Jared Kushner has a net worth of almost $324 million, and his company has been profitable. But Kushner appears to have paid almost no federal income taxes for several years running, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times. A quick look at how it’s done.
Jared Kushner has a net worth of almost $324 million, and his company has been profitable. But Kushner, who is President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, appears to have paid almost no federal income taxes for several years running, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times.
Step 1: The purchase
Kushner Cos. buys a property. The majority of the money for the purchase comes in the form of mortgages and personal loans from banks.
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Step 2: The write-off
Under the federal tax code, real estate investors can write off the purchase price of the building — excluding the cost of the land — over a period of decades. Although Kushner Cos. has spent little or no cash of its own, the firm takes large annual deductions based on the theoretical depreciation of the building’s value.
Step 3: The loss
The property generates cash for the Kushners. But any earnings, which would be subject to the federal income tax, are swamped by the amount that the company is taking in write-offs for depreciation. The result is that Kushner Cos. records a net loss for tax purposes.
Step 4: The investors
The company passes on that loss to its owners, including Kushner and his father, Charles.
Step 5: The offset
The loss can be used to offset the Kushners’ income in the year it is recorded, and it can be carried forward to cancel out future income or to get refunds for taxes they paid in previous years.
Step 6: The deferral
When Kushner Cos. sells a property, it can use the proceeds to finance a new acquisition. If done within the right time frame, the company can indefinitely defer any capital-gains taxes it might owe on the sale of the original property.
Step 7: The result
The outcome is apparent in Jared Kushner’s tax returns, which were summarized in the documents reviewed by The New York Times. Here’s an example from 2015.
W-2 income: $198,000.
Taxable interest: $536,000.
Capital gains: $974,000.
Tax losses from real estate and other partnerships: $3.5 million.
Tax losses carried forward from previous years: $4.8 million.
Total adjusted gross income
Negative $6.6 million.