He Paid the IRS $500M Last Year. This Year, It's $1B

John Paulson's bill for his big bet on subprime mortgages has come due
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2018 8:13 AM CDT
An IRS 1040 form, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, is shown on Thursday, April 5, 2018, in New York.   (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

(Newser) – If you find yourself forced to write a check to the IRS come April 17, know that John Paulson feels your pain—and owes more than can fit on a single check. Paulson put down big stakes against subprime mortgages before the 2008 crash and earned billions in the process. Now, the tax bill has come due, and it's eye-popping: $1 billion in state and federal taxes, sources close to the hedge-fund manager tell the Wall Street Journal. This after he paid about $500 million toward the end of 2017. The Journal reports the amount is so huge that even the process of paying it is thorny: Wiring it is an option, but paying via check is more advantageous, as Paulson could keep earning interest on his money until the check is cashed. The catch: The max the IRS will accept from a single check is $99,999,999.

The Journal gets into the nitty-gritty of the tax loophole that allowed Paulson to punt on the payment until now, and explains that when it comes to paying it, Paulson isn't as loaded as he once was. To come up with the cash, sources say the 62-year-old has sold investments, including roughly a third of his 28 million shares of Caesars Entertainment Corp. Head to the Journal for the full read, which includes background on Paulson, who "hadn't made much of a mark" before his "trade of a lifetime," and has seen a reversal in fortune since.

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