(Forbes) L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling seems to be sitting pretty. Sure, he endured bad press and probably would not have sold the team were it not for the NBA action. He may not even get to do his own negotiating, since the NBA stepped in. But a $2 billion sale to Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer isn’t half bad.
Still, taxes could eat a big piece of his outsize profit. With these high numbers and Sterling’s advanced age, income and estate taxes look bleak, but are they? First, let’s take income tax.
Mr. Sterling only paid $12.5 million for the Clippers in 1981. The Clippers are apparently a corporation, but is it a C or an S corporation? C corporations pay corporate taxes, S corporations don’t. The legal owner is the Sterling Family Trust, though that trust could just be a living trust that avoids probate but is not taxable.