Trump mocked $10m tax refund, Michael Cohen claims

‘Can you believe how f***ing stupid the IRS is?’ President Trump mocked tax authorities for handing him a $10MILLION refund, his disgraced lawyer Michael Cohen claims

  • Michael Cohen revealed the anecdote after bombshell report on Trump taxes
  • Claims that ‘delighted’ Trump brandished a $10m tax rebate and mocked IRS
  • Report over weekend said Trump paid $750 income tax in both 2016 and 2017 
  • President claimed NYT report was ‘phony and fake’ after it printed documents

Donald Trump’s disgraced former attorney Michael Cohen claimed last night that the president once brandished a $10 million tax refund check and yelled, ‘Can you believe how f***ing stupid the IRS is?’

Cohen tweeted that his new tell-all book ‘Disloyal’ had ‘been proven 100% TRUE’ after the New York Times reported that the president paid just $750 in federal income tax in both 2016 and 2017.

Cohen, who is still serving the last two years of a prison sentence from ‘home confinement’ for lying to Congress, retweeted an excerpt from his book which described how he’d been with the president when he received a colossal tax rebate at Trump Tower in Manhattan.

‘He held the check up for me to see, flabbergasted but also delighted.’ Cohen wrote. ‘”Can you believe how f***ing stupid the IRS is?” Trump asked. “Who would give me a refund for ten f***ing million dollars? They are so stupid!”‘


Cohen tweeted that his new tell-all book ‘Disloyal’ had ‘been proven 100% TRUE’ after the New York Times reported that the president had paid just $750 in federal income tax in 2016 and the same sum in 2017 (pictured: Michael Cohen, left, leaves Federal court, in New York, in August 2018; and Donald Trump speaks at the White House yesterday)

The foul-mouthed excerpt was tweeted by Trump’s disgraced former personal lawyer Michael Cohen last night

Trump yesterday labelled the Times’ report ‘phony and fake’ after it printed documents showing the president paid no income tax in the 11 of the 18 years studied.

He was able to minimize this tax bill by reporting heavy losses across his business empire, including his golf courses and make claims for deductions, such as $70,000 spent on his hair stylist for The Apprentice. 

That’s despite receiving $427.4 million through 2018 from his reality television program and other endorsement deals. The president could also face mounting financial pressure in the years ahead. The tax records show he’s carrying a total of $421 million in loans and debt that are primarily due within four years. 

Cohen tweeted last night: ‘Everything I have stated about @potus @realDonaldTrump has been proven100% #TRUE! On page 94 of my #1 book #Disloyal @nytbestsellers_ , #Trump showed me a 10 million dollar #IRS “refund” check and exclaimed, “Can you believe how f***ing stupid the IRS is?’…they are so stupid!”

Cohen, 54 – who is serving the remainder of his sentence on ‘home confinement’ in Manhattan – has only been sighted a few times since he was released from custody in July.

However, he’s remained very much in the public eye as he promotes his bombshell book about his time working for Trump and his podcast, Mea Culpa.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump arrives with his personal attorney Michael Cohen during a campaign stop at the New Spirit Revival Center church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, U.S. September 21, 2016. Picture taken September 21, 2016

Responding to the report Sunday evening Trump told reporters: ‘It’s totally fake news. Made up. Totally fake news.’ The president, who campaigned for office as a billionaire real estate mogul and successful businessman, said he has paid taxes, though he gave no specifics. 

KEY FINDINGS FROM THE REPORT ON TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS

TRUMP PAID JUST $750 IN TAXES IN BOTH 2016 and 2017.

The newspaper said Trump initially paid $95 million in taxes over the 18 years it studied. But he managed to recover most of that money by claiming — and receiving — a stunning $72.9 million federal tax refund. According to the Times, Trump also pocketed $21.2 million in state and local refunds, which are typically based on federal filings.

Trump’s outsize refund became the subject of a now-long-standing Internal Revenue Service audit of his finances. The audit was widely known. Trump has claimed it was the very reason why he cannot release his returns. But the Times report is the first to identify the issue that was mainly in dispute.

As a result of the refund, Trump paid an average $1.4 million in federal taxes from 2000 to 2017, the Times reported. By contrast, the average U.S. taxpayer in the top .001% of earners paid about $25 million annually over the same timeframe.

TRUMP HAS FINANCED AN EXTRAVAGANT LIFESTYLE WITH THE USE OF BUSINESS EXPENSES

From his homes, his aircraft — and $70,000 on hair styling during his television show “The Apprentice” — Trump has capitalized on cost incurred from his businesses to finance a luxurious lifestyle.

The Times noted that Trump’s homes, planes and golf courses are part of the Trump family business and, as such, Trump classified them as business expenses as well. Because companies can write off business expenses as deductions, all such expenses have helped reduce Trump’s tax liability.

MANY OF HIS BEST-KNOWN BUSINESSES ARE MONEY-LOSERS

The president has frequently pointed to his far-flung hotels, golf courses and resorts as evidence of his success as a developer and businessman. Yet these properties have been been draining money.

The Times reported that Trump has claimed $315 million in losses since 2000 on his golf courses, including the Trump National Doral near Miami, which Trump has portrayed as a crown jewel in his business empire. Likewise, his Trump International Hotel in Washington has lost $55 million, the Times reported.

FOREIGN VISITORS HAVE HELPED SUPPORT TRUMP’S PROPERTIES

Since Trump began his presidential run, lobbyists, foreign governments and politicians have lavished significant sums of money on his properties, a spending spree that raised questions about its propriety and legality.

