Published: Sat, November 21, 2020

They opened an investigation into the tax fraud claim

They opened an investigation into the tax fraud claim

New York's attorney general has sent a subpoena to the Trump Organisation for records related to consulting fees paid to Ivanka Trump as part of a broad civil investigation into the U.S. president's business dealings, a law enforcement official said Thursday (local time).

NY authorities investigating the Trump Organization have expanded their inquiries to include tax write-offs involving millions of dollars in consulting fees, according to people familiar with the investigation.

Records strongly suggested, The Times reported, that US$747,622 of those fees had been paid to Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter, through a company she owned at a time when she was also a Trump Organisation executive.

She tweeted on Friday in response to the report: "This is harassment pure and simple. This "inquiry" by NYC Democrats is 100% motivated by politics, publicity and rage", Ivanka Trump tweeted. "These politicians are simply ruthless", Ivanka tweeted Thursday.

Ivanka Trump, the elder daughter of President Donald Trump and White House senior advisor, has described two fraud investigations into the Trump Organisation's finances as "harassment".

The report found that Donald Trump reduced his taxable income by claiming almost $30 million in fees paid to unnamed consultants as a business expense between 2010 and 2018. Representatives for the Manhattan district attorney, NY attorney general and Trump Organization declined to comment.

The probes are two of several legal entanglements likely to intensify when Trump leaves office and loses immunity from prosecution.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, companies can deduct professional fees but consulting arrangements must be market-based and "ordinary and necessary" to run a business. The Times reported that its unclear if the IRS ever raised questions to the Trump Organization about the write-offs.

Alan Garten, an attorney for the Trump Organization, similarly told The Times that "this is just the latest fishing expedition in an ongoing attempt to harass the company". Vance's office began the inquiry more than two years ago, initially focusing on the Trump Organization's role in hush money paid during the 2016 presidential campaign to Stormy Daniels, a pornographic film actress who claimed to have had an affair with Trump.

"Everything was done in strict compliance with applicable law and under the advice of counsel and tax experts".

The Times published details of the president's confidential tax returns in September and reported that he had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years. All applicable taxes were paid and no party received any undue benefit, ' he said to the Times.

Prosecutors have made a list of what Trump can face, including insurance fraud, tax fraud, or schemes to defraud - the equivalent of a federal bank fraud charge.

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