Trump char­ity admits in fil­ing to ‘self-deal­ing’

Vi­o­la­tions of IRS ban carry penal­ties

Baltimore Sun - - TRUMP TRANSITION - By David A. Fahren­thold

Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump’s char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion has ad­mit­ted to the IRS that it vi­o­lated a le­gal pro­hi­bi­tion against “self-deal­ing,” which bars non­profit lead­ers from us­ing their char­ity’s money to help them­selves, their busi­nesses or their fam­i­lies.

The ad­mis­sion was con­tained in the Don­ald J. Trump Foun­da­tion’s IRS tax fil­ings for 2015, which were re­cently posted on­line at the non­profit-track­ing site GuideStar. A GuideStar spokesman said the forms were up­loaded by the Trump Foun­da­tion’s law firm, Mor­gan, Lewis & Bock­ius.

The Wash­ing­ton Post could not con­firm if the same forms had been sent to the IRS.

In one sec­tion of the form, the IRS asked if the Trump Foun­da­tion had trans­ferred “in­come or as­sets to a dis­qual­i­fied per­son.” A dis­qual­i­fied per­son, in this con­text, might be Trump — the foun­da­tion’s pres­i­dent — or a mem­ber of his fam­ily or a Trump-owned busi­ness.

The foun­da­tion checked “yes.”

An­other line on the form asked if the Trump Foun­da­tion had en­gaged in any acts of self-deal­ing in prior years. The Trump Foun­da­tion checked “yes” again.

Such vi­o­la­tions can carry penal­ties in­clud­ing ex­cise taxes, and the char­ity lead­ers can be re­quired to re­pay money that the char­ity spent on their be­half.

Dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, The Post re­ported on sev­eral in­stances in which Trump ap­peared to use the Trump Foun­da­tion’s money to buy items for him­self or to help one of his for-profit The ad­mis­sion was con­tained in the Don­ald J. Trump Foun­da­tion’s IRS tax fil­ings for 2015. busi­nesses.

It was un­clear if these ad­mis­sions were con­nected to the in­stances re­ported in The Post.

The Trump Foun­da­tion tax forms did not, for in­stance, de­scribe any spe­cific acts of self-deal­ing. They also did not say whether Trump had paid any penal­ties al­ready. That kind of de­tail would be sub­mit­ted on a sep­a­rate IRS form, which was not in­cluded in the in­for­ma­tion posted on­line by GuideStar.

Trump’s team did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment Tues­day.

The New York at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice is in­ves­ti­gat­ing Trump’s char­ity, fol­low­ing up on re­ports in The Post that de­scribed ap­par­ent in­stances of self-deal­ing go­ing back to 2007. A spokesman for At­tor­ney Gen­eral Eric Sch­nei­der­man de­clined to com­ment, other than to say “our in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing.”

The IRS has not said if it is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the pres­i­den­t­elect’s char­ity.

The Trump Foun­da­tion

EVAN VUCCI/AP

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