The Woes Of Tech Billionaires

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Bill Gates’ personal fortune overtaxed the IRS tax computers, while Larry Ellison’s accountant fusses at him for maxing out a $1 billion credit limit.

When the world’s richest man submits his Form 1040 to the taxman, it doesn’t go into the typical IRS computer system. A report on Yahoo News noted Gates’ tax returns need a little special handling by the government:

“My tax return in the United States has to be kept on a special computer because their normal computers can’t deal with the numbers,” he said at a Microsoft conference held in Lisbon.

“So I am constantly getting these notices telling me I haven’t paid something when really it is just on the wrong computer….Then they will send me another notice telling me how bad they feel they that they sent me a notice that was a mistake,” he said.

Not only does the undisputed master of personal computers get his own personal computer from the IRS, he also gets apologies when they make mistakes. The IRS isn’t exactly known for its apologetic nature.

Meanwhile, lots of interesting tidbits emerged from Oracle founder Larry Ellison’s courtroom drama after a shareholder lawsuit against him that accused him of insider trading. Emails from Ellison’s accountant Phillip Simon complained about his profligate spending, SFGate.com reported:

“I’m worried, Larry …” Simon wrote to Ellison in a 2002 e-mail. “I think it’s imperative that we start to budget and plan.”

According to documents unsealed by a judge in the shareholder lawsuit, Ellison habitually pushes his credit limit of more than a billion dollars to its maximum to finance his yachts and homes. And that’s not even counting some $20 million a year he burns through in miscellaneous lifestyle expenses.

Of course, if the database magnate invites someone to lunch, chances are he isn’t going to stick them with the check. Ellison placed fifth in the most recent Forbes list of the richest people in America, worth about $17 billion.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

The Woes Of Tech Billionaires
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