Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Now here's an interesting tax return

Having just paid my annual tribute to the powers and principalities, I was interested to hear that John Kerry released his 2003 return and (finally) his returns from 1999-2002. And what a year the long faced fellow had in 2003! See John Kerry’s Bright Financial Picture:
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's largest single source of income in 2003 came from the sale of his half-interest in a painting by a 17th-century Dutch artist, according to tax returns released Tuesday by the Kerry campaign.

Kerry's 2003 return shows that he received $175,000 as his part from the sale of a work by the 17th-century Dutch seascape painter Adam Willaerts.
Ain't that a pip? I wonder how much I could get for my "Elvis on Velvet" or "Dogs Playing Cards"? I wonder how Lurch came to be part owner of a fancy painting?
The return says Kerry acquired his half of the painting for $500,000 in May 1996 and sold his portion in March 2003 for $675,000.

In 1996, the year he acquired his half of the $1,000,000 picture, Kerry reported a total income of $143,795.
Just the kind of investment one should make with over 3 times one's annual salary! Hmm, it kinda makes you wonder who he bought it from and who actually coughed up the cash? Maybe he got a low interest loan from a pal? I wonder who that might be?
The return does not say who owned the other half of the painting, which sold in 2003 for a total of $1,350,000, but it was presumably Kerry's multimillionaire heiress wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry. The two file separate tax returns, and the campaign did not release any information about Mrs. Kerry's income or taxes.
So did Teresa just buy back Lurch's half or did they actually sell it? And why isn't the candidate's wife releasing her returns too?

But here's the part I like best:
In all, taking into account losses from investments, Kerry reported a total 2003 income of $395,338. His total federal tax bill was $90,575. He had $27,277 of that withheld from his paychecks and paid the rest, $63,298, with his tax return.
I wonder how the lad avoided a heap of underpayment penalties? Maybe he took in most of the loot in the 4th quarter - you know, about the time that he was seriously running for President? That certainly was fortunate!