Well before he became president of the United States, Donald Trump’s money and business savviness were the most interesting things about him — at least from a global perspective. The public fascination was in part owed to the fact that he’s always presented himself in the way that one might imagine a billionaire tycoon in a cartoon about billionaire tycoons, living in a penthouse tower surrounded by easy symbols of wealth: pure gold, rare marble and dazzling chandeliers hanging from impossibly high ceilings.
But then there was the mysterious side of Trump. He knew how to master money in a way that we pedestrians couldn’t help but ogle. By 2011, he’d filed for corporate bankruptcy no less than four times. He’d been cornered into selling some of his most spectacular assets, including his Trump Princess yacht. He rolled out business ventures that would eventually fail like Trump Steaks and Trump Mortgage. Yet no matter how much he bombed in the financial sense, he still remained filthy rich. It appeared he could trick the system in ways that the average person — heck, even the average wealthy person — seemingly could not.
Then he achieved the greatest feat — one that money ostensibly could not buy: He became president of the United States. And that’s when the previously smooth-looking money maneuvers started to look very, very rocky. Blasted by critics, Trump was revealed to the public as someone who’d been spoon-fed his wealth by his father. There was a debacle about his tax returns and why he wouldn’t release them. Speculation mounted that America’s most infamous rich guy wasn’t as rich as he claimed.
Now that his presidency has ended, there’s even more information surfacing on Trump’s financial standings. Trump’s not exactly smooth sailing (or yachting?); in fact, he’s up against some serious problems that could have serious repercussions. For instance:
He’s Tied Up in a Family Fraud Lawsuit
In July 2020, Mary Trump, a clinical psychologist and the niece of Donald Trump, published a nonfiction book about “the most dangerous man in America,” aka her uncle Donald. In September, Mary filed a lawsuit alleging that Donald and his siblings committed fraud in a ruse to strip her of her interests in the Trump real estate empire. Trump is urging for the case to be dismissed, but if it is not and it goes to trial, Trump could have to cough up compensatory and punitive damages — we’re talking millions of dollars.
He’s Undergoing a 10-Year-Old IRS Audit
For billionaires, there are legal loopholes to dodge paying tons in federal taxes. Trump is the best example of this, paying just $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017. But you can’t get cagey with the IRS when it comes to audits. For more than 10 years, Trump has been warring with the IRS over the viability of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed after declaring colossal losses. If he doesn’t win the battle, he’s out somewhere in the ballpark of $100 million.
He’s Run Out of His Inheritance Money
Inheritance money only lasts so long — at some point, the well runs dry. Trump received the final multimillion-dollar share of his lucrative family inheritance in or around 2018. Income that Trump had streaming in his entire life has been bluntly severed. It’s much harder to launch a business venture or settle a debt when you don’t have old money pumping new life into your bank account.
The Trump Brand Has Suffered
MAGA is alive and well but historically, that’s not the brand that has pulled in vast riches for Donald Trump. It’s his eponymous Trump brand that has long been the cash cow. In his pre-presidency times, when bankruptcies were shadowing his finances, Trump could always resort to the money-making brand he launched with his father’s multimillion-dollar endowments or cash in on his TV and real estate celebrity status. But two impeachments, criticized management of a pandemic that claimed hundreds of thousands of American lives and erasure from social media following a MAGA-inspired insurrection at the Capitol might have made the once-impervious Trump brand a pariah that few, if any, investors want to touch. Only time will tell if he can find the financial support he might want.
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Last updated: April 12, 2021
This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Here’s Everything We Know About Donald Trump’s Personal Finances