We filed our taxes today. We’ve been hit with a sudden tax bill to the tune of over $20,000. It turns out that after a certain number of years, property you aren’t living in automatically gets taxed on the assumption that it’s a profitable side business, rather than your only piece of real estate. Worse, standard practice in the US is to pay taxes on real estate on the basis that it gradually loses its value (yeah, right), and then pay the difference when you sell it.