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  1. #21  
    << Edited by Septimus: personal attack >>
    Last edited by Dieter Bohn; 11/05/2007 at 03:26 PM.
  2. gojeda's Avatar
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    #22  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    Actually, appraisers make a living off of assigning prices to items which don't have a recent sale price.


    It's quite simple. If you receive an item of value and choose not to pay taxes on it because you think there's no way to determine the value, you will lose in court to the IRS. Unrealized gains on "treasures" are irrelevant to the issue of income taxes.

    Very, very wrong.

    Courts define the fair market value as what a willing and knowledgeable buyer would pay a willing and knowledgeable seller for the item.
    [/quote]

    The first thing the tax court is going to ask the appraiser is how, exactly, did he arrive to whatever value he submitted to the court.

    The appraiser is not going to have an answer other than, "It was a guess."

    The IRS would lose...and lose badly. They would not even pursue the case to begin with. This is why the IRS was mum about the whole issue.

    In this country, with the exception of real estate taxes, taxes are levied when one of two criteria are met:

    - Money changes hands.
    - Income is earned.

    Murphy's ball did not meet any of these criteria. The only value attached to the ball is the cost to manufacture it - up until it was sold of course.

    The fact is that had Murphy kept the ball, the court of public opinion would have most likely settled the case one way or the other as seen in the IRS's reversal regarding the McGwire homerun ball. There is nothing in the tax code, that I know of, that says the IRS must tax the ball if it remains in the possession of Murphy - and Murphy does not derive income from it.

    Given the IRS is not one our government's more popular agencies, I would say it is a safe bet they would not have done anything stupid here.

    Anyway, the point is moot - as the ball's history has taken another path. But I believe Mr. Murphy got some very questionable tax advice.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118532191532076935.html
    Last edited by gojeda; 11/03/2007 at 07:51 PM.
  3. #23  
    << Edited by Septimus: post this was a reply to removed > >
    Last edited by Dieter Bohn; 11/05/2007 at 03:27 PM.
    01000010 01100001 01101110 00100000 01010100 01101000 01110010 01100101 01100001 01100100 00100000 01000011 01110010 01100001 01110000 01110000 01100101 01110010 01110011 00100001
  4. #24  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    The first thing the tax court is going to ask the appraiser is how, exactly, did he arrive to whatever value he submitted to the court.

    The appraiser is not going to have an answer other than, "It was a guess."
    Again, wrong. That will not be the answer. The appraiser's calculation will be based on comparables. What have similar balls sold for in the past? What factors will affect its relative valuation?

    Appraisers provide testimony, and tax courts rely on them. Different people could come up with very different valuations, but that doesn't stop IRS from requiring a valuation.

    And the recipient will likewise need to provide and justify a valuation. A valuation of zero has no support. None.

    The IRS would lose...and lose badly. They would not even pursue the case to begin with. This is why the IRS was mum about the whole issue.
    The only uncertainty is what the valuation would be. There's no question that the baseball has a non-zero value. The reason they don't pursue it is because of the bad PRPRPR.

    In this country, with the exception of real estate taxes, taxes are levied when one of two criteria are met:

    - Money changes hands.
    - Income is earned.
    Not true. There are also taxes on imports and exports (even when there's no transaction and ownership doesn't change), crossing bridges, getting licenses, and many, many other things.

    Murphy's ball did not meet any of these criteria.
    Under US law, the definition of income is all-inclusive. Everything is income, unless specifically excluded.

    The only value attached to the ball is the cost to manufacture it - up until it was sold of course.
    As I said twice before, tax law defines the fair market value as the price a willing and knowledgeable buyer would pay a willing and knowledgeable seller. This is a key concept in US tax law. The income tax would be based on the fair market value of the ball. The cost to manufacture is not relevant to income taxes.


    The fact is that had Murphy kept the ball, the court of public opinion would have most likely settled the case one way or the other as seen in the IRS's reversal regarding the McGwire homerun ball.
    The McGwire case had to do with a fan catching and returning a baseball. I hope you understand how that's different.

    There is nothing in the tax code, that I know of, that says the IRS must tax the ball if it remains in the possession of Murphy - and Murphy does not derive income from it.
    You've obviously never read the tax code. The ball itself is income under the tax code.

    Given the IRS is not one our government's more popular agencies, I would say it is a safe bet they would not have done anything stupid here.

    Anyway, the point is moot - as the ball's history has taken another path. But I believe Mr. Murphy got some very questionable tax advice.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118532191532076935.html
    Despite the article saying that there isn't agreement on the answer, there isn't one tax expert quoted who says the baseball is not income.

    Also read the comments, there are several tax experts who weigh in, all agreeing that it's income.

