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Meticulous Records Save Billionaire $27 Million in Taxes

julian_robertson.jpgSo you’re Julian Robertson and you’re a billionaire right? You’re on the Forbes list &mdash right behind that cheater Raj but ahead of Wilbur Ross! &mdash and you don’t have many worries.
Except for the City of New York trying to nab $27 million dollars from you! Subways stations falling apart, government employees being laid off. Bah. That’s over 1% of your net worth (based on Forbes’ latest count) and you’ll be damned if the City is going to get their grubby mitts on it.


At issue was Mr. Robertson’s whereabouts on four days during [2000]: April 15, July 23, July 31 and Nov. 16. The other 362 days were accounted for, with documentary proof of 183 days spent in the city and 179 spent outside. The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance argued that because he didn’t have documentary proof for the four days, he was therefore a resident and owed city taxes of $26,792,341.

Four days. Four days standing in between you and $27 million. As we mentioned, it’s not like this is a substantial amount but this was one of those qualitative over quantitative decisions: “$27 million, an amount important enough to the hedge-fund manager that he and his staff spent hours and developed a complicated calendar system to track his whereabouts.”
See? It’s the principle. Robertson is bending over backwards to play by the rules since he once told an assistant — who meticulously tracks New York City days and non-New York City days — that crossing the GW Bridge at 11:45 pm is considered a New York City day.
Between the human GPS and Robertson’s wife saying there was no way he was in the City — she doesn’t stand for him being ‘in her hair’ prior to vacay — the court was convinced that he wasn’t a New York City resident. Can’t say Robertson didn’t work for it.
In Tax Case, 4 Days Save Robertson $27 Million [WSJ]