The Family Business: Trump and Taxes to premiere Sunday; watch trailer below
A new documentary short will reveal details on one of the most important journalistic investigations in recent years -- the New York Times expose of the Trump family's secret efforts to avoid paying millions of dollars in inheritance taxes.
The Family Business: Trump and Taxes, directed by Jenny Carchman, debuts Sunday at 8:30pm ET and PT on Showtime, the network behind the series The Fourth Estate, which also chronicled New York Times reportorial efforts in the Trump era.
The Times’s investigation of the Trump family’s finances is unprecedented in scope and precision, offering the first comprehensive look at the inherited fortune and tax dodges that guaranteed Donald J. Trump a gilded life.
The Times report, based on more than a year of research by a team of investigative journalists, uncovered how real estate mogul Fred Trump passed much of his fortune to his children, including Donald Trump, while strenuously avoiding inheritance taxes. The alleged scheme involved loans to Donald Trump with no schedule of repayment, including buying $3.5 million in chips at one of Donald Trump's Atlantic City casinos to help him avoid default on bonds.
"In an episode never before revealed, [Donald] Trump and his siblings gained ownership of their father's empire on Nov. 22, 1997, a year and a half before Fred Trump's death," one section of the Times report reads. "Critical to the transaction was the value put on the real estate. The lower its value, the lower the gift taxes. The Trumps dodged hundreds of millions in gift taxes by submitting tax returns that grossly undervalued the properties, claiming they were worth just $41.4 million."
Trump's later has branded the reporting defamatory and 100-percent false. The president, in a tweet and through White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, has dismissed the Times report.
Watch the trailer for the Showtime doc here:
The president’s parents, Fred and Mary Trump, transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children, which could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million under the 55 percent tax rate then imposed on gifts and inheritances.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.