The Times report illustrates just how much that spending has been: Since 2015, his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida has taken in $5 million more a year from a surge in membership. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association spent at least $397,602 in 2017 at Trump’s Washington hotel. Overseas projects have produced millions more for Trump — $3 million from the Philippines, $2.3 million from India and $1 million from Turkey.

TRUMP WILL FACE FINANCIAL PRESSURE AS DEBTS COME DUE

Trump seems sure to face heavy financial pressures from the enormous pile of debt he has absorbed. The Times said the president appears to be responsible for $421 million in loans, most of which will come due within four years. On top of that, a $100 million mortgage on Trump Tower in New York will come due in 2022.

Reporting by the Associated Press

The Times reported Trump claimed $47.4 million in losses in 2018, despite claiming income of at least $434.9 million in a financial disclosure that year. The Times emphasized the documents reveal only what Trump told the government about his businesses, and did not disclose his true wealth.

Trump has previously blasted the long-running quest for his financial records as a ‘continuation of the most disgusting witch hunt in the history of our country’. The businessman is the only modern president who has refused to release his tax returns. Before he was elected, he had promised to do so.  

Trump’s lawyer Alan Garten, said that ‘most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate’. He added: ‘Over the past decade, President Trump has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015.’ 

The disclosure, which the Times said comes from tax return data it obtained extending over two decades, comes at a pivotal moment ahead of the first presidential debate Tuesday, and weeks before a divisive election.

The investigation, published Sunday, reveals tax deductions on expenses including $70,000 on styling Trump’s hair for The Apprentice.

Losses in the property businesses solely owned and managed by Trump appear to have offset income from his stake in The Apprentice and other entities with multiple owners. 

The report also suggests ‘consulting fees’ were given to the president’s eldest daughter Ivanka, which appear to have helped lowered the family’s tax bill. 

A nearly $100,000 payment to Ivanka’s favorite hair and makeup stylist was also listed as a business expense. 

The Miss Universe pageant is said to have generated $2.3 million for Trump during his time as a co-owner, according to the report.   

Data obtained by The Times does not include his his 2018 and 2019 personal returns. Trump has consistently refused to release his taxes, departing from standard practice for presidential candidates, saying they are under audit.

On Sunday he said the IRS ‘treat me very badly, they treat me like the Tea Party’, adding of his returns: ‘It’s under audit. It’s been under audit for a long time.’

He said: ‘They’re doing anything they can. The stories I read, they are so fake, they are so phony.’ 

The Times said it had obtained tax-return data covering over two decades for Trump and companies within his business organization. 

The Times also reported that Trump is currently embroiled in a decade-long Internal Revenue Service audit over a $72.9 million tax refund he claimed after declaring large losses. If the IRS rules against him in that audit, he could have to pay over $100 million, according to the newspaper. 

The president vowed that information about his taxes ‘will all be revealed.’ 

But he offered no timeline for the disclosure and made similar promises during the 2016 campaign on which he never followed through. 

In fact, the president has fielded court challenges against those seeking access to his returns, including the U.S. House, which is suing for access to Trump’s tax returns as part of congressional oversight. 

During his first general election debate against Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, Clinton said that perhaps Trump wasn’t releasing his tax returns because he had paid nothing in federal taxes.

Trump interrupted her to say, ‘That makes me smart.’   

During the first two years of his presidency, Trump relied on business tax credits to reduce his tax obligations. The Times said $9.7 million worth of business investment credits that were submitted after Trump requested an extension to file his taxes allowed him to reduce his income and pay just $750 each in 2016 and 2017.

Income tax payments help finance the military and domestic programs. 

Richard Neal, D-Mass., the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee who has tried unsuccessfully to obtain Trump’s tax records, said the Times report makes it even more essential for his committee to get the documents.

‘It appears that the President has gamed the tax code to his advantage and used legal fights to delay or avoid paying what he owes,’ Neal wrote in a statement. ‘Now, Donald Trump is the boss of the agency he considers an adversary. It is essential that the IRS’s presidential audit program remain free of interference.’ 

Trump’s Washington hotel, pictured, is said to be struggling financially

In a Sunday report, dismissed by the president as ‘fake news,’ The New York Times said most of that debt comes from the Doral golf resort in Florida, pictured – $125 million – and Trump’s Washington hotel – $160 million

The New York Times said it declined to provide Trump’s lawyer Garten with the tax filings in order to protect its sources.  

Democrats were quick to seize on the report to paint Trump as a tax dodger and raise questions about his carefully groomed image as a savvy businessman.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer took to Twitter to ask Americans to raise their hands if they paid more in federal income tax than Trump. 

Trump’s consistent refusal to release his taxes has been a departure from standard practice for presidential candidates. 

He is currently in a legal battle with New York City prosecutors and congressional Democrats who are seeking to obtain his returns.

A federal appeals court on Friday tested the waters on a potential compromise after arguments in Trump’s long-running fight to prevent a top New York prosecutor from getting his tax returns. 

Trump’s lawyer, William Consovoy, signaled they will be satisfied only if Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is barred from getting all of the requested records. 

His lawyers maintain that the subpoena seeking eight years of the president’s corporate and personal tax returns amounts to a ‘fishing expedition’ and that Trump should be afforded the same protections as ordinary citizens in the same situation. 

They argued that aside from acknowledging an inquiry into money paid to two women who alleged affairs with Trump, Vance’s office hasn’t specified why it needs such a vast collection of his financial records. 

Vance, a Democrat, began seeking the Republican president’s tax returns from his longtime accounting firm over a year ago, after Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen told Congress that the president had misled tax officials, insurers and business associates about the value of his assets. 

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