Boston Real Estate Law News - Find a MA Real Estate Attorney

Survivor: Richard Hatch Out of Jail for Tax Evasion

The first winner of the reality show Survivor, Richard Hatch, who is from Rhode Island, is out of jail after nine months, reports the Washington Post. He has spent, in total, more than three years in prison for not paying taxes on his $1 million “Survivor” winnings.

The resident of Newport, who may be considered the first big reality star, was convicted of two counts of attempted tax evasion and one count of signing a false tax return, reports the Associated Press.

In an earlier life Richard Hatch was a licensed real estate agent. And so his travails with the tax regime probably send a message to all homeowners out there that owe property tax of their own.

Basically, all real and personal property is subject to tax unless specifically exempted. Property tax exemptions come in many forms. These exemptions include the property’s use (such as property used for religious or charitable purposes) and the form of the property’s ownership (such as household goods). Exemptions range from full to partial tax relief. One town may provide a full exemption for personal or business property, whereas another town may provide only a partial exemption for these types of property.

The limitations can be expressed in terms of dollar amounts or by a percentage of value. Homeowners’ exemptions are an example of this kind of partial exemption. Other forms of property tax exemptions exist for certain municipal levies; county, city, town, and school purposes; government property; persons over age 65 and veterans.

An important issue in property tax law deals with the location of property (or its “situs”) for tax purposes. In fact, this issue kind of came up in the Richard Hatch case, because he tried to argue that he owed tax in Malaysia, as that was the site of the Survivor win.

If you’d like to learn more about property tax please see a local real estate attorney. They might even know Richard Hatch.

Related Resources: