Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner 'likely' paid little or no income taxes for years: Report

The New York Times said that Jared Kushner's tax bills reflected the use of a tax benefit known as depreciation that lets real estate investors deduct part of the cost of their properties from their taxable income.
The New York Times said that Jared Kushner's tax bills reflected the use of a tax benefit known as depreciation that lets real estate investors deduct part of the cost of their properties from their taxable income.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, likely paid little or no federal income taxes between 2009 and 2016, the New York Times reported on Saturday (Oct 13), citing confidential financial documents.

The documents were created with Mr Kushner's cooperation as part of a review of his finances by an institution that was considering lending him money, the Times reported.

The Times said that Mr Kushner's tax bills reflected the use of a tax benefit known as depreciation that lets real estate investors deduct part of the cost of their properties from their taxable income.

The Times report said that nothing in the documents reviewed "suggests Mr Kushner or his company broke the law".

Mr Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Mr Kushner's lawyer Abbe Lowell, told Reuters on Saturday that he would not respond to the newspaper's assumptions, which he said were "taken from incomplete documents obtained in violation of the law and standard business confidentiality agreements".

He added: "Always following the advice of numerous attorneys and accountants, Mr Kushner properly filed and paid all taxes due under the law and regulations."

The records reviewed by The New York Times did not expressly state how much Mr Kushner paid in taxes, but included estimates for how much he owed, called "income taxes payable", and how much Mr Kushner paid in expectation of forecasted taxes, known as "prepaid taxes".

 
 
 
 

The paper said that for most of the years covered, both were listed as zero, but in 2013, Mr Kushner reported income taxes payable of US$1.1 million (S$1.5 million).

Kushner Cos, the family company for which Mr Kushner previously served as chief executive, has been profitable in recent years, the Times said, citing the analysis. Mr Kushner sold his interests in the company to a family trust last year.

The White House and Kushner Cos did not immediately comment on Saturday.

The newspaper noted that the 2017 tax rewrite signed by Mr Trump includes provisions that benefit real estate investors.

Mr Mirijanian said that on tax reform efforts, Mr Kushner "followed his approved ethics agreement and has avoided work that would pose any conflict of interest".

In December, a group of Democratic lawmakers wrote to Mr Kushner, asking whether, in his talks with foreign officials, he had ever discussed financing for a deeply indebted property in midtown Manhattan, citing concern he was using his position for financial gain.

Kushner Cos said previously that it had more than US$2.5 billion in transactions in 2017 and has 12 million square feet under development in New York and New Jersey.

Documents released by the White House in June showed Mr Kushner held assets worth at least US$181 million, the Associated Press reported. The disclosures also show that Mr Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump received at least US$82 million in outside income in 2017.