Trump Tax Attorney: 'He Didn't Understand the Code'

From NBC News:

An attorney who oversaw Donald Trump’s income tax returns in the mid-1990s said the Republican presidential candidate had little interest in the tax code — contrasting with the billionaire’s claim that he understood taxes “better than anyone” who had run for the White House.

“As far as I know, and that only goes through late '96, he didn’t understand the code,” said Jack Mitnick, a former tax adviser for Trump, in an interview with NBC’s TODAY. “Nor would he have had the time and the patience to learn the provisions. That’s a lifetime of experience.”

Mitnick oversaw Trump’s income tax returns in 1995, portions of which were published Saturday by the New York Times. The documents showed a reported loss of nearly $916 million — a deduction tax experts hired by the newspaper said was so large that Trump might have legally avoided paying federal income taxes for up to 18 years.

Trump responded to the report on Twitter: “I know our complex tax laws better than anyone who has ever run for president and am the only one who can fix them” — a stance he has repeated on the campaign trail.

I thought about this issue, too, that Trump’s tax preparers are the ones who know a lot about our complex tax laws, not Donald Trump himself.

Not to worry. His other business skills not to mention interpersonal skills :rotfl: will make America great again.

But hey, he’s pro-life…

… or is he?


:rotfl: :banghead:

(And no, he isn’t. He couldn’t care less about the issue, as long as he gets the support from gullible voters.)

“Trump responded to the report on Twitter: “I know our complex tax laws better than anyone who has ever run for president and am the only one who can fix them” — a stance he has repeated on the campaign trail.”

I have serious doubts that anyone who has been President or has run for President in the last 50 years has filled out their own tax return either, which makes his claim plausible. He didn’t say he’d filled out his return and his accountant from years ago has no idea if Trump has taken it upon himself to learn about things like the tax code as it applies to himself. The tax code is horrendously “YUGE”. Nobody knows it all, all tax preparers consult volumes of info, online and or in book form. A lifetime wouldn’t be enough as the IRS and Congress keep changing the rules.

To say he knows them better than anyone else who has run for president is reasonable and not provable either way.

We are farmers. We have used the NOL carryforward. It is a tool. It’s not illegal. Who goes around paying more taxes than they need to? If one has so much money they can donate, why on earth not donate to a charity that actually knows how to handle money, not our federal government.

Except that Mr. Trump hasn’t even put any money into his own charity, the Trump Foundation, since 2008. And he declined on his 1995 tax return to check off a box and make a small donation to a veterans memorial fund. So I have reason to doubt that he paid any of the billion dollars he avoided paying in taxes for 18 years to charity.


All posts must be charitable

I think it is safe to assume anyone outraged over Trump’s deductions takes none of their own. I’m sure that’s the case…

When the tax code (a tax code that has been pushed for reform by Republicans repeatedly, only to be shot down by Democrats repeatedly - see fair tax, flat tax, and numerous other proposals) allows for legal write-offs and deductions, who in their right mind would use them? Virtually every tax payer.

I remember having a contractor bail on about $25k of work he was to do for me. I got a judgment against him in court, one he was never going to pay. That loss was able to be written off as non-business bad debt to the tune of $3000 a year, which gave me 8.33 years of write-offs for the loss. Should I have eaten the loss, even though legally it was a fair deduction? Some might say yes, and if they decline all opportunities to pay fewer taxes, good on them - that’s consistent.

When politicians do something illegal, we should hold them accountable. If we want to maintain arbitrary ethical standards, we can, and we should hold ourselves to those same standards.

If a person takes umbrage with Trump (or Hillary - has anyone seen her deductions???) and their deductions, and absolutely refuses to take any of their own, more power to them. Anyone else criticizing while looking for legal ways to lower their own adjusted gross income is being hypocritical and best left ignored.

$3,022,700.00 charitable deductions in 2014. $3,000.000.00 to Clinton Family Foundation.

How does some guy who hasn’t seen Trump for over 20 years, and probably didn’t know him that well even then, become an authority on what Trump may or may not know about the tax code?

He did Fred Trump’s taxes for many years and did Trump’s taxes from the time he turned 18 through 1996, or over 30 years. Trump wrote in The Art of the Deal about how he would frequently seek advice from Mitnick. He’s not “some guy”, he was a tax professional who worked with a small number of wealthy clients and knew Trump for decades.

Oh,c’mon,it was all for a good cause,don’t you know?:rolleyes:

Don’t you know? Charity starts at home. :rolleyes::stuck_out_tongue:

Final warning

All posts are to be charitable

But not for 20 years…still not seeing how he’s an expert on what Trump knows or doesn’t know.

There’s “understanding taxes” and “understanding taxes”. My tax preparer has a master’s degree in tax. He really knows the code. But he doesn’t know a whole lot about what one does in business and how one might make some kinds of decisions to work with the code.

He knows all the little mini-rules and sub-rules and all that, and tells me that this or that won’t work because of some rule I have never heard of. (The code has lots of those.) But when it comes to the bigger ideas, they’re mine. He might bat some of them down, at least in detail, but if I come up with an idea, he rolls it around in his mind, researches it, and approves it or doesn’t. But I’m the one who came up with it.

That’s not at all uncommon. I’m working right now on a project in which tax lawyers are thick as fleas. They lay out the rules. Now and then I come up with a way to make their command of the rules work out “on the ground”, so to speak, when they really didn’t know how to do it. I think a lot of business people do that. Most business people are “interdisciplinary” types who don’t always know every detail of everything in their business, but can put things together into a coherent whole that the experts can work with and will approve.

That’s how I see Trump. He probably doesn’t know the foot-pounds of force some particular alloy in a structural joint will take without breaking, either. But he knows who to ask and then how to apply what they tell him; probably in ways that might surprise them. And he knows how to put the whole building together and how to finance it and get it zoned, all with the aid of experts along the way, not one of whom could do what he does.

More mudslinging by the Clinton campaign and the Nobody But Clinton news media (NBC)

Smart People employed by wealthy people save wealthy people Lots of money,

Last I heard, Donald Trump isn’t an accountant. The media continues to drive me towards Trump.


I’m sure trump pays a lot in property taxes, sales taxes, and income tax throughout the years, despite being normal not wanting to pay more than he has to.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit