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September 08, 2016

Trump May Owe IRS More for Foundation’s Political Donation

Donald Trump may be liable for additional penalties arising from his foundation’s 2013 contribution to a political organization affiliated with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, tax experts tell The Wall Street Journal. 

The Republican presidential candidate has paid a $2,500 excise tax on the $25,000 donation, which violated Internal Revenue Service rules barring political contributions by registered charities such as the Donald J. Trump Foundation. Experts on nonprofit tax law said Mr. Trump could owe another 10 percent tax under provisions of the tax code related to self-dealing, or spending by a charity to benefit its own officials.

The Trump campaign has said the Bondi donation was made by the foundation in error and that Mr. Trump repaid the $25,000 to the charity. At the time of the contribution Ms. Bondi’s office was weighing whether to join other states in pursuing legal action against Trump University, Mr. Trump’s wealth-seminar business. Florida did not join the case, a decision the attorney general’s office said was made by subordinates, not by Ms. Bondi.

The controversy comes as Mr. Trump levels accusations that donors to the Clinton Foundation received special treatment from the State Department when it was led by his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. Bill Clinton, campaigning for his wife, has seized on the issue as part of his defense of the Clinton Foundation, which he has led since his presidency ended, CNN reports. “My charity helps people, his is used to pay off your attorney general,” Mr. Clinton said Wednesday at a rally in Orlando.