    EDIT:
    Here's the link to the comments.
    http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2007/07/25/...y-bondss-ball/
    Last edited by samkim; 11/03/2007 at 09:47 PM.
  5. gojeda's Avatar
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    #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    Again, wrong. That will not be the answer. The appraiser's calculation will be based on comparables. What have similar balls sold for in the past? What factors will affect its relative valuation?
    What similar balls exist in the past? How many balls have broken the Aaron's record again?

    And the recipient will likewise need to provide and justify a valuation. A valuation of zero has no support. None.
    If it has no value, then what is the value aside from manufacture and materials?

    Again, a guess simply does not cut it here - despite what you or I have to say about it.

    Secondly, the ball does have value. When the ball was caught, it had a value of approximately $9 minus depreciation. If the ball is put into a vault never to see the light of day again, and the owner makes $0 off of that baseball, its value is $9 minus depreciation.

    The IRS can only collect taxes on those $9....and to be honest, that is a shaky proposition itself - as the Gift Tax would apply to the MLB and not Mr. Murphy.

    To say otherwise is pure speculation, and is a poor interpretation of tax law.

    The only uncertainty is what the valuation would be. There's no question that the baseball has a non-zero value. The reason they don't pursue it is because of the bad PRPRPR.
    The reason they do not pursue it is because there is nothing in the tax code that says they must.

    Not true. There are also taxes on imports and exports (even when there's no transaction and ownership doesn't change), crossing bridges, getting licenses, and many, many other things.
    All of which fall under the auspices of "money changing hands".

    Importation and exportation tarffis are precisely based on the value (monies) of goods in and out of a given country. Furthermore, income is earned when those goods are sold.
    You pay taxes on a license because the purchase of the license carries a tax
    You pay taxes on tolls because you are paying for the use of those roads.

    ....all of the above involves monies changing hands.

    So, again, I repeat, every form of taxation in this country, with the exception of real estate taxes, occur at the moment monies (whether it be cash, goods, or services) are transferred from one party to another. A home is taxed whether or not it is sold or transferred.

    As I said twice before, tax law defines the fair market value as the price a willing and knowledgeable buyer would pay a willing and knowledgeable seller. This is a key concept in US tax law. The income tax would be based on the fair market value of the ball. The cost to manufacture is not relevant to income taxes.
    This is an ambiguity given the special circumstances. You will have to define "knowledgeable buyer" and "knowledgeable seller". You will also have to define what is fair market value for something that has no equal in the sporting world.

    The cost of manufacture is relevant insofar as attaching a value to the ball. It is the only measure by which any value can be attached to the ball itself.

    Obviously, the taxes on those $9 dollars have already been paid when the ball was purchased. But then there are the issues of taxes paid upon the ticket to get into the game....etc.

    The court is going to ask for meaningful answers, not "Well I think this or that". I think the IRS realized all of this and realized that this was a fight they really did not need to get involved in.

    The McGwire case had to do with a fan catching and returning a baseball. I hope you understand how that's different.
    The IRS said in the case that the fan would get taxed on the ball. Then they reversed themselves saying if the ball was returned, the fan would not get taxed.

    In other words, there is no specific tax code that said the ball needed to get taxed or not.

    You've obviously never read the tax code. The ball itself is income under the tax code.
    You apparently do not realize that people much smarter than you and I have no idea if the ball is applicable to taxes or not.

    Furthermore, the ball is income based on the *income it produces*, whether it be by exhibition or by sale....*if* indeed there is income generated or it is sold.

    Despite the article saying that there isn't agreement on the answer, there isn't one tax expert quoted who says the baseball is not income.
    I suggest you re-read the article then.

    A senior IRS official says, to the best of his recollection, the issues involving milestone home-run balls haven't been addressed in any formal IRS guidance. Yet the IRS did offer its thinking on one aspect of the subject back in 1998 -- and the story behind that pronouncement helps explain why IRS umpires are so reticent to discuss the subject today.

    In the summer of 1998, a tax tempest flared up when St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire was on the verge of smashing Roger Maris's single-season record of 61 homers. At the time, a reporter asked an IRS spokesman what might happen if the fan who caught the record-breaking ball gave it back to Mr. McGwire as a gift.

    The IRS spokesman replied that the fan could get hit with a hefty gift tax. That response produced howls of protest from the halls of Congress, as then-IRS commissioner Charles Rossotti recalls vividly.


    Also read the comments, there are several tax experts who weigh in, all agreeing that it's income.
    Tax lawyers named "Anonymous" and "Tax Attorney"?

    Please, Samkim - no need to insult one's intelligence.
    Last edited by gojeda; 11/03/2007 at 11:01 PM.
  6. #26  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    What similar balls exist in the past? How many balls have broken the Aaron's record again?
    Appraisal is based on relative valuation. Is this baseball worth more than any known item?


    If it has no value, then what is the value aside from manufacture and materials?

