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Net Operating Loss "loophole" and how Donald Trump is so smart

Discussion in '2016 Election' started by Greg, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    This isn't an anti-Trump post.

    I am a small businessman as a landlord owning houses in Phoenix. I started my business in 2014 and in business your first year is your first year, you just file. I had (let's say for example) $5,000 loss. Not unusual, business start-ups commonly lose money for a few years.

    In 2015 I accidentally made a profit ($10K). This is the point of my post. I was able to carry forward my NOL (Net Operating Loss) -- the amount of losses from 2014 and apply them as a credit (actually a debit) to my 2o15 income, and as a result was able to subtract $5K from my 2015 income and in my 15% bracket I reduced my taxes by $1.5K.

    This is 2016 and I can tell already that I will have losses. To understand NOL you have to understand two things: (1) it is a form of income averaging for businesses with cyclic profit/loss that allows them to average their income over a multi-year period, and (2) you can carry back 2 years and I'm not sure how far forward you can carry NOL. Evidently Trump lost $900M in 1995 and has carried his losses forward. THIS IS NOT A TAX LOOPHOLE, AND IT IS NOT TAX CHEATING! It is merely avoiding taxes by taking all the benefits the tax code allows you. This is in contrast to tax evasion by means of cheating, misrepresentation or filing false tax returns. Nobody has ever suggested Trump has done this.

    In fact I will expect to file my 2016 taxes early next year, I do expect a NOL, and I will file a 1040X amending my 2015 taxes and carry back my 2016 NOL and apply it to my 2015 taxes, and I will get a refund, hopefully all the taxes I sent in.

    This is not a tax loophole. It is a tax incentive to encourage businesses with cyclic income to continue business and continue paying taxes and providing whatever services they provide as a business.

    In my opinion Trump had a little too much braggadocio in his statement, "Because I'm smart." I'm not smart. My CPA is smart. I pay her to cover my ass and when she declared my NOL last year I researched the subject and now I know. It's ridiculous to think that Trump came up with, "Hey, let's use the NOL 'loophole' and avoid a bunch of taxes!" I have one CPA in my employ, I bet trump has dozens or hundreds of CPAs.

    But the single fact remains. This is not tax evasion. This is paying the fair taxes you owe. Doesn't matter if you make $10K income or $100M income, the tax laws are clear on what is allowed. Despite all the clamor that our tax system is so convolute, I have no problem understanding it, at least at my level of business.

    Actually it would be stupid to get rid of the NOL carry-forward carry-back "loophole" because that would reduce the number of cyclic income businesses, reduce jobs, or in my case reduce services since I'd have to shut down my business and then I would be paying no taxes at all.

    Let's just for a second look at other loopholes like the one that allows taxpayers with children to take deductions. I have no children, never did. Why should I pay a tax subsidy so that a bunch of people who reproduce too much to add to our overpopulation?

    You wanna call my NOL deduction a loophole? I don't see the difference between that and requiring me to subsidize taxpayers with children by forcing me to pay part of their taxes.
  2. dsl987

    dsl987 Member

    Totally agree, all of us take advantage of the available deductions offered to us.

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