Tuesday, July 12, 2011

No good deed goes unpunished by the IRS

On Saturday, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter got his 3000th hit, a milestone that has only been reached by a handful of players in the history of baseball. The hit was a home run. The fan who caught it, Christian Lopez, graciously returned it to Jeter rather than selling it for a price that would have likely exceeded $100,000. The Yankees rewarded Lopez for returning the ball by giving him luxury box tickets for the rest of the season as well as signed jerseys, baseballs, and bats.

A nice reward for a good deed? Not quite. Apparently the IRS might characterize the tickets and other items as income rather than gifts, which means that Lopez could owe a tax bill of up to $14,000. And he would have to pay in cash, not in tickets.

Out-and-out theft, if you ask me.

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