    Again, a guess simply does not cut it here - despite what you or I have to say about it.
    You're fixated on the word, "guess," as if the law can't handle ambiguity. There's no provision in the tax code that says, if it's too difficult to value something, then value it at zero.


    Secondly, the ball does have value. When the ball was caught, it had a value of approximately $9 minus depreciation. If the ball is put into a vault never to see the light of day again, and the owner makes $0 off of that baseball, its value is $9 minus depreciation.
    The US Tax Code recognizes "fair market value." It's an established legal term.

    The IRS can only collect taxes on those $9....and to be honest, that is a shaky proposition itself - as the Gift Tax would apply to the MLB and not Mr. Murphy.
    The baseball does not qualify as a gift under tax law.


    To say otherwise is pure speculation, and is a poor interpretation of tax law.
    I've studied income tax law, and it's not speculation.

    All of which fall under the auspices of "money changing hands".

    Importation and exportation tarffis are precisely based on the value (monies) of goods in and out of a given country. Furthermore, income is earned when those goods are sold.
    You pay taxes on a license because the purchase of the license carries a tax
    You pay taxes on tolls because you are paying for the use of those roads.

    ....all of the above involves monies changing hands.

    So, again, I repeat, every form of taxation in this country, with the exception of real estate taxes, occur at the moment monies (whether it be cash, goods, or services) are transferred from one party to another. A home is taxed whether or not it is sold or transferred.
    Licenses and tolls are taxes. The only money changing hands is the tax itself.

    Import and export taxes are applied even when one party retains ownership on both sides of the border.

    You're arguing that the US can apply only property, sales, and income taxes. There's no basis for that. But the point is irrelevant to this thread because the income tax applies to the baseball.


    This is an ambiguity given the special circumstances. You will have to define "knowledgeable buyer" and "knowledgeable seller". You will also have to define what is fair market value for something that has no equal in the sporting world.

    The cost of manufacture is relevant insofar as attaching a value to the ball. It is the only measure by which any value can be attached to the ball itself.

    Obviously, the taxes on those $9 dollars have already been paid when the ball was purchased. But then there are the issues of taxes paid upon the ticket to get into the game....etc.

    The court is going to ask for meaningful answers, not "Well I think this or that". I think the IRS realized all of this and realized that this was a fight they really did not need to get involved in.
    You don't need to do any special defining. The courts have gone over the issue of fair market value countless times.

    The cost of manufacture does not figure into the definition of fair market value, and so has no significance.


    The IRS said in the case that the fan would get taxed on the ball. Then they reversed themselves saying if the ball was returned, the fan would not get taxed.

    In other words, there is no specific tax code that said the ball needed to get taxed or not.
    NO. In the McGwire situation, the premise was that a fan caught the ball AND returned it to McGwire as a gift.


    You apparently do not realize that people much smarter than you and I have no idea if the ball is applicable to taxes or not.
    You don't know how smart I am.

    Furthermore, the ball is income based on the *income it produces*, whether it be by exhibition or by sale....*if* indeed there is income generated or it is sold.
    You're making up your own laws now?


    I suggest you re-read the article then.

    A senior IRS official says, to the best of his recollection, the issues involving milestone home-run balls haven't been addressed in any formal IRS guidance. Yet the IRS did offer its thinking on one aspect of the subject back in 1998 -- and the story behind that pronouncement helps explain why IRS umpires are so reticent to discuss the subject today.

    In the summer of 1998, a tax tempest flared up when St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire was on the verge of smashing Roger Maris's single-season record of 61 homers. At the time, a reporter asked an IRS spokesman what might happen if the fan who caught the record-breaking ball gave it back to Mr. McGwire as a gift.

    The IRS spokesman replied that the fan could get hit with a hefty gift tax. That response produced howls of protest from the halls of Congress, as then-IRS commissioner Charles Rossotti recalls vividly.
    You should re-read. As I said, there's no tax expert who says the baseball is not income. There are experts who say it is.

    The McGwire case, as I said, involves a fan returning the baseball.


    Tax lawyers named "Anonymous" and "Tax Attorney"?

    Please, Samkim - no need to insult one's intelligence.
    Actually I was referring to "Tax Attorney" and "Tax Lawyer", both of whom demonstrated better knowledge of the law (not law they made up) than "gojeda."
  7. #27  
    theog,

    SAND.

    You could have PMed me at first, instead of attacking. But a you say "typical".

    As for Bonds Ball, I think it should be shredded on national TV. Bonds is corrupt, and deserves nothing. He made his choice, and now has to live with it.
  8. gojeda's Avatar
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    #28  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    Appraisal is based on relative valuation. Is this baseball worth more than any known item?
    That is something that is only determined when when it is bought/sold.

    Until then, who is to say if it is or it is not?

