Documents: Kushner paid almost no federal taxes for years
Over the past decade, Jared Kushner’s family company has spent billions of dollars buying real estate. His personal stock investments have soared. His net worth has quintupled to almost $324 million.
And yet, for several years running, Kushner – President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser – appears to have paid almost no federal income taxes, according to confidential financial documents reviewed by The New York Times.
His low tax bills are the result of a common taxminimizing maneuver that, year after year, generated millions of dollars in losses for Kushner, according to the documents. But the losses were only on paper – Kushner and his company did not appear to actually lose any money. The losses were driven by depreciation, a tax benefit that lets real estate investors deduct a portion of the cost of their buildings from their taxable income every year.
In theory, the depreciation provision is supposed to shield real estate developers from having their investments whittled away by wear and tear on their buildings. In practice, though, the allowance often represents a lucrative giveaway to developers like Trump and Kushner. The law assumes that buildings’ values decline every year when, in reality, they often gain value. Its enormous flexibility allows real estate investors to determine their own tax bills.