NYT: Kushner paid almost nothing in taxes thanks to business tax break

NYT: Kushner paid almost nothing in taxes thanks to business tax break
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Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report - 2020 Democrats set for Lone Star showdown Exclusive: Kushner tells GOP it needs to unify behind immigration plan Arrests at southern border drop to 64K in August MORE, a senior White House adviser and President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE’s son-in-law, appears to have dramatically reduced his tax bills in recent years by using a legal tax break known as depreciation, according to The New York Times. 

Kushner is worth more than $300 million and has earned millions off his family’s real-estate holdings but has paid little in taxes, the Times reported Saturday after obtaining confidential financial documents. 

The report concluded that he appeared to have paid almost no federal income taxes for several years running. 

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Kushner was able to offset his income by reporting the depreciation of various real estate holdings, a widely used tax break that is designed to account for the damage properties incur over time. 

The Times reported that Kushner earned $1.7 million in salary in 2015 and offset that income with more than $8.3 million in losses reported as a “significant depreciation” in real estate assets. 

There’s no evidence to suggest, however, that Kushner did anything improper. 

Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Abbe Lowell, Kushner’s lawyer, told the Times that “Mr. Kushner properly filed and paid all taxes due under the law and regulations” and followed the advice of “numerous attorneys and accountants.” 

The 2017 tax-reform package that Congress passed in December allowed businesses to immediately write off more under depreciation and increased the maximum deduction from $500,000 to $1 million, according to the IRS. 

The new law allowed property owners to expense improvements to nonresidential properties related to roofing, heating and air conditioning, fire protection systems and alarm systems. 

Mirijanian told the Times that Kushner avoided work related to the tax bill that would have posed a conflict of interest. 

The Times piece follows an in-depth investigation the paper published earlier this month on how Trump used a special tax-sheltering vehicle known as a grantor-retained annuity trust to inherit millions of dollars worth of his father’s real estate tax-free. 

The strategy minimized Trump’s tax liability on an inheritance of more than $400 million in today's money, according to the report. 

Trump famously defended his use of legal tax shelters and breaks during a debate with Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump heads to California Hillary Clinton: Voter suppression has led to 'crisis in democracy' in the US MORE in 2016. 

When Clinton attacked him during the debate for not paying federal taxes, Trump replied, “That makes me smart.”