- 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

Introduction to Preferred Shares

Learn the difference between preferred and common shares.

View Course »

Understanding Credit Scores

Credit scores matter -- learn how to improve your score.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Video: Tax Guidelines About Gifting

Note: Some of the content of this video applies only to taxes prepared prior to 2012. It is included here for reference only. Find out the tax guidelines about gifting with help from TurboTax in this video on tax tips.

Video: What are Income Tax Rates?

Note: The content of this video applies only to taxes prepared for 2010. It is included here for reference only. Income tax rates change depending on both the amount of money you make and how you made it. Find out about income tax rates with help from TurboTax in this video on tax tips.

Video: How To Reduce Errors on Your Tax Return

Did you know that errors on your tax return can affect the amount of your tax bill and the amount of time it takes to get a refund? Fortunately, TurboTax helps you avoid errors AND be sure you're getting all the tax deductions and credits you deserve.

Does Your Company Need to File Form 1095-B?

A company is responsible for filing IRS Form 1095-B only if two conditions apply: It offers health coverage to its employees, and it is "self-insured." This means that the company itself pays its employees' medical bills, rather than an insurance company. A company that doesn't meet both conditions won't have to deal with Form 1095-B. Its employees might still receive a 1095-B, but from their insurer, not the employer.

Video: Who Qualifies for an Affordable Care Act Exemption (Obamacare)?

The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. But, who qualifies for an Affordable Care Act exemption? Find out more about who qualifies for an exemption from the Affordable Care Act tax penalty, how to claim an exemption on your tax return and how the Affordable Care Act may affect your taxes with this video from TurboTax.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum