The White House last year championed a sweeping revision of the nation’s tax laws that expanded many of the benefits enjoyed by real estate investors, allowing them to reap even larger deductions.
“The Trump administration was in a position to clean up the tax code and promised to get rid of some of the complexity that certain taxpayers use to their advantage,” said Victor Fleischer, a tax law professor at the University of California, Irvine. “Instead, they doubled down on those provisions, particularly the ones they have familiarity with to benefit themselves.”
The documents, which The Times reviewed in their entirety, were created with Mr. Kushner’s cooperation as part of a review of his finances by an institution that was considering lending him money. Totaling more than 40 pages, they describe his business dealings, earnings, expenses and borrowing from 2009 to 2016. They contain information that was taken from Mr. Kushner’s federal tax filings, as well as other data provided by his advisers. The documents, mostly created last year, were shared with The Times by a person who has had financial dealings with Mr. Kushner and his family.
Thirteen tax accountants and lawyers, including J. Richard Harvey Jr., a tax official in the Reagan, George W. Bush and Obama administrations, reviewed the documents for The Times. Mr. Harvey said that, assuming the documents accurately reflect information from his tax returns, Mr. Kushner appeared to have paid little or no federal income taxes during at least five of the past eight years. The other experts agreed and said Mr. Kushner probably didn’t pay much in the three other years, either.
Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Mr. Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said he would not respond to assumptions derived from documents that provide an incomplete picture and were “obtained in violation of the law and standard business confidentiality agreements. However, always following the advice of numerous attorneys and accountants, Mr. Kushner properly filed and paid all taxes due under the law and regulations.”
Mr. Mirijanian added that, with regard to the tax legislation, Mr. Kushner “has avoided work that would pose any conflict of interest.”
Representatives of the White House and Mr. Kushner’s firm, Kushner Companies, didn’t respond to requests for comment.