    You're fixated on the word, "guess," as if the law can't handle ambiguity. There's no provision in the tax code that says, if it's too difficult to value something, then value it at zero.
    A value of zero, and undetermined value, are two completely difference circumstances. No one has said that the ball does not have value. The sticking point is what that value is. I have studied enough tax law to say that the ball, which is unlike any other, had an undetermined value (and the IRS apparently agreed as well).

    Licenses and tolls are taxes.
    Indeed, for the exchange of good and services...which makes it a transaction like any other.

    Again, a toll entitles your use of a given bridge.
    A license entitles you to use your vehicle in a given state legally.

    It seems, though are still having serious trouble understanding what sets real estate taxes apart from tolls, sales taxes, and the like.

    I am not sure how else I can put this. Property taxes are the *only* taxes collected in this country where a transaction of some sort is not needed. You are taxed on your property by the mere ownership.

    Every single other tax collected has a basis of a transaction upon which taxes are levied. Your example of an import/export tax is no exception.

    You're arguing that the US can apply only property, sales, and income taxes. There's no basis for that. But the point is irrelevant to this thread because the income tax applies to the baseball.
    No one has said otherwise. The bone of contention here is when the taxes are applied. Mere ownership does not mean the ball is to be taxed.

    The cost of manufacture does not figure into the definition of fair market value, and so has no significance.
    It most certainly does. The cost of manufacturing the is only monetary value that can accurately ascribed to the ball - until it is sold or income is derived.

    NO. In the McGwire situation, the premise was that a fan caught the ball AND returned it to McGwire as a gift.
    The fans intent was to return the ball from the get-go. Taxes had nothing to do with his decision. The question was asked of the IRS....and they gave an ambiguous answer, simply because the tax code is not clear in these matters.

    You don't know how smart I am.
    I know enough that you are erroneously interperting tax law in this instance.

    You're making up your own laws now?
    If you call IRS tax law "make up laws", then I suppose I am.

    You should re-read. As I said, there's no tax expert who says the baseball is not income. There are experts who say it is.
    The article says otherwise. I suggest you take it up with the author instead.

    Actually I was referring to "Tax Attorney" and "Tax Lawyer", both of whom demonstrated better knowledge of the law (not law they made up) than "gojeda."
    You are most welcome to believe Mr. "Tax Attorney", but I suggest you familiarize yourself with tax law instead.
    Last edited by gojeda; 11/05/2007 at 02:53 AM.
  9. #29  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    That is something that is only determined when when it is bought/sold.
    You keep insisting that the value of property is only determined at the time of a transaction between a buyer and a seller. But the IRS has no such requirement. They routinely rely on appraisals to value property when assessing taxes. In other words, guesses do cut it with the IRS and tax courts.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Airs.gov+appraisal


    The sticking point is what that value is. I have studied enough tax law to say that the ball, which is unlike any other, had an undetermined value (and the IRS apparently agreed as well).
    The IRS has never stated, as you do, that the value of the ball is indeterminable. And doing your own taxes and conducting a google search don't constitute studying tax law.

    Indeed, for the exchange of good and services...which makes it a transaction like any other.

    Again, a toll entitles your use of a given bridge.
    A license entitles you to use your vehicle in a given state legally.

    It seems, though are still having serious trouble understanding what sets real estate taxes apart from tolls, sales taxes, and the like.

    I am not sure how else I can put this. Property taxes are the *only* taxes collected in this country where a transaction of some sort is not needed. You are taxed on your property by the mere ownership.

    Every single other tax collected has a basis of a transaction upon which taxes are levied. Your example of an import/export tax is no exception.
    You're dancing. Here's what you said before:
    So, again, I repeat, every form of taxation in this country, with the exception of real estate taxes, occur at the moment monies (whether it be cash, goods, or services) are transferred from one party to another. A home is taxed whether or not it is sold or transferred.
    With licenses, tolls, and import/export by a single party, no "monies" are transferred from one party to another aside from the tax itself. You were wrong, and now you've changed your argument without acknowledging it.

    Your new position is still wrong. A property tax and a license are both taxes, and they both involve one transaction - a payment of a tax to the government.

    There are very few limitations on the government's ability to tax its people, aside from Constitutional ones, such as restricting inter-state commerce or free speech. When states tax an activity, such as driving or owning a dog, they call it a license. Some states also tax businesses for merely existing - even when they don't have any income and have never had a single transaction. They also tax people each year for simply owning a vehicle - again, no transaction required beyond paying the tax.


    The fans intent was to return the ball from the get-go. Taxes had nothing to do with his decision. The question was asked of the IRS....and they gave an ambiguous answer, simply because the tax code is not clear in these matters.
    With your vague reference to "these matters," you make it clear that you don't understand the legal issue involved in the McGwire hypothetical, and how it's completely different from this case.

