Wednesday, October 20, 2004
A follow up on recent TaxProf Blog posts (here and here) about Teresa Heinz Kerry's release of 2 pages of her 2003 federal tax return: today's Wall Street Journal weighs in with its second op-ed on the subject, Teresa's Taxes, Continued. Here is the conclusion:
Some readers wondered how she could be worth nearly $1 billion (as the Los Angeles Times has estimated) and earn only $5.07 million in 2003. Good question, that. It's impossible to tell given that Mrs. Kerry has disclosed only two pages of her 1040 form and declines to explain how her assets are deployed. But we agree with those readers who suggest that much of her wealth must be tied up in trusts and estates that don't require a declaration of income. Like many of the super-rich, Mrs. Kerry can afford to hire lawyers and accountants to create these shelters for her and her heirs.
The late, great Wall Street Journal editor Barney Kilgore used to say that the rich don't mind high taxes because they already have their money. Mrs. Kerry and her husband are cases in point.