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Blog Entry

Giving back Jeter's ball may prove tax liability

Posted on: July 12, 2011 1:56 pm
 
By Matt Snyder

And now we present to you, today's version of "no good deed goes unpunished."

Remember Christian Lopez? He was the fan who caught Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit, which was also a home run. He gave the ball back to Jeter without any monetary demands -- and he could have easily made a windfall had he put the ball up for sale. For example, Barry Bonds' 715th home run ball went for over $200,000. But when Yankees president Randy Levine asked what Lopez wanted for the Jeter ball, Lopez replied: "How about a couple signed balls, some jerseys and bats." (New York Times)

That's it. Obviously, Jeter and the Yankees granted Lopez's request. Lopez even told reporters he owed more than $100,000 in student loans, but felt the ball belonged to Jeter. Of course, Lopez is now likely going to have to pay some pretty hefty taxes on the gifts the Yankees have given him.

Via NYTimes online:
The Yankees gave Mr. Lopez four Champions Suite tickets for their remaining home games and any postseason games, along with three bats, three balls and two jerseys, all signed by Jeter. For Sunday’s game the team gave him four front-row Legends seats, which sell for up to $1,358.90 each.
With so many home games remaining at those lofty prices, it is estimated that the value of Lopez's coup could be over $50,000, which means he'd owe $14,000 in taxes. If it is determined the Yankees gave these items as an act of generosity -- instead of an exchange of goods -- Lopez wouldn't owe a dime. So it's up to the IRS.

Who would have thought, when Lopez caught the ball and did the kind thing, he may have incurred a $14,000 tax liability.

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Comments

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: July 12, 2011 4:12 pm
 

Giving back Jeter's ball may prove tax liability

I don't get it.  People are allowed to trade things.  He had a ball the Yankees had tickets... they traded.  Case closed.............  Oh wait, this is a liberal run state in a liberal run city, case not closed if they can figure out a way, anyway, to get your money for their inefficient, overgrown government spending.



Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: July 12, 2011 3:43 pm
 

Giving back Jeter's ball may prove tax liability

The problem here is that everyone is calling what Lopez got "gifts".  They are not gifts.  It was an exchange of goods.  He acquired a good for $-0- (or you could argue for the cost of his ticket that day plus parking or something like that) and sold it for $50,000 in goods.  That is a $50,000 gain in the same way that it is a gain if you buy any investment for $10 and sell it for $50k.  While this sounds like its "not fair", it happens every day in the world we live in.  It would not be fair for him to get an exemption and for someone else to not get it.  He received items of value and he should pay taxes like everyone else.  Its unfortunate he doesn't have any brains because he should have sold it to the Yankees for cash and paid off his taxes and debts.

And perhaps the Yankees should give him an addition $14k, but he would have to pay taxes on that because it would be additional income so they probably would need to give him something like 16 or 17k. 



Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: July 12, 2011 3:25 pm
 

Giving back Jeter's ball may prove tax liability

He can still sell the seats, though that's a lot more leg work for all those games than just selling one ball. It is something to consider ...

- Matt



Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: July 12, 2011 3:22 pm
 

Giving back Jeter's ball may prove tax liability

If he just kept the ball, as he should have, then he'd at least have the cash from a sale of the ball to pay the tax liability. Instead, he now is stuck with a tax liability on the "gifts" he received.

Someone should have grabbed this guy and said "listen carefully, no matter what they offer you, turn it down. You can always change your mind and accept "the gifts" later. But after the emotion of the moment has passed, you can sell the ball for probably $300K, and then you'll have the cash to pay the taxes."

$240K net of taxes can buy a lot of signed Jeter jerseys. As for the seats to the ballgames; that's all well and good, but it costs time and money to go to ball games aside from the free seats. Never mind the taxes he's stuck with.

If I had caught that ball, I would have told the media "Derek Jeter has a charmed life, and he'll make do without this ball. I have a couple of kids to think about, and proceeds from selling this ball can put them both through college." If a reporter asked me if I felt that Derek Jeter EARNED that ball, then I would have replied, "hey, nothing's stopping Derek Jeter from bidding on it". That's how you do it. Wink










Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: July 12, 2011 2:56 pm
 

Giving back Jeter's ball may prove tax liability

Serphnx. It is clear you grew up in a me first household and have little to no morals. The kid did the right thing and if the IRS tries to tax this then the IRS is doing the un-American thing. Good deeds like this is a comfort to those of us who aren't me first people.



Since: Sep 25, 2009
Posted on: July 12, 2011 2:19 pm
 

Giving back Jeter's ball may prove tax liability

Ridiculous.

Knowing the IRS I'm sure they will deem it an exchange of goods. Especially since Yankees president basically asked Lopez what he wanted IN EXCHANGE for the ball!

I'd say the Yankees should offer to pay the $14k but then the IRS would probably deem that an exchange of goods too and tack on more taxex.

Moral of the story? If you are fortunate enough for a lottery ticket to fall into your lap...CASH IT IN!!
I'm not sure if they would.  To my knowledge, they wouldn't tax the second tax because it is a tax on a tax.  The IRS has never pursued that tax so it hasn't been ruled on.  Theoretically if the Yankees pay that tax, if it even came to that, it shouldn't be a problem.  The IRS is generally more interested in cash winnings because they are liquid.  A lot of people do barters and then don't report them (even though you're supposed to) and nothing happens because it's so hard to put the value on it.

But I still think this guy is a fool.



Since: Sep 25, 2009
Posted on: July 12, 2011 2:14 pm
 

Giving back Jeter's ball may prove tax liability

Haha so he does have debt?  Derek Jeter makes what, $14M a year?  Do you honestly think $250k is anything to him?  What an idiot.  This is the difference between poor people and rich people.  Poor people make up all sorts of stupid rules for themselves not to make money, while rich people make that money and then just not talk about it.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: July 12, 2011 2:12 pm
 

Giving back Jeter's ball may prove tax liability

Ridiculous.

Knowing the IRS I'm sure they will deem it an exchange of goods. Especially since Yankees president basically asked Lopez what he wanted IN EXCHANGE for the ball!

I'd say the Yankees should offer to pay the $14k but then the IRS would probably deem that an exchange of goods too and tack on more taxex.

Moral of the story? If you are fortunate enough for a lottery ticket to fall into your lap...CASH IT IN!!



Since: Nov 24, 2006
Posted on: July 12, 2011 2:08 pm
 

Giving back Jeter's ball may prove tax liability

If this turns out to be the case that this kid has to pay this money then the Yankees need to step up and pay this for him. He didn't ask for anything but an autographed ball from Jeter. The Yankees were the ones that offerd him the suites. They need to pay this for the kid bottom line!


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