Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The $14,000 Word

So I am really confused about this issue over whether the US Government is going to give Christian Lopez a $14,000 "tax liability" over catching Derek Jeter's 3000th hit ball. Why such a high tax liability? Since Christian caught the ball and it marked Derek Jeter's 3000th hit, the Yankee's gave him what they claim is $50,000 dollars worth of "stuff". So what all did they give him? Let's see, four luxury suite tickets for each of the team's remaining home games, including the postseason, three bats, three balls and two jerseys all signed by Jeter. I'm not real sure the total value of all that stuff, but my guess is that all this stuff is overpriced, especially the stuff that is signed. Oh and speaking of overpriced, I forgot to mention that Christian also received front-row seats for Sunday's game, which the Yankee's report sell for up to $1,358.90 each. If that's not overpriced then I don't know what is.

Now here's where this tax liability becomes really tricky. It's going to be up to the Yankee's and how they classify what they gave to Christian as. If the Yankee's say that what they gave Christian was a prize for catching Jeter's 3000th ball, then he could, and most likely will, get slammed with this $14,000 tax liability. However, if they say that what they gave him was a gift then he won't get the tax liability. Yes, that's right, all this comes down to one simple word. But which one are the Yankee's going to use?

In reality, either word would be correct. So let's look at each definition.

PRIZE - a reward for victory or superiority, as in a contest or competition. Was it a contest? Not really! A competition? Only in the sense that tons of people were all going to the same ball at the same time and it came down to who got the ball first! So in this sense, the Yankee's could say that Christian was given some prizes for catching the ball.

GIFT - something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present. When reading this definition, you know that what the Yankee's did for Christian was to "honor an occasion". Did they expect payment for what they gave Christian? No sir! They fully gave all this stuff to Christian without expecting anything in return. So in this sense, the Yankee's could say that Christian was given some gifts for catching the ball.

Like I said, either one is right, but which one is right to tell the US Government? In my opinion, the Yankee's should classify all the stuff that they gave Christian as gifts! No one wants to be all excited to receive some stuff from your favorite team, just to be slapped in the face by the US Government with a $14,000 tax. If it were me, I would probably wish that I was never at the game. Not an image that the Yankee's would want on any fan. Also, I know that Christian has stated that he will ask his parents for help with the $14,000 if it comes down to that, but what if they don't help or have the money? Then Christian would most likely have to sell some of the stuff that he got for free. Oh but it wouldn't be selling, rather giving it away because the money that he gets is going right back to Uncle Sam. I guess that's what they mean when they say that free stuff really isn't free.

I just hope that the Yankee's make the right decision in whatever decision that they make. If they don't then your going to have people all over the US screaming foul.