In an op-ed for The New York Times, an attorney to the chief counsel of the IRS argued that Donald Trump could be prosecuted for evading taxes on some of his “self-dealing” payments. He also argued that the entirety of Trump Foundation taxes should be investigated
Phillip Hackney, who specialized in nonprofit organizations, wrote that Trump is “criminally liable for his actions.”
“If I were still at the I.R.S., based on the lawsuit, I would make a criminal referral, on charges of tax evasion or false statements on a tax return, or both.”
“The government could anchor a tax evasion and false statement case upon the multiple instances of self-dealing, as cataloged by the New York attorney general, between Mr. Trump and the foundation,” Hackney continued. “The attorney general details occasions when Mr. Trump directed the foundation to acquire expensive things like paintings of himself for himself.”
“Each of these self-dealing transactions probably subjected Mr. Trump to a 10 percent tax applied to the value of the transaction. In addition, he may owe other excise taxes and penalties.”
In the past, Donald Trump has skirted the issue of potential tax violations by maintaining that lawyers handle that end of things and he “hopes” his filings have been correct. But nobody is really buying it, especially as now-president, he has the singular designation of being the only American present to hide his taxes from the public. It would not be enough for you or I to “hope” that lawyers had not erred in our favor or defrauded the federal government for years and years of taxes.
“I do not believe these violations are within the norm of mistaken or accidental use,” Mr. Hackney wrote of Trump’s activities. “It represents a continued willingness to violate basic charitable norms.”