Trump paid taxes to China while paying next to nothing to US treasury

Trump paid more than $188,000 in taxes to China as he pursued business deals there in 2013-15 while paying next to nothing in the US, financial records show

  • Trump’s tax records show he pursued business deals over the years in China 
  • Between 2013 and 2015, Trump paid more than $188,000 in taxes to China 
  • At the time, Trump was seeking licensing deals from Chinese businesses 
  • Last month, it was learned Trump paid just $750 in US income tax in 2016, 2017
  • In 10 of the previous 15 years before 2016, Trump avoided tax altogether
  • Trump-owned business operates a bank account in China, New York Times said 

President Trump’s business has an active bank account in China and has paid more than $188,000 in taxes to the government in Beijing – much more than the $750 in taxes that he paid to the US treasury in both 2016 and 2017.

Trump paid taxes to the Chinese government while he pursued licensing deals there between 2013 and 2015, according to tax records obtained by The New York Times.

While Trump has paid into the Chinese treasury, he paid no federal income taxes in 10 of the 15 years preceding his White House run, according to records obtained by the Times.

It is the latest in a series of Trump tax revelations published by the Times in the last month which show a series of financial losses and income from abroad that critics say could come into conflict with his responsibilities as president.  

President Trump (seen above with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing in November 2017) has a bank account in China and has paid more than $188,000 in taxes to the government there, according to records

Some of the Trump trademarks approved by the Chinese government are displayed on the trademark office’s website in Beijing in this March 2017 file photo

The president’s financial disclosures indicated he earned at least $434.9million in 2018, but the tax filings reported a $47.4million loss.

China is one of three foreign nations where Trump, through his business, maintains an open bank account, according to the Times. Trump also has accounts in Britain and Ireland, where his companies operate golf courses.

The account in China is controlled by Trump International Hotels Management L.L.C.

Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, told the Tmes that the company ‘opened an account with a Chinese bank having offices in the United States in order to pay the local taxes.’

Garten said the account was opened after the company established an office in China ‘to explore the potential for hotel deals in Asia.’

‘No deals, transactions or other business activities ever materialized and, since 2015, the office has remained inactive,’ Garten said.

‘Though the bank account remains open, it has never been used for any other purpose.’

Garten declined to identify the bank in China.

As with Russia, where he explored hotel and tower projects in Moscow without success, Trump has long sought a licensing deal in China. 

His efforts go at least as far back as 2006, when he filed trademark applications in Hong Kong and the mainland. 

Many Chinese government approvals came after he became president. 

In April, it was reported that Trump’s company had previously owed tens of millions of dollars to the Bank of China after the state-owned bank loaned him $211million as part of a refinancing of a Manhattan skyscraper owned by the president.

The loan, which was revealed by Politico, derived from the Trump Organization’s 30 per cent stake in the 1290 Avenue of the Americas building, bounded by 52nd Street and steps from Radio City Music Hall.

However the loan then was repackaged, and the Bank of China says it no longer has any ownership of the loan.

The Trump campaign has sought to shine a spotlight on Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and his business dealings with the Bank of China.

The Trump campaign has repeatedly claimed that Hunter Biden made millions of dollars from China while his father Joe Biden was vice president.

More than a decade ago, Hunter Biden started a private equity fund along with Chris Heinz, the stepson of Sen. John Kerry.

In late 2018, China granted approval for 16 new trademarks for Ivanka Trump’s fashion brand. a document from the website of China’s Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce showing provisional approval of a trademark for Ivanka Trump Marks LLC is seen on a computer screen in Beijing

Kerry, the former secretary of state, was a longtime Senate colleague of Biden’s. Heinz is the son of the late Sen. John Heinz, who was the previous husband of Teresa Heinz Kerry.

The private-equity firm, BHR Partners, was officially registered 12 days after Hunter Biden flew with his father, who was then vice president, to Beijing for an official visit.

Hunter Biden became a shareholder in the company after his father was no longer vice president.

Trump, meanwhile, has also pursued business interests in China even while accusing Hunter Biden of doing the same thing.

In 2008, Trump wanted to build an office tower in Guangzhou, but the project never materialized.

In 2012, one of Trump’s companies opened an office in Shanghai. That same year, a Trump-owned firm, THC China Development L.L.C, claimed $84,000 in deductions that year for travel costs, legal fees, and office expenses.

The Times said Trump’s tax records show that he has invested at least $192,000 in five small companies created specifically to pursue projects in China over the years.

Those companies claimed at least $97,400 in business expenses since 2010, including some minor payments for taxes and accounting fees as recently as 2018, the Times reported. 

Trump has had other links to Chinese business people over the years.

In 2016, while Trump was running for president, a Chinese couple from Vancouver paid $3.1million for 11 apartments in a Las Vegas tower that Trump co-owns with casino magnate Phil Ruffin.

The couple had used a shell company that listed a Las Vegas address as the office address in incorporation papers, drawing scrutiny from the FBI.

Garten told the Times that the Trump Organizations had ‘never been contacted by the FBI and has no knowledge of any investigation.’

In 2016, several Chinese nationals bought up units in Trump’s hotel and tower in Vancouver. The purchases helped boost the licensing fees from the project to $5.8million, according to the Times.

The building was built by a Canadian-based company controlled by the family of Malaysia’s richest man.

After Trump won the election, he sold a penthouse in one of his Manhattan buildings for $15.8million to a Chinese-American businesswoman, Xiao Yan Chen.

In 2016, several Chinese nationals bought up units in Trump’s hotel and tower in Vancouver. The purchases helped boost the licensing fees from the project to $5.8million, according to the Times. The Trump International Hotel in Vancouver is seen above in August 

The apartment was previously occupied by Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.

The buyer, Chen, is reported to run an international consulting firm with connections to political and business elites in China. 

In late 2018, China granted approval for 16 new trademarks for Ivanka Trump’s fashion brand.

The China trademarks cover things like shoes and jewelry, but also more offbeat items like voting machines and nursing homes, according to a search of records on the Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce’s Trademark office.

The trademarks were applied for in 2016. 

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