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Tax Trouble

By Rian Walsky
Staff Writer

Everything in life, in some shape or form is related to taxes or has an effect on them.

The roads we drive on every day, the school we attend, the houses we live in, the things we buy, the jobs we eventually have, all of these were either built by taxes or take a percent of what was spent as a tax.

There are different things that affect the amount of taxes that are taken out, whether it be location, the amount of money someone makes, or what is set by the government that benefits them the most.

To dive a little deeper, income tax rates vary based on the amount that you are making, your marital status, and other factors, from there, they are separated into tax brackets.

These tax brackets show the progressive taxing if you income, because of this people who make more money are taxed more because with each increase on the bracket more money is paid.

There are other, more technical aspects to tax brackets, but one of the most important factors of all of this is deductibles or tax write-offs which gives people to opportunity to lower their taxes in higher tax brackets.

Deductions do two things, lower your taxable income as well as give the possibility to be given back to you added onto your tax return.

One of the current hot topics is Donald Trump’s taxes and how he only paid $750 in federal taxes in 2016 and how his first year in the white house, he only paid $750 yet again.

He paid less money in two years than the average citizen pays in taxes every year, if that doesn’t sit right here is some more unsettling news about Trump’s tax history.

According to New York Times, he paid absolutely no income taxes in ten of the previous fifteen years, under the claim that he was losing more money than he made.

Trump’s 1995 returns were sent to the New York Times during the 2016 election and showed that he declared losses of $915.7 million and that is the sole reason for avoiding federal income taxes for two decades s

When it was announced that Trump hardly paid anything in taxes he refused to release his tax returns and it wasn’t until late September that New York Times was able to get a hold of the tax returns over the last two decade, including his first two years in office, but it excluded personal returns from 2018 and 2019.

Their source was anonymous and after the finding’s were released, Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump organization said that they appeared inaccurate and then said that he paid millions in personal taxes, but that some of what he owed was paid with tax credits which came from rewards for doing different activities.

Some of these write-offs or tax credits came from the costs of a criminal defense lawyer, a mansion that the Trump family uses for retreat, the money that her received from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.

His way of avoiding these taxes came because of his businesses that he was running, since they were failing and he was effectively bankrupt, his federal taxes were absolved.

However, something with this seems off, if Trump’s businesses and affairs are failing so much that he gets exempt out of paying his federal taxes then how does he remain a billionaire?

Is Trump able to achieve this by committing tax evasion and because he has paid people off to keep it quiet he has avoided fines and jail time?

Tax evasion is a federal offense in which individuals purposely report their taxes incorrectly, or give a false account of their affairs to the IRS.

There have been other celebrities and business owners within the top tax brackets that have committed tax evasion, it isn’t an uncommon crime.

It is, however, something that can go unnoticed if everything seems to be normal from the IRS’s standpoint.

According to H&R Block the biggest things that the IRS looks out for is unreported income as well as dodgy behavior and typically has to be large amounts for several years where the persons shows willful evasion.

They also do not pursue many tax evasion cases if people cannot pay their taxes

Although it seems as though Trump may have committed tax fraud and has been doing it for several years, it was kept out of the public eye, it wasn’t a big priority because he supposedly could not pay those taxes

Avoiding paying those extra taxes on a said failing business kept him from falling under because he didn’t owe those taxes and in returned saved himself millions of dollars by not paying his taxes.

Trump has evaded the IRS’s eye by using dirty techniques to alter the legality of his tax avoidance and make his sob story of a bankrupt business seem legitimate, when in reality he is using it as a way to avoid paying millions of dollars in federal taxes.

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