Think Your Tax Bill Was Painful? Wait Til You Hear How Much Mark Cuban Just Wired To The IRS


April 15 is tax day in the United States. At this exact moment, many Americans are feeling the burn from cutting Uncle Sam an unexpectedly large check. Frankly, April 16 should be a national holiday. If that was the case, we could all go out tonight and spend what little money we still have left, dulling our tax payment pain.

But whatever pain you are feeling right now after paying your IRS bill, wait til you hear how much Mark Cuban just wired to the IRS…

(Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

Yesterday on Twitter, Mark was asked: “if you or your corporations pay more than the required taxes in order to pay your fair share.” This was his response:

“I pay what I owe. Tomorrow I will wire transfer to the IRS $288,000,000. This country has done so much for me, I’m proud to pay my taxes every single year. “

Then, the famously Trump-critical Cuban couldn’t help but take a dig at the former president, adding: “Tag a former president that you know doesn’t.”

Today Mark returned to Twitter to issue a slight correction. The actual final number wire transferred to the IRS was $275,900,00:

“I was wrong with my number yesterday. Got the final number and the wire is complete. Wanted to be accurate. Do I expect all of it to be used wisely. Of course not. But I’m still proud to be able to give back to our country. I’ve said it for years. After military service, paying your taxes is the most patriotic thing we can do.”

He accompanied the above tweet with the following screenshot of an email from his accountants:

How Did Mark End Up With A $275 Million IRS Bill?

Long story short, late last year, he sold a majority stake in the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks at a $3.5 billion valuation. He paid $285 million for the team in 2000.

Here’s a longer explanation:

Mark Cuban earned his first fortune as the founder of a software company called MicroSolutions. He sold MicroSolutions in 1990 to Compuserve for $6 million. His cut of the sale after taxes was $2 million. On the night the deal closed, Mark famously called American Airlines and purchased an unlimited lifetime pass for $250,000. This pass enabled him to fly anywhere in the world first class for free without a reservation. If fully booked, the airline would bump a first-class passenger. He later bought a companion lifetime pass for $150,000. When he became a billionaire, American allowed him to transfer the pass one time. He gave the pass to his father, Norton Cuban. Norton enjoyed unlimited free flights for many years until his death in 2018 at the age of 92. American stopped selling lifetime passes altogether after one pass holder flew 40 million miles for free 🙂

In 1995 Mark and three buddies launched a tech company called Audionet with the goal of broadcasting college basketball radio commentary over the internet. They eventually evolved into broadcasting video content as well. In 1998, they rebranded as In 1999 the company was acquired by Yahoo for $5.7 billion, mostly in the form of Yahoo stock.

On the day the acquisition closed, Yahoo’s stock price was $163 per share. At that moment, Mark was highly concerned that the dotcom sector was in a very frothy bubble that was about to burst. Unfortunately, his acquisition terms forced Mark to hold onto his shares for six months. On the day the lockup expired he sold 100% of his Yahoo shares at roughly the same price it had been trading at six months earlier. As a result, Mark received $2.5 billion in cash. A year and a half later, after the dot-com bubble exploded, Yahoo’s stock was trading at $8.11 per share. At that level, had he held, Mark’s $2.5 billion windfall would have been worth “just” $125 million.

The very first purchase Mark made after becoming a newly minted cash billionaire was a $40 million private jet. More impressively, he bought the jet online sight unseen. This was in 1999. Most people were uncomfortable buying a $20 book on Amazon back then. For many years after this purchase Mark was credited by the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s “largest single e-commerce transaction.”

Mark’s second big purchase was the Dallas Mavericks. Mark bought the Mavericks from late billionaire Ross Perot for $285 million in 2000.

Fast forward to November 2023. After owning the team for 23 years and leading them to an NBA Championship in 2011, Mark sold a majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks to casino billionaire Miriam Adelson (widow of late Las Vegas Sands founder Sheldon Adelson) at a $3.5 billion valuation.

We don’t know what majority percentage Miriam acquired, but around the time of the purchase, Las Vegas Sands (which is a public company) disclosed that Miriam had sold $2 billion worth of her shares to fund the purchase of a professional sports team. If that’s all the money she used, she could have acquired 57% of the Mavericks at a $3.5 billion valuation. To own 90% of the team, she would have needed $3.15 billion in cash.

Combined with his other assets and previous fortune, the sale gave Mark Cuban his current net worth of $5.5 billion.

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