Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tax Day

I'm working on my taxes today in advance of meeting my CPA tomorrow and filling out the dreaded FAFSA college financial aid forms this weekend.

As I begin calculating what I owe to keep our country and state running, I'm horrified to learn that Dodgers' owners Frank and Jamie McCourt paid absolutely no taxes (state or federal) on $108 million in income over five years.

In fact, I'm not sure what's worse: Their tax avoidance or the news that they did not separate their business from their personal financial accounts.

Keeping separate books is Entrepreneurship 101. Even tiny, self-employed startups are strongly advised to keep their business accounts separate from their personal accounts.

These people owned The Los Angeles Dodgers, for godssakes!

We'd never know about any of it except for the fact that they are divorcing and a lot of their messy financials are coming out in L.A. Superior Court. The tricks and traps they used to avoid paying their share of taxes are laid out in Michael Hiltzik's column, which I linked above. It's worth reading, just to get an idea of how tax avoidance is possible - and even legal. (Though Massachusetts is auditing their 2006 tax return, apparently neither California nor the IRS is after them.)

What did all that tax-free money buy? Eight houses, country club memberships, flowers from the finest florists, meals in the best restaurants, travel on the Dodgers plane and $386 a month for Jamie's makeup.

Excuse me, I've got to get back to my receipts now. My deductions are clearly not up to par.

4 comments:

  1. Can you imagine? I was disgusted. And appalled.
    btw the FAFSA is apparently much more streamlined than previous years---

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  2. Shocked and appalled is an appropriate reaction, I think. Good to know on the FAFSA, except that they say that every year ... hope it's true this time!

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  3. I'd say throw them in jail, except we'd have to pay for it. But it would probably be cheaper than what they've already cost us. What a pair of swine.

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  4. I agree, Petrea, that behavior is despicable. Glad to see a report on this on the local TV news last night. More people need to know about this kind of thing.

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