Posted: Aug 31, 2005 By: David J. Vercande

Subject: I paid over $250,000 in taxes on an 'asset' I have never realized

Comment: I thought I was doing the right thing. Every 'expert' I consulted said I was doing the right thing. I excercised the stock options I earned. I sold some to diversify and I held onto some to avoid short term capital gain. I borrowed from my brokerage to pay my alternative minimum taxes (nearly $250,000). As the value of my account plummeted I was forced to sell nearly every asset in my account to pay off the loan for my alternative minimum tax. I don't mind paying taxes. I just feel as though the government is holding my tax money hostage since everyone agrees that I shouldn't be required to pay that tax. The problem is that I've paid it and cannot get the refund back in a timely manner. I'm missing out on the appreciation of the asset.