Tag Archives: tax reality

“The Situation” is in a not-so-good tax situation

Did you know that “Jersey Shore” reality show personality Michael Sorrentino, aka “The Situation”, and his brother Marc, grossed almost $9 million in a variety of ventures over four years? Me neither, until I read the U.S. District Court indictment, reported inThe New York Times,charging the brothers with conspiracy and filing false tax returns. Michael was also charged with failing to file a tax return for 2011.

The full amount that the government might try to collect isn’t clear, because the indictment charges the brothers with failing to report all of their income and, as the press release from the US Attorney’s Office puts it , “fraudulently claim[ing] millions of dollars in personal expenses as business expenses, including payments for high-end vehicles and clothing, personal grooming expenses, and distributions – or direct payments – from the businesses to personal bank accounts.”

The brothers face potential penalties of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy charge, and up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each filing of a false tax return. Failing to file a tax return could cost Michael as much as a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

These are, of course, merely accusations, and the brothers are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty. But this is surely not A Situation that The Situation planned on being featured in.

Super-rich have super-low tax rates, in super times or bad ones

Let’s stop a moment to reflect on the tax lives of the 400 highest-earning Americans, and how they suffered in the Great Recession of 2008-2009. Oh, wait a minute—they didn’t suffer. As James B. Stewart points out in The New York Times, the fortunate 400 still averaged $202 million apiece in adjusted gross income in…Continue Reading

Now that’s a home run: McCourts back in court over billion-dollar Dodgers franchise

Nasty multi-million dollar divorces make for some great financial insights, especially when they wind up in court. Today’s lesson: How profitable it can be to own a professional sports franchise, and how the tax code’s preferential rates for capital gains benefit the super-wealthy. Frank McCourt owned the Los Angeles Dodgers. When he and his wife…Continue Reading

“Mean”states crush the poor, feds pick up the pieces

Most talk about tax fairness focuses on federal income tax rates and how much the wealthiest pay. But states collect billions in taxes also, and as Katherine S. Newman writes in the Opinionator blog section of The New York Times, state tax systems tend to be more regressive than the federal system, and most regressive…Continue Reading

Corporations say DOMA is a big tax hassle

I always say that everything’s about taxes. The current legal wrangling about gay marriage proves it once again. More than 200 companies have signed onto a brief filed with the Supreme Court saying that the Defense of Marriage Act has become an administrative hassle, forces them to discriminate against different classes of married employees, and…Continue Reading

World’s teeniest tax bracket

With the new tax bill passed by Congress in January 2013, there are now seven marginal tax brackets–10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6%. OK, no big problem there. Here’s the stupid thing: The only single filers who fall into the 35% marginal bracket will be those with taxable income of $398,350 to $400,000.…Continue Reading