    With the McGwire ball, the issue was whether a person should be taxed on a property he DOES NOT KEEP. The initial position was that he should be taxed on the windfall income, and then the return of the ball should be treated as a gift back to McGwire. The reversal of position had nothing to do with the VALUE of the baseball or whether KEEPING a caught ball qualified as income.

    The article says otherwise. I suggest you take it up with the author instead.
    False. The journalist says that lawyers disagree on the details, and then lists some of the questions that may be debatable without specifying which ones actually are. He never actually says that there's any lawyer in the world who believes that the ball is not taxable. He does say that there's a lawyer who believes the IRS won't act due to potential public backlash.

    You are most welcome to believe Mr. "Tax Attorney", but I suggest you familiarize yourself with tax law instead.
    I'm not relying on Internet postings or articles for my understanding of tax law.

    Since you posted the article, I suggested that you read the informed opinions provided. "Tax Attorney," "Tax Lawyer," and "Tax Professor," as well as the former head of the ABA tax section quoted in the article, all say that the baseball is taxable income. The reason for this unanimity is that the law is very clear on the subject, contrary to the unsupported theme of the journalist.
    Last edited by samkim; 11/05/2007 at 09:41 AM.
  10. gojeda's Avatar
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    #30  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    You keep insisting that the value of property is only determined at the time of a transaction between a buyer and a seller. But the IRS has no such requirement. They routinely rely on appraisals to value property when assessing taxes. In other words, guesses do cut it with the IRS and tax courts.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Airs.gov+appraisal
    I am not sure what your esoteric link has to do with anything. Did you even bother seeing what Google generated here?

    The IRS has never stated, as you do, that the value of the ball is indeterminable. And you've clearly never studied tax law.
    The value of the ball is indetermineable until it is determined. Hellooooo?

    You're dancing. Here's what you said before:With licenses, tolls, and import/export by a single party, no "monies" are transferred from one party to another aside from the tax itself. You were wrong, and now you've changed your argument without acknowledging it.
    You are characterising monies paid towards a government, whether it be for tolls or a license, as a tax. What it is called is less important than the fact that there is a transaction involved.

    Your new position is still wrong. A property tax and a license are both taxes, and they both involve one transaction - a payment of a tax to the government.
    Why you keep mischaracterizing my position is beyond me. I never said that they were not taxes. I merely said that property taxes are the only form of taxes that are levied based on ownership - as opposed to consumption or the exchange of goods and services.

    There are very few limitations on the government's ability to tax its people, aside from Constitutional ones, such as restricting inter-state commerce or free speech. When states tax an activity, such as driving or owning a dog, they call it a license. Some states also tax businesses for merely existing - even when they don't have any income and have never had a single transaction. They also tax people each year for simply owning a vehicle - again, no transaction required beyond paying the tax.
    People are not taxed for owning a vehicle. People are taxed for registering and licensing that vehicle.

    A classic car can be stored in a garage, unlicensed, uninsured, and unregistered. Taxes would not be levied against that car.

    With your vague reference to "these matters," you make it clear that you don't understand the legal issue involved in the McGwire hypothetical, and how it's completely different from this case.
    The saliency of the McGwire case is that the IRS gave ambiguous answers then, and gave ambiguous answers now with the Bond's baseball. The reason for this, as I have said, and experts have said, is that the tax code is vague when it comes to these matters.

    The initial position was that he should be taxed on the windfall income
    Really? By whome?

    False. The journalist says that lawyers disagree on the details, and then lists some of the questions that may be debatable without specifying which ones actually are. He never actually says that there's any lawyer in the world who believes that the ball is not taxable. He does say that there's a lawyer who believes the IRS won't act due to potential public backlash.
    If the IRS won't act, it is because the tax code is sufficiently non-conclusive. Simple as that.

    Since you posted the article, I suggested that you read the informed opinions provided.
    Informed because they happen to agree with your position you mean?

    "Tax Attorney," "Tax Lawyer," and "Tax Professor," as well as the former head of the ABA tax section quoted in the article, all say that the baseball is taxable income. The reason for this unanimity is that the law is very clear on the subject, contrary to the unsupported theme of the journalist.
    I suppose the opinion of Mr. Korb pales in comparison to a commentatar named "Tax Attorney".
  11. #31  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    I am not sure what your esoteric link has to do with anything. Did you even bother seeing what Google generated here?
    The links show that the IRS relies on appraisals ("guesses" in your view) in assessing taxes.

    The value of the ball is indetermineable until it is determined. Hellooooo?
    Um, no. Lol, you fail at English.

    You are characterising monies paid towards a government, whether it be for tolls or a license, as a tax. What it is called is less important than the fact that there is a transaction involved.
    Since the only transaction in these cases is the tax itself, your argument that the government can only tax transactions is silly.

