And yet the more things change, the more they stay the same.
It is worth taking a minute — many of us have more of those now in our quarantined states — to explain.
Now here is what changed in the historic $2 trillion stimulus bill. Previously, if a married couple had depreciation deductions that exceeded their real estate business income, the couple could claim that “loss” to write off taxes on a maximum of $500,000 in income from other sources, like wages from a day job.
Let’s pause for a moment to review: The new relief provision only benefits those who can list more than $500,000 in excess business losses — typically artificial losses from depreciation that have more than wiped out their business income on paper — AND more than $500,000 in other income from wages or other sources now that the cap on the tax break has been removed. Pity such people in a time of pandemic? Congress did.
Who are they? The Times and other accounts refer to this category as the “top 1%” of taxpayers, according to Internal Revenue Service data. These are people who are likely making millions, writing off millions more in paper real estate losses, all the while really hating the taxes they must pay.