits or better yet keep checking surlysubgroup.com). But some of the best initial thoughts take into account some of my concerns.