Trump has been under heavy scrutiny in recent months for using tax-exempt foundation money to pay for personal expenses, such as legal settlements with governments and personal expenses, including paintings of himself.
On page five of the
The preparers checked yes again in another box that asked if the foundation had transferred money to disqualified people in previous years. Trump signed past filings under penalty of perjury, and the forms for several earlier years indicated the foundation had not transferred money to a disqualified person.
The IRS Manual states that transactions involving a disqualified person "bears importantly upon the treatment and status of exempt organizations as private foundations in several situations."
Trump presidential transition spokespersons also did not immediately respond to questions from USA TODAY.
However, the apparent admission of self-dealing “could be assessed as an IRS penalty against the person who received the benefit, potentially at three times the value,” said Robert McKenzie, a tax law expert who is a partner at the Arnstein & Lehr law firm in Chicago.
The IRS potentially could also seek penalties against the directors of the foundation — who include Trump and three of his children — “for allowing such a transaction,” said McKenzie.
However, attorneys for charitable organizations often are able to negotiate lower penalties than those proposed by the IRS, said McKenzie.
The foundation's new admission could potentially result in separate penalties by state agencies that oversee the nonprofit, added McKenzie. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had been conducting an examination of filings submitted by Trump's charitable organization.
That investigation is continuing, Amy Spitalnick, Schneiderman's press secretary, said Tuesday.
Schneiderman last month ordered the foundation to cease any fundraising in New York, saying the charity had not filed the required registration with his office.
The New York official also demanded, and received, written confirmation that the foundation would pay no part of the $25 million settlement reached last week over fraud allegations against Trump University — the now-defunct real estate training program created by the billionaire developer and reality television star.
According to Guidestar spokesperson Jackie Enterline Fekeci, the new tax filing was "was uploaded by a representative from
The Washington Post has reported in great detail about problems with the Trump foundation and its spending, citing how it paid $258,000 in foundation money to settle Trump's personal legal issues. The Post was the first to report on the new filings Tuesday.
The 2015 tax filing showed that Trump's company donated $566,370 to the foundation last year, while it received another $50,000 from Trump Productions LLC.
It's possible these contributions came from Trump, because they listed the donations as coming from a “person.” These contributions are the first that Trump or his companies have made to Trump’s own charity since 2008. His foundation’s tax return for 2008 showed a $30,000 contribution from Donald J. Trump, care of The Trump Organization.
The foundation's new filing also show the nonprofit received $150,000 from the British office of a foundation run by Ukrainian billionaire
Trump spoke at a conference in Ukraine in 2015 hosted by Pinchuk. Then, according to a report in Politico, he said: “Viktor, by the way, is a very, very special man, a special entrepreneur. When he was up seeing me I said, 'I think I can learn more from you than you can learn from me.'”
Contributing: David Jackson