    Why you keep mischaracterizing my position is beyond me. I never said that they were not taxes. I merely said that property taxes are the only form of taxes that are levied based on ownership - as opposed to consumption or the exchange of goods and services.
    I mischaracterized your position by quoting you? You said: "So, again, I repeat, every form of taxation in this country, with the exception of real estate taxes, occur at the moment monies (whether it be cash, goods, or services) are transferred from one party to another." Your position keeps changing.

    People are not taxed for owning a vehicle. People are taxed for registering and licensing that vehicle.
    Semantics. People aren't taxed for registering and licensing a vehicle. People are taxed for using a vehicle. Registration is the tax collection method. But regardless of how you describe it, there's no "monies" transferred from one party to another, aside from the tax paid to the government.


    The saliency of the McGwire case is that the IRS gave ambiguous answers then, and gave ambiguous answers now with the Bond's baseball. The reason for this, as I have said, and experts have said, is that the tax code is vague when it comes to these matters.
    No expert has said the tax code is vague on whether the Bonds baseball is taxable income. A journalist implies that there is disagreement on how the baseball would be taxed, but does not cite a single expert as saying that the baseball is not taxable income, or that the answer is vague.

    Really? By whome?
    Yes, really. By the IRS.


    If the IRS won't act, it is because the tax code is sufficiently non-conclusive. Simple as that.
    You're speculating on the IRS's motives, or rather, "immotives."

    Informed because they happen to agree with your position you mean?
    No, because they all cite pertinent law to support their positions.

    I suppose the opinion of Mr. Korb pales in comparison to a commentatar named "Tax Attorney".
    Mr. Korb didn't state an opinion. And he didn't say the tax code was vague about this. And he didn't say that the baseball is not taxable. You keep implying that there are experts that agree with your position that the tax law is vague on whether the Bonds baseball is taxable income, but all you have is 1) a journalist implying that there are a number of questions that may be debatable and 2) an IRS official who refuses to go public as the bad guy.

    It's clear that you'll believe what you want to believe. You've argued:
    1. Appraisals are mere guesses and won't hold up in court.
    2. The IRS can tax only based on the cost of manufacture and not on the fair market value, as determined by an appraiser.
    3. Received property is not income until it generates additional monetary income.
    4. The government can only tax 1) real estate property and 2) transactions between two parties. ("Property taxes are the *only* taxes collected in this country where a transaction of some sort is not needed.")
    5. If something hasn't been determined yet, it's indeterminable.
    6. The law is vague on whether a caught and kept baseball is taxable.

    Each of these points is wrong and unsupported. If you want to keep asserting these positions without any support, there's no point in continuing this discussion.
  12. gojeda's Avatar
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    #32  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    The links show that the IRS relies on appraisals ("guesses" in your view) in assessing taxes.
    For items that have little, or nothing in common with said baseball.

    Since the only transaction in these cases is the tax itself, your argument that the government can only tax transactions is silly.
    Again....I never said such a thing. Your assertions are becoming more confused as the thread progresses.

    I mischaracterized your position by quoting you? You said: "So, again, I repeat, every form of taxation in this country, with the exception of real estate taxes, occur at the moment monies (whether it be cash, goods, or services) are transferred from one party to another." Your position keeps changing.
    And it is very true.

    Property taxes are levied on the basis of ownership....not due to consumption or the transfer of good and services - which cover *every* other tax collected in this country.

    Semantics.
    No....it is a VERY important distinction, and one that is preventing you from understanding why this baseball is (was) not subject to taxation.

    People aren't taxed for registering and licensing a vehicle. People are taxed for using a vehicle.
    LOL!! FAIL!!

    Whether or not people use a car has ZERO to do with taxes. A car is not taxed based on usage. A car is taxed when it is registered and licensed. Use has absolutely NOTHING to do with taxes.

    Registration is the tax collection method. But regardless of how you describe it, there's no "monies" transferred from one party to another, aside from the tax paid to the government.
    Registration is a transaction, whether you like it or not.

    No expert has said the tax code is vague on whether the Bonds baseball is taxable income. A journalist implies that there is disagreement on how the baseball would be taxed, but does not cite a single expert as saying that the baseball is not taxable income, or that the answer is vague.
    The ball, in and of itself, is not taxable income - and the experts in the article concur on this.

    The possible windfall from the sale, or income DERIVED from the ball, is taxable. No one disputes this.

    You're speculating on the IRS's motives, or rather, "immotives."
    Let me put it this way.

    If the baseball was taxable......the IRS would have taxed it, period.

    Mr. Korb didn't state an opinion. And he didn't say the tax code was vague about this. And he didn't say that the baseball is not taxable.
    He did not say it was either. Which means, if something is in doubt whether it is taxable or not - it isn't taxed.

