Tax records obtained by The New York Times appear to show that President Trump reduced his taxable income by treating his eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, as a consultant, then deducting this as a business expense.
The Times reports that Trump Organization tax records show between 2010 and 2018, President Trump wrote off as business expenses $26 million in "consulting fees." The consultants are not listed by name, but the Times compared the tax records to financial disclosures Ivanka Trump filed when she started working at the White House in 2017 as a senior adviser to her father. Ivanka Trump reported receiving $747,622 in payments from a consulting company she co-owned — the same exact amount in consulting fees the Trump Organization claimed as tax deductions for hotel projects in Hawaii and Vancouver.
As an executive officer with the Trump Organization, Ivanka Trump managed the Hawaii and Vancouver hotel projects, "meaning she appears to have been treated as a consultant on the same hotel deals that she helped manage as part of her job at her father's business," the Times said. Ivanka Trump earned a salary of about $480,000 while serving as an executive with the Trump Organization, and the amount jumped up to $2 million after her father became president, the Times reports; since leaving to work in the White House, she has not received a salary from the company.
The tax filings also show that Trump collected $5 million for a hotel deal in Azerbaijan and reported $1.1 million in consulting fees and made $3 million in Dubai while reporting a $630,000 consulting fee. People with direct knowledge of the deals told the Times they were not aware of any consultants or third parties who would have been paid in connection with the projects. When asked about the matter, Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, did not comment.
The Internal Revenue Service said for consulting fees to be deducted as an expense, they must be an "ordinary and necessary" part of running a business, and the recipient must still pay income tax.