The Manhattan District Attorney’s office and the New York Attorney General’s office have independently subpoened the Trump Organization in recent weeks seeking records on tax deductions taken on consulting fees.
Two investigations into Donald Trump's taxes are now honing in on tax write-offs on consulting fees made by the Trump Organization after the president's daughter Ivanka received about $ 748,000 in such payments.
At the moment there are two separate New York state fraud investigations, one criminal and one civil, into Trump and his businesses.
Both probes have now been expanded and have issued subpoenas to the Trump Organization in recent weeks for records on those consulting fees and tax deductions, according to a New York Times report published Thursday.
However, there is no indication that Ivanka or Trump’s children are the focus of either inquiry.
Ivanka slammed the probe tweeting Thursday night: 'This is harassment pure and simple.'
'This "inquiry" by NYC democrats is 100% motivated by politics, publicity and rage. They know very well that there’s nothing here and that there was no tax benefit whatsoever. These politicians are simply ruthless, 'she said.
She said the investigation was fueled by a 'political vendetta' against her and she shared on Twitter a 2018 New York Times article entitled 'NY's New Attorney General is Targeting Trump' that included a picture of AG Letitia James.
This fishing expedition is very clearly part of a continued political vendetta ⤵️https://t.co/Gw0IKOWdeQ— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) November 20, 2020
The criminal investigation is led by Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr and the civil one is led by state attorney general Letitia James. Both are being conducted independently.
Vance’s office began the inquiry more than two years ago, initially focused on the Trump Organization’s role in making a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have an affair with Trump, during the 2016 presidential campaign.
James’ civil investigation is focused on the Trump Organization’s business practices and began last March after Trump’s former lawyer Michael D. Cohen told Congress Trump inflated his assets in financial statements to secure bank loans and understated them elsewhere to reduce his tax bill.
In August the attorney general’s office asked a judge to make the president’s son Eric Trump, who is an executive vice president at the Trump Organization and runs its day-to-day operations, testify in the inquiry and he did so in October.
These are just two of the legal challenges Trump faces when he leaves the White House.
A New York Times investigation of more than two decades worth of Trump’s tax records found he paid little or no federal income taxes at all in most years due to his business losses.
The report revealed Trump reduced his taxable income by deducting about a whopping $26million in fees to unidentified consultants as a business expense on numerous projects between 2010 and 2018.
Some of those fees appeared to have been paid to Ivanka Trump.
In 2017 Ivanka became a presidential adviser and that year she filed a disclosure where she reported receiving payments from a consulting company she co-owned, TTT Consulting LLC, that totaled to $747,622.
That amount exactly matched the consulting fees claimed as tax deductions by the Trump Organization for hotel projects in Hawaii and Vancouver.
The recently-issued subpoenas focus on the fees paid to TTT Consulting on her discloses and those fees are just a portion of the $26million Trump deducted from his taxable income.
Ivanka was an executive officer of the Trump companies that make the payments, which means she was treated as a consultant despite already working for the company.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, companies can deduct professional fees but consulting arrangements must be market-based and 'ordinary and necessary' to run a business.
The IRS at times rejects write-off consulting fees if they were made to avoid taxes and don’t reflect distant, professional business relationships.
However, it’s not clear if the IRS ever questioned the Trump Organization about their write-off practices.
Alan Garten, the general counsel for the Trump Organization, slammed the subpoenas as 'just the latest fishing expedition in an ongoing attempt to harass the company.'
'Everything was done in strict compliance with applicable law and under the advice of counsel and tax experts. All applicable taxes were paid and no party received any undue benefit,' he said to the Times.
The fees apparently paid to Ivanka pose the question of whether the payments were a tax-deductible way for Trump to pay his children or a way to avoid gift taxes he could incur from transferring wealth to them.
The president’s father had done the latter through schemes that the Times reported in 2018.
Ivanka was spotted last week returning to New York City for the first time since Joe Biden won the election as she and her husband prepare for life after the White House.
Donald Trump's daughter and close aide was seen heading out of her $4.1million Manhattan apartment at Trump's Park Avenue building on Friday morning with a garment bag slung over her arm, in pictures obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com.
The purpose of her visit was unclear however the Kushners are expected to return to the Big Apple to try to pick up their old life from before they relocated to Washington DC as Trump's aides.
However, their return could be far from smooth sailing as their work at the White House has alienated several left-leaning former pals and Ivanka's best friend has warned they will find the move socially 'difficult'.
Her beef with New York Democrats could further complicate plans for the next chapter of her life as multiple investigations are ongoing into her father's businesses.