    You keep implying that there are experts that agree with your position that the tax law is vague on whether the Bonds baseball is taxable income, but all you have is 1) a journalist implying that there are a number of questions that may be debatable and 2) an IRS official who refuses to go public as the bad guy.
    Thus far, I have provided testimony supporting my position - from those both in and outside of the IRS. You have provided nothing.

    I suggest you start supporting your assertions instead of dismissing mine.

    It's clear that you'll believe what you want to believe. You've argued:
    1. Appraisals are mere guesses and won't hold up in court.
    Appraisals are educated guesses based on previous items that have been transacted under similiar circumstances.

    ....none of which apply to Bond's baseball.

    2. The IRS can tax only based on the cost of manufacture and not on the fair market value, as determined by an appraiser.
    The only accurate value that can be attached to the ball was the cost of manufacturing. An appraiser can appraise whatever he wants, but the figures that are provided to tax courts have to be demonstrated and well founded.

    There is sufficient doubt an appraiser can accurate place a value on said baseball (and the notion was verified when the ball was actually sold

    3. Received property is not income until it generates additional monetary income.
    Property "given" is (generally) not taxed. Property that is "sold" is taxed.

    4. The government can only tax 1) real estate property and 2) transactions between two parties. ("Property taxes are the *only* taxes collected in this country where a transaction of some sort is not needed.")
    Yes

    5. If something hasn't been determined yet, it's indeterminable.
    No one has said this. The position is, simply, that which cannot be determined by an appraiser will be determined by the open market.

    6. The law is vague on whether a caught and kept baseball is taxable.
    Only if no income is derived from the baseball (the income is taxed, not the baseball...).

    Each of these points is wrong and unsupported. If you want to keep asserting these positions without any support, there's no point in continuing this discussion.
    We will agree to disagree then, but history is on my side here.
  13. #33  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    LOL!! FAIL!!

    Whether or not people use a car has ZERO to do with taxes. A car is not taxed based on usage. A car is taxed when it is registered and licensed. Use has absolutely NOTHING to do with taxes.
    Nice try, but dead wrong.
    Motor Vehicle Use Tax
    To use a car legally, you have to pay taxes on it. This is called vehicle registration.

    Again....I never said such a thing. Your assertions are becoming more confused as the thread progresses.
    For the third time, you said: "So, again, I repeat, every form of taxation in this country, with the exception of real estate taxes, occur at the moment monies (whether it be cash, goods, or services) are transferred from one party to another."

    Property taxes are levied on the basis of ownership....not due to consumption or the transfer of good and services - which cover *every* other tax collected in this country.
    Except for vehicle use, dog ownership, bridge crossings, import/export by a single party, polution taxes, non-income based corporate taxes, and hundreds of other taxes.

    Give it up. This position is more absurd than your other claims.


    For items that have little, or nothing in common with said baseball.
    There's no rule giving special exemption for baseballs.


    The ball, in and of itself, is not taxable income - and the experts in the article concur on this.
    FALSE. NO EXPERT IN THE ARTICLE HAS SAID THIS.

    If the baseball was taxable......the IRS would have taxed it, period.
    The IRS did tax it. Period.

    If you're expecting the IRS to go knocking on the guy's door or debit an amount of money from his account, well, that's not how it works in this country. The US income tax is a voluntary system. The IRS sets the rules; individuals and businesses report and pay taxes; and the IRS selectively audits for compliance.

    He did not say it was either. Which means, if something is in doubt whether it is taxable or not - it isn't taxed.
    You implied that he contradicted the opinions of the tax lawyers who said that the baseball is taxable income. He didn't.

    As for the your "doubt" defense, there is no doubt. It's unanimous.

    Thus far, I have provided testimony supporting my position - from those both in and outside of the IRS. You have provided nothing.
    You've provided ZERO factual support for any of your positions. You've made up your own laws though. I've described to you how the US tax code works, and I pointed you to 4 attorneys who state that the baseball is taxable based on cited law.

    Appraisals are educated guesses based on previous items that have been transacted under similiar circumstances.

    ....none of which apply to Bond's baseball.
    "Under similar circumstances" is not part of the definition of an appraisal.


    Property "given" is (generally) not taxed. Property that is "sold" is taxed.
    All received property is taxed unless specifically exempted. Since the baseball does not qualify as a gift, it's taxed.


    No one has said this. The position is, simply, that which cannot be determined by an appraiser will be determined by the open market.
    You said: "The value of the ball is indetermineable until it is determined. Hellooooo?"

    We will agree to disagree then, but history is on my side here.
    No history supports you. No expert supports you. No facts support you. But at least you have your confidence.
  14. #34  
    Hmmmm....

    I think they way this thread is going, we should have a "Mac vs. PC dicussion". I suppose we would get to the same conclusions....
  15. #35  
    thread closed
  16. #36  
    reopened by user request. Just getting tired of the sniping. Please cut it out, everybody.
  17. gojeda's Avatar
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    #37  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    Nice try, but dead wrong.
    Motor Vehicle Use Tax
    Perhaps you should bother reading he fine print, no?

