Jun 2, 2016

Donald Aiming to Trump US Tax System by Moving Trademarks to Delaware

It has been revealed that the Republican presidential candidate and billionaire businessman Donald Trump has moved his portfolio of trademarks to a company in Delaware which could save him millions of dollars in taxes.

The 100 or so trademarks include imaginative terms such as the "Trumptini", a twist on the classic martini which is served with flakes of gold and a T-shaped slice of lemon along with the more sedate mark including his surname such as his name, "Donald Trump" and "Trump Tower".  Other notable marks include "United States Poker Championship".

Filings at the US Patent and Trademark Office show that the ownership of the trademarks have been moved from various states to DTTM Operations LLC, a recently incorporated company registered in Dover, Delaware.

Shifting his portfolio of trademarks, to Delaware will help Trump in his mission to "pay as little tax as possible" yet many would say that Mr Trump, whose empire makes him worth an estimated $4.5 billion according the Forbes, should be willing to pay his fair share.

Mr Trump is exploiting what is know as the "Delaware loophole".  This loophole in the law allows people to legally avoid paying taxes on royalty fees for use of their trademarks in every other state in the US.  It is unclear how much tax Trump will save from the move, but his financial disclosure form states that Trump "deals, brand and branded developments" are worth $3bn.

The Delaware loophole is used by many of America's biggest companies including Apple, Coca-Cola and Walmart. Chances are if you come across a large company based in the US somewhere within the group will be a Delaware registered company used for tax saving purposes. The tax regime is said to have cost other states more than $9bn in lost taxes over the past decade and led to Delaware being described as "one of the world's biggest havens for tax avoidance and evasion".

Mr Trump's office would not comment about the transfer of this trademarks with general counsel, Alan Garten reported as stating that, "I can't get into that; it's confidential … It's sort of too complicated to explain."

in: Companies, News, Trade Marks

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