- Days left

How can you profit from Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's amazing eccentricity? Hint: the answer is not buying Oracle stock. Nope. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Ellison recently successfully gained a reassessment in the property taxes for his enormous Japanese-style home in Woodside, California. And you can too!

Ok, so you probably didn't spend so outrageously much on your home (for Larry, $12 million for the land and another $200 million to build his Japanese-style seven-bedroom palace complete with separate tea house, bath house, and waterfalls; Luxist had details on all Larry's real estate ventures). And you probably won't register a $3 million refund. But you might be able to get back a few hundred dollars, if you feel your home's worth has been set at the market's peak, while your income is slightly more down-market. And remember, as Tracy Coenen posted, you have rights as a taxpayer!

So, how was Ellison able to justify the reassessment?

His attorneys argued that the home suffered from "significant functional obsolescence" -- a nice (ish) way of saying that Ellison's taste is highly eccentric and that no one else would pay even half as much to take the odd, expensive estate off his hands. While it's unlikely you've built a waterfall on your own property, you might argue that your unusual taste in paint color, or 12' chain link fence, or even your choice to turn the lawns into vegetable gardens (a move I'm making in my own home but isn't exactly conventional) will make the home hard to resell. Another option would be to simply argue that the market value in your neighborhood is artificially high after a few sales at the top of the real estate bubble.

Have you had a successful reassessment? How much did you save? Let us know!

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Goal Setting

Want to succeed? Then you need goals!

View Course »

Banking Services 101

Understand your bank's services, and how to get the most from them

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Cities with the Lowest Tax Rates

The total amount of tax you pay reaches far beyond what you owe the federal government. Depending on where you live, most likely you're required to pay additional taxes, including property and sales tax. The disparity between the amount of tax you pay in a low-tax city and that in a high-tax city can be dramatic. Living in any of these 10 cities could save you a bundle, although the exact amount may fluctuate based on your income and lifestyle choices.

Cities with the Highest Tax Rates

Much ado is made in the press about federal tax brackets, but cities can carry a tax bite of their own. Even if you live in a state that has no income tax, your city may levy a variety of taxes that could eat away the entire benefit of living in an income tax-free state, including property taxes, sales taxes and auto taxes. Consider all the costs before you move to one of these cities, and understand that rates may change based on your family's income level.

Great Ways to Get Charitable Tax Deductions

Generally, when you give money to a charity, you can use the amount of that donation as a deduction on your tax return. However, not all charities qualify as tax-deductible organizations. While there are many types of charities, they must all meet certain criteria to be classified by the IRS as tax-deductible organizations. There are legitimate tax-deductible organizations in many popular categories, such as those listed below.

A Freelancer's Guide to Taxes

Freelancing certainly has its benefits, but it can result in a few complications come tax time. The Internal Revenue Service considers freelancers to be self-employed, so if you earn income as a freelancer you must file your taxes as a business owner. While you can take additional deductions if you are self-employed, you'll also face additional taxes in the form of the self-employment tax. Here are things to consider as a freelancer when filing your taxes.

Tax Deductions for Voluntary Interest Payments on Student Loans

Most taxpayers who pay interest on student loans can take a tax deduction for the expense ? and you can do this regardless of whether you itemize tax deductions on your return. The rules for claiming the deduction are the same whether the interest payments were required or voluntary.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum