Tax News & Views Trump's Returns Roundup

September 28, 2020

The ongoing saga of President Trumps taxes took another interesting turn Sunday when the New York Times reported that it had analyzed 18 years of President Trump’s taxes. The President’s tax returns, or lack thereof, have been in the spotlight throughout his candidacy and presidency. While the lengthy article delves into multiple topics here are a few of the key points from a tax perspective:

  • Trump allegedly paid $750 in personal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.
  • Citing large business losses, Mr. Trump paid no income taxes in 10 of the previous 15 years.
  • President Trump is currently under an IRS audit over a $72.9 million tax refund. The audit could ultimately lead to President Trump owing $100 million if it does not go in his favor.

Related: The Ordinary Taxpayer’s Guide To The Extraordinary Story Of Trump’s Tax Returns - Kelly Phillips Erb, Forbes.

Appeals court appears skeptical of Trump's latest argument against tax returns subpoena – Harper Neidig, The Hill. “A panel of appellate court judges on Friday appeared skeptical of President Trump's latest challenge against Manhattan prosecutors' grand jury subpoena for his tax returns and other financial records.”

Related: Panel Pushes Back on ‘Overbroad’ Narrative in Trump Records Quest - Tax Notes($).


Businesses Consider Ways to Take Deductions With PPP Proceeds – Eric Yauch, Tax Notes($). “The IRS closed the door on taking deductions funded with forgiven small business loans, and with Congress dragging its feet on addressing the issue, businesses are wondering if timing can be used as a workaround.”

“Adam Sweet of Eide Bailly LLP said some businesses are wondering if they can take the expenses with PPP proceeds in 2020 if the loans aren’t forgiven until the next year.“Most lenders still are not ready to process forgiveness applications, and so it appears full forgiveness, for most borrowers, may not occur until 2021,” Sweet said. “For borrowers with PPP loans forgiven in 2021, there is no ‘class of exempt income’ in 2020, and therefore some wonder if a borrower could deduct its PPP expenditures on its 2020 tax return.”

Man Finds 9-Carat Diamond. IRS Finds—And Taxes—Man – Robert W. Wood, Forbes. “Thirty-three year old Kevin Kinard found the 9.07 carat whopper in the Crater of Diamonds State Park on Labor Day. It is the second-largest ever found at the park, the biggest being a 16.37-carat stone found in 1975, which was also the biggest diamond ever uncovered in the U.S.”

The not so great part: “whether it is diamonds you find, gold bars or nuggets you discover, or just about anything else, it’s taxable according to Cesarini v. United States.”

IRS Will Treat Returns Impacted by CCH Outage Electronically Filed by September 17 as Filed on September 15 – Ed Zollars, Current Federal Tax Developments.

“The IRS has taken note of the situation and offered the following relief:

IRS will treat as timely filed a return and any elections that were filed with that return (for example, a Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method) that were impacted by the September 15, 2020, external tax software outage if the taxpayer successfully e-filed the return and any elections that were filed with that return by September 17, 2020.”


Government Must Stop Withholding Inmates’ Economic Impact Payments – Tax Notes($).

“A U.S. district court granted a preliminary injunction and class certification in a suit challenging the denial of economic impact payments under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals, enjoining the government from withholding benefits under section 6428 on the sole basis of incarcerated status.”

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