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Lots of folks are trying to get their hands on Trump’s tax returns.

His personal returns are still secret, but I found a work-around to his businesses’ tax filings that revealed those financials didn’t always match what he told a lender.

Here’s how I did it.
First, on a suggestion from my colleague @marilynt2004 last winter we tracked down Trump loan information, including income and expenses, for:

- 40 Wall Street
- The Trump International Hotel and Tower
- 1290 Avenue of the Americas
- Trump Tower
Marilyn knew that real estate loans are often packaged into bonds known as commercial-backed mortgage securities (CMBS), which are sold to investors. The law requires disclosing info to the investors.
On the city’s website, I discovered a way to obtain the buildings’ property tax filings:

Tax returns are private -- but when you appeal the city’s property valuation, you have to file a public form with financial info on it.

…..Guess who’s a serial tax appealer?
I used NY’s Freedom of Information Law to request info on the 4 properties in Nov. 2018.

When I got the forms back, in June 2019, I entered the tax and loan info into a spreadsheet.

That revealed big discrepancies for 2 properties:
1. 40 Wall Street

2. The Trump International Hotel & Tower (TIHT)

I started calling experts. I wondered if I had it wrong – was I misunderstanding?

I learned some inconsistencies are due to different reporting practices. Others are impossible to decipher without more docs.
Still, several significant discrepancies shouldn’t have been so big.

(I asked 12+ experts – CPAs, tax lawyers, an appraiser, a forensic accountant, finance folks – and none of them could explain them away.)

Those discrepancies included:
- Rental income at TIHT that was twice as big on loan docs as tax forms in 2017

- Occupancy for 40 Wall that was 10-20 percentage points different – despite being measured just 5 days apart.

- Property insurance costs for 2017 that were $287,107 higher on the tax side (bigger expenses = lower profit)

- Trump’s ground lease cost for 40 Wall, which on loan filings was $410K lower in 2015 (lower expenses = bigger profit)

Some experts said the discrepancies could point to fraud:…
We asked the Trump Organization to comment on our findings.

They did not respond to questions on the record.

I am still investigating, with my colleagues @ProPublica and @WNYC for the Trump, Inc podcast

Do you know anything about these or other Trump properties? DM me.
And my audience team has been bugging me to suggest you sign up for this newsletter to get our next Trump business investigation:…
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