NY state launches probe into Trump's taxes after bombshell report

Trump ‘participated in outright fraud and dubious tax schemes in 1990s’

The New York State Tax Department is reviewing allegations that Donald Trump received millions of dollars from his father, Fred Trump, possibly including through tax fraud schemes.

The Times says its report is based on more than 100,000 pages of financial documents, including confidential tax returns from the father and his companies.

The New York Times claimed that Mr Trump helped his parents "dodge" taxes and undervalue property which reduced the tax bill.

The Times report said that much of that fortune came to Trump because he helped his parents evade taxes, setting up a fake corporation with his siblings to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their mom and dad.

Charles Harder, a lawyer for Mr Trump, rejected the reports, saying: "The New York Times's allegations of fraud and tax evasion are 100 percent false, and highly defamatory".

Breaking with the practice of past presidents, Trump has refused so far to release his tax returns. "The facts upon which The Times bases its false allegations are extremely inaccurate", the statement continued. The returns and tax positions that the Times now attacks were examined in real time by the relevant taxing authorities. The Times' documentation and reporting has not been corroborated by CBS News.

The Times story could spark a new line of investigations from state authorities in NY and possibly from Congress, if Democrats take control of either chamber in November's elections.

The story also runs counter to Trump's narrative that he is a self-made billionaire.

"Many decades ago the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) reviewed and signed off on these transactions", the White House statement said.

In 2004, the Trumps sold off Fred's empire.

Its goal was to be a purchasing agent for Fred Trump's buildings, but it did not function in that manner, The Times said.

Soon after graduating from college, Trump was receiving the equivalent in today's dollars of $US1 million annually from his father, Fred Trump.

"There probably is nothing more painful and upsetting to Donald Trump in the world than the suggestion that he is not as rich as he says he is and as responsible for being rich as he says he is", said Tony Schwartz, who co-authored Trump's mythmaking book, "The Art of the Deal", in 1987.

That the president's deceased parents Fred and Mary Trump transferred more than $1bn to their children.

This could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million but the Trumps paid a total of just $52.2 million, the Times said, citing tax records.

"My father gave me a very small loan in 1975, and I built it into a company that's worth many, many billions of dollars", Trump said during a 2016 presidential debate.

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