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Donald Trump might face 100M-plus tax bill

Washington, May 12 (Prensa Latina) Former President Donald Trump may face an IRS bill in excess of US$100 million after a government audit indicates he double-dipped on tax losses tied to a Chicago skyscrapers.

Trump allegedly used a dubious accounting maneuver to claim improper tax exemptions in the case of his 92-story Chicago skyscraper, according to a report by The New York Times and ProPublica.

The tax records cited by the report indicate that Trump twice deducted losses on the Trump International Hotel and Tower, which opened in 2009 near the banks of the Chicago River that cuts through that city’s downtown.

The report said Trump initially reported losses of US$658 million in his 2008 filings under the premise that the property fit the IRS definition of being “worthless” because condominium sales were disappointing and retail space went unfilled amid a deep U.S. recession.

Two years later Trump maneuvered from a tax standpoint to claim more losses by shifting ownership of the building to an entity under his control, the report, released Saturday, indicated.

“Losing a years-long audit battle over the claim could mean a tax bill of more than US$100 million,” local media note. Trump’s tax records have been under the microscope since his 2016 presidential campaign that refused to release his tax returns.

The former president has just gone through a civil trial in New York as a result of an investigation that accused him and found him guilty of inflating for years the value of his assets in order to obtain tax benefits, insurance and bank credits.

According to ProPublica comments on social media, “The IRS audit represents another potential financial threat, albeit more distant, to Trump,” who recently lost a defamation case and was ordered to pay US$83.3 million.

In addition, for continuing fraud he has US$454 million outstanding, but is in the appeals process.