World News – CA – Rent-free life for son of Trump’s CFO could have tax implications for Donald Trump


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New York – When Allen Weisselberg’s son married in 2004, Donald Trump gave the young couple a generous wedding gift: the use of an apartment overlooking Central Park, rent-free

Market rent for the apartment, owned by the Trump organization, is believed to have totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars over the seven years the couple ended up living there This move – with tax implications and benefits – in a way brought the family closer to the living conditions of Trump’s own children The unusual deal is one of many that have benefited the family of Weisselberg, Trump’s right-hand man on all financial matters

Weisselberg once handled the finances of Trump’s father Donald Trump and Allen Weisselberg are contemporaries – only a year apart – but their relationship has evolved over the years as Weisselberg has moved on from helping a young Donald to manage the patriarch’s affairs to stand by his side as Trump ascended to the leading role These days, Weisselberg is the trusted CFO of the Trump organization, the only non-family member to help oversee the trust built by the president while he is in the White House.

For years, Weisselberg went from a simple Long Island house in Wantagh to his office in Trump Tower, away from the boss’s splashing lifestyle. It started to change in the early 2000s, with the Weisselbergs becoming more closely related to Trumps in ways unusual for an owner and his CFO, detailed in hundreds of pages of legal, financial, real estate and tax records reviewed by Bloomberg News

Many transactions were indirect, benefiting members of the Weisselberg family Weisselberg’s youngest son acquired a unit in the same building in Central Park where his brother received years of free rent and returned it within a few years for more than three times the purchase price The eldest son, Barry Weisselberg, who works for the Trump organization, then moved into another flat where he did not pay rent in a Trump Brownstone that received little attention

Weisselberg’s sister-in-law was hired by the company to do compliance work And Donald Bender, the Trump organization’s accountant, provided tax preparation services for family members While it is not known who paid, tax lawyers have found the dual role of preparer unusual

In the world of Trump’s expensive condo towers and hotels, some deals may seem modest but they draw a blurry line between personal and corporate matters, with assets going to the most important employee outside from the Trump family

Additionally, real estate transactions sit in a blurry midpoint between freebies and compensation, and most would have tax implications, lawyers say Barry Weisselberg worked for Trump in the New York rink business, and his use of the apartments could be seen as a gift for tax purposes from Trump or additional income for the son on top of his salary Tax and compensation attorneys who reviewed the transactions but did not want to comment on the Trump business said employers generally cannot benefit from the gift exemption for items of value provided to employees Most things of value, like free rent, are taxable income for employees, with some exceptions

A review of the young couple’s tax returns for four of the years they lived in Central Park South does not point to the benefit Numerous financial documents were provided to Bloomberg by Jennifer Weisselberg, married to Barry Weisselberg from 2004 until ‘to an acrimonious divorce in 2018 Post-judgment proceedings continue in New York Supreme Court

Jennifer Weisselberg said much of the couple’s cost of living was covered by Trump and his stepfather’s business Financial statements submitted to court show his in-laws covered expenses such as that the rent and tuition immediately leading to the separation

Mary Mulligan and Tim Haggerty, lawyers for Allen Weisselberg at Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman, and Alan Garten, general counsel for the Trump organization, declined to comment on this story Barry Weisselberg did not respond to requests for comment

The wedding gift offer for the apartment at 100 Central Park South came months before the young couple’s wedding After arriving in early 2005, they paid only for utilities – delivering checks to Trump’s assistant Norma Foerderer – for seven years Jennifer remembers the bill for around $ 400 per month When the Weisselbergs moved in, the apartment was listed as a rental for $ 4,950 per month It sold for $ 2.5m in 2016 During divorce proceedings Barry Weisselberg described it as a corporate apartment He is director of the Trump-run Wollman Rink in Central Park

Designation as corporate apartment could be problematic for tax purposes At age seven, couple were not being used for temporary accommodation Under federal tax law, accommodation must generally be offered as a condition of ‘job if value is to be excluded from salary Barry Weisselberg held the rink position before and after his stint at the apartment Bender has been an accountant for both the Trump organization and members of the Weisselberg family

« With respect to firm policy and professional rules, we do not comment on the work we do for our clients, » said Ian Duncan, company marketing director, Mazars USA, in response to comments Email questions about transactions Even before the wedding gift, Trump transferred an apartment on the fifth floor of the building to Allen Weisselberg and his wife, Hilary Although city records show no sale prices, they indicate a state transfer tax of $ 610 in 2000, which would suggest that the Weisselbergs bought the one-bedroom unit for around $ 152,000 Many units in the building were in need of renovation They sold it to their youngest son, Jack, for $ 148,000 three years later

In 2006 Jack sold it for $ 570,000 He then joined Ladder Capital, which became one of Trump’s biggest lenders, although people familiar with the matter say he was not involved in financing Trump Jack Weisselberg did not respond to requests for comment

Other members of Trump’s inner circle have taken up residence at company properties In 2016, Bloomberg reported that the president’s son Eric Trump had purchased two more units in the Central Park South building for about $ 350,000 each, and had created one impressive apartment Her sister, Ivanka Trump, bought a two-bed, two-bath unit at her father’s Park Avenue property in 2004 for $ 1.5m The following year, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, bought a unit in the Park Avenue building for $ 5 million

Around the time Allen Weisselberg’s sons moved into apartments in Central Park South, the CFO stepped out of his humble surroundings In 2002, he and his wife bought a house in Florida just minutes from road to Mar-a-Lago Generally shy, he made an awkward appearance on Trump’s show, « The Apprentice »

He and his wife moved from their Long Island home to an apartment in a Trump apartment building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan along the Hudson River Monthly rent for a two-bedroom unit in the apartment building was recently valued at $ 7,000 (The building is not owned by Trump and has since deleted its name) During Barry Weisselberg’s divorce in 2018, the Trump Organization provided an additional apartment that the couple did not pay for rent How the use of the unit was treated for tax purposes is unclear

This apartment is in one of two townhouses on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where Trump has maintained a long-term lease that has gone almost unnoticed although most of the units in the buildings have been rented out. to others, one hasn’t been for long periods in the past two decades: the second floor unit at 163 East 61st Street

Jennifer Weisselberg recalls being told by her ex-husband and an executive in the Trump organization who managed the property that the apartment, a few blocks from the Trump Tower, had occasionally been visited by Trump himself. even The table had a small television of the type he prefers for watching cable news, paired with a telephone There was a four poster bed with Roman columns and gold curtains “It was his style,” remembers -she

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Donald Trump, Allen Weisselberg, Finance, US Tax Preparation, The Trump Organization

World news – CA – Rent-free life for Trump’s CFO son can take its toll tax implications for Donald Trump
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