2008 FJ, 2022 GR Supra, 2020 RAV4 Hybrid
Wait till you hear about a 1031 exchange rich get richerOne of the problems with the American tax system is that it is stupidly complicated. If you buy houses to flip, you would 100% be required to pay tax on the profits. If you sell your main residence, you're exempt up to a certain amount depending on your circumstances.
In the instance of a car being driven for several years, you are right. It's likely a wash (though if audited, if profits are made, you'll likely need to scramble for service / maintenance receipts to balance it out).
If you buy a brand new GRC and flip it in a month or two for a profit, there is no way maintenance expenses would cancel it out unless you sold it at cost.
At the end of the day, many file their taxes wrong - some as a mistake, some intentional (who actually reports their internet orders to pay sales tax?! I do, but most understandably don't), and some just don't know better.
If you're unfortunate enough to get audited, it won't be fun.
That is why people hate the IRS. They rather go after the poors to get that extra $500 in taxes, than to fight legal battles against those who are literally not paying their taxes that make 7+ figures. At the end of the day, you may never be audited. 🤷♀️ But officially...you would still be on the hook for taxes on the profits.