by Michael Lodge
For those of you who call yourself liberals and sitting there in your rooms feeling like the world is ending because Donald Trump; 1) is not releasing his tax returns, 2) not paying his taxes, 3) is using the IRS tax code to his advantage – STOP!. For those of you filing a tax return and you received a refund – you used the tax law to get that refund. You used various parts of the tax code to your benefit, just like Trump did, to get your refund. If you feel it is wrong that you manipulated the tax code then the IRS will be more than happy to get your refund back.
First let’s talk about Donald Trumps tax returns. Do you really think your going to see his net worth? Not going to happen. A tax return does not tell you that. It tells you how much income you made, the deductions you took, any carry forward of losses you may have, rental income, you will not see his retirement plans like 401-Ks and other retirement instruments – or whats in them, but you will not see the companies that he owns financial statements, you will not see a whole lot of information about worth that never gets to the tax return. There is also the fact that he is under and IRS audit. No tax attorney or accountant will allow their client to show his tax returns to anyone while they are answering questions and making arguments to the IRS during an audit. That would be malpractice to do so. When under audit you remain quiet, you say nothing, let your tax team do the work they are being paid to do. One bad statement from Trump to the public will get back to the IRS and other things may be opened. Remember, when you put items on your tax return you are taking a “Tax Position” on your return that deals with a bunch of tax laws. If you misstated your position to the public in answering questions that does not agree with your “Tax Position” on your tax return you are opening yourself up to other questions and other years tax audits. How stupid would that be – very stupid! So this goes for everyone – when under audit you shut up, say nothing, show nothing, post nothing on social media. Protect yourself.
It is amazing to me that people would say that Trump would not pay his fair share of taxes. First he has employees so he is paying payroll taxes through his companies. He is paying sales and use taxes, local taxes, state and local hotel taxes, property taxes, and a host of other taxes all year-long as a business. On a personal tax return you are not going to see these listed, except maybe his own property taxes and mortgage interest on his home. The problem is that when you think of Trump you are thinking about everything that he owns, but just remember that all of those corporations, LLCs, S-Corps or whatever he is involved in, have lives of their own. They are business entities that pay their own taxes and other obligations as an ongoing business. The only think you will see for election purposes if he released his personal tax return is just that – a personal tax return, not all of his business concerns. You will never know his net worth from his tax return. It will not tell you if he is good or evil from his tax return.
Trump did nothing wrong. He used the tax code to help his personal tax return and for his companies. Every one of us do it when filing a tax return. People sit down with their tax accountants every year and go over their tax strategy for retirement and how to use the tax laws to reduce their tax liabilities. Trump is on a larger scale than the rest of us but he did nothing wrong in following the law, using the correct tax codes, and applying them to his personal and business returns. I would suggest that you spend less time worrying about Trumps tax returns and focus more on the policies of the candidates and their prior job performance.