Franchise ownership makes for taxing days
It's Friday, April 14, and you know what that means. It means we've got one day left (OK, the weekend; they're giving us 'til Monday at midnight this year) to find that elusive loophole in the Internal Revenue Service tax code before we have to get a postmark on our annual returns. It happens every spring.But for some of the wealthiest Americans, it's happening every spring, summer, autumn and winter. And their search for ways around the tax burden often requires creative strategy and long-term planning that make our annual rasslin' matches with Form 1040 amount to something less than a hill of bean-counting. It's pretty hard to mail in an envelope when you're dead. As the value of professional sports teams has escalated, the smart owner who might be a little long of tooth and has a desire to keep the franchise in the family is worrying about estate taxes. Currently, those taxes are levied on estates valued at more than $4 million, which pretty much means they're a factor for every franchise owner in pro sports.