The Trump administration could avoid paying ecommerce taxes, which are an important revenue source for states that rely on the sales of state-issued goods to fund their budgets, if it paid taxes on the same amount that goes to federal agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Internal Revenue Service.
The administration would also have to pay the sales tax that Congress set in 2016.
But Trump officials have said that they don’t intend to do that, and that the sales taxes aren’t revenue-generating.
Under the current law, states have until the end of 2022 to collect and remit ecommerce sales taxes.
Trump administration officials say they would be able to collect the taxes, and then the states could collect the same taxes that Congress imposed on the Trump Organization.
However, Trump officials say the administration has yet to decide whether to impose the sales and excise taxes on imports, such that states can’t deduct sales taxes on those goods.
“States would have to collect a sales tax on those imported goods,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a March 31 interview with Bloomberg News.
“That would require them to levy those taxes on imported goods.”
If the sales taxation provision was not included in the tax legislation that the House passed in early April, Trump’s tax reform plan would not have been approved by the Senate, leaving the president and congressional Republicans without a legislative solution to the tax problem.
Trump’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
In the meantime, the Trump White House has been working to find ways to pay for the tax on imports.
The tax would be paid by the Trump company, but not by Trump.
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin told reporters in March that the tax would only be paid if the president was making a direct profit from the sales, or if the sales were used to pay a tax on foreign profits that were paid to the federal government.
“The president is not paying anything that he could be making in the private sector,” Mnuchin testified to Congress.
In February, Mnuchin met with the Trump campaign to discuss the issue, according to his financial disclosure report.
The White House initially said that the campaign was willing to pay taxes on all sales of goods to foreigners and that it would provide the money for that purpose.
The Trump campaign responded to Mnuchin’s request by saying that it was willing “to work with any president or the administration to provide any assistance that would be needed to pay this bill, if the administration were to be reimbursed.”
But a spokesperson for the campaign said in May that the president had not met with them and had no plans to meet with them in the future.
A Treasury spokesperson said in an email to The Associated Press that Mnuchin “had no further comment to make.”
The White Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and Al Jazeera English said in February that Mnuchin was “showing an extraordinary lack of understanding” of the issue and that he had not been briefed on the matter by the administration.
The president has not provided the committee with any documents that would show how he would pay for this tax, said Rep. Maxine Waters, the top Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.