Donald Trump has lost more than R5.4bn on his golf courses over the last 20 years, says report
- President Donald Trump has lost R5.4 billion since 2000 from the 15 golf courses he owns in the US, Scotland, and Ireland, The New York Times found in a bombshell report published Sunday.
- Trump bought his National Doral golf resort in Miami for R2.5 billion in 2012 and, over the next six years, lost R2.8 billion on the property, according to Trump's tax documents obtained by The Times.
- The president's three European golf courses have reported a total of R1.1 billion in losses.
- The losses that Trump has experienced at his golf courses aren't an anomaly — The Times investigation found the president has lost millions of dollars at nearly all of his major businesses.
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President Donald Trump has lost R5.4 billion since 2000 from the 15 golf courses he owns in the US, Scotland, and Ireland, The New York Times reported Sunday in an in-depth investigation into Trump's tax returns.
Trump's largest golf resort, Trump National Doral in Miami, has an R2.1 billion mortgage due in three years. Trump bought Doral for R2.5 billion in 2012 and, over the next six years, lost R2.8 billion on the property, according to Trump's tax documents obtained by The Times.
The president's three European golf courses have reported a total of R1.1 billion in losses.
But Trump has also seen revenue at his golf courses and other properties jump since he launched his presidential bid in 2015. This has raised a host of questions about conflicts of interest between the president's businesses and his role as commander-in-chief.
Following a membership spike beginning in 2015 at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, the president took R443 million out of the resort between 2015 and 2018 — almost three times what he took in the previous two years. This came as Trump doubled membership initiation fees at the resort — which he nicknamed the "winter White House" — when he took office in January 2017.
Last year, Trump floated holding the 2020 Group of 7 Summit at his Doral golf resort. He backtracked after members of his own party pushed back on the move, raising legal concerns about the president leveraging his office for profit.
The New York attorney general is currently investigating whether Trump illegally inflated the value of the Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles in order to boost his tax deductions.
The Times noted that the general and administrative business expenses Trump claimed for his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, was five times higher in 2017 than it was in 2016. No reason was given for the dramatic spike in expenses, which Trump used to reduce his taxable income.
The losses that Trump has experienced at his golf courses aren't an anomaly — The Times investigation found the president has lost millions of dollars at nearly all of his major businesses.
The Times' bombshell report includes a slew of previously unreported information about the president's finances and taxes. Among these revelations are that Trump paid just R12.8 billion in federal income taxes in 2016 and another R12.8 billion in 2017.
The real estate mogul got a R1.2 billion tax refund from the federal government in 2010 after claiming massive losses, but this refund is now the subject of an elongated IRS audit. If Trump's claimed losses are deemed illegitimate, he could owe the IRS more than R1.7 billion, The Times reported.
On top of that, Trump is personally responsible for more than R5.1 billion in loans due in the next four years.
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