    "Other residents who regularly keep, store, garage, or maintain a motor vehicle in the City that is required to be registered;"

    In other words, this is just a more militant form of vehicle registration and, as you can see, even just STORING a vehicle incurs a tax.

    USE has nothing to do with it. What NYC has done here is elevate the car to the status of that of a real estate tax. Aside from the fact that this is an already accepted example that government has the power to tax anything, I am not sure what is the point here - aside from the fact that you've interperted NYC's tax law in a questionable way.

    To use a car legally, you have to pay taxes on it. This is called vehicle registration.
    You pay taxes on registration, not on the car.

    dog ownership...
    Wrong....see vehicle registration.

    bridge crossings..
    Wrong...you are paying for the use of a bridge,

    import/export by a single party
    Wrong....you are paying for the transfer of goods across a border

    polution taxes...
    Close...but no cigar. This is a penalty tax.

    non-income based corporate taxes, and hundreds of other taxes.
    Yes, I think we all know that corporations have to pay things like commercial taxes (taxes for doing business transactions) and property taxes.

    There's no rule giving special exemption for baseballs.
    The tax code is sufficiently vague when it comes to items like this. The actions of the IRS during this episode, and episodes in the past, only buttress the point.

    FALSE. NO EXPERT IN THE ARTICLE HAS SAID THIS.
    I repeat. You can tax a baseball's worth. You can tax the income it produces. But you cannot tax a baseball in and of itself.

    The IRS did tax it. Period.
    It was taxed when the baseball was sold, just as it should have been....period.

    If you're expecting the IRS to go knocking on the guy's door or debit an amount of money from his account, well, that's not how it works in this country. The US income tax is a voluntary system. The IRS sets the rules; individuals and businesses report and pay taxes; and the IRS selectively audits for compliance.
    This is unbelieveable. The US tax system is a voluntary system now? LOL!

    I am going to give you the opportunity for you to read and retract this statement, because I am going to give you the benefit of a doubt that you were somehow imparied when you made this statement.

    If the ball was subject to tax, it would have been taxed. End of story.
    You implied that he contradicted the opinions of the tax lawyers who said that the baseball is taxable income. He didn't.
    What mythical lawyers you keep alluding to here? The ones named anonymous and "tax attorney"?

    As for the your "doubt" defense, there is no doubt. It's unanimous.
    The IRS doesn't seem to think so.

    You've provided ZERO factual support for any of your positions. You've made up your own laws though. I've described to you how the US tax code works, and I pointed you to 4 attorneys who state that the baseball is taxable based on cited law.
    I have provided an article that provided critical analysis and contained quotes from an IRS representative. You have provided NOTHING except the commentary of someone by the name of "anonymous" and "tax attorney".

    "Under similar circumstances" is not part of the definition of an appraisal.
    The appraiser is going to have to demonstrate how he has arrived at the figure he submits to the court. A mere "guess" does not cut it despite what you say. The appraiser will use things like precedent and market climate to make the case for the price he cited.

    All received property is taxed unless specifically exempted. Since the baseball does not qualify as a gift, it's taxed.
    Again....debateable. There are two schools of thought as to whether or not the ball is a gift.

    No history supports you. No expert supports you. No facts support you. But at least you have your confidence.
    The IRS supports me. Commentators named "anon.y.mous" and "tax lawyer" support you.

    Believe what you want.
    Last edited by gojeda; 11/05/2007 at 06:35 PM.
  18. #38  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    Perhaps you should bother reading he fine print, no?

    "Other residents who regularly keep, store, garage, or maintain a motor vehicle in the City that is required to be registered;"

    In other words, this is just a more militant form of vehicle registration and, as you can see, even just STORING a vehicle incurs a tax.

    USE has nothing to do with it. What NYC has done here is elevate the car to the status of that of a real estate tax. Aside from the fact that this is an already accepted example that government has the power to tax anything, I am not sure what is the point here - aside from the fact that you've interperted NYC's tax law in a questionable way.
    You have to pay taxes to use your vehicle. I don't know what it is about that you don't understand.

    You pay taxes on registration, not on the car.
    You're very confused. Vehicle registration is the process of paying taxes on the car. It's not an independent "service" of the government which is taxed.

    Wrong....see vehicle registration.
    Wrong...you are paying for the use of a bridge,
    Wrong....you are paying for the transfer of goods across a border
    Close...but no cigar. This is a penalty tax.
    Yes, I think we all know that corporations have to pay things like commercial taxes (taxes for doing business transactions) and property taxes.
    Read what you said again:
    In this country, with the exception of real estate taxes, taxes are levied when one of two criteria are met:

    - Money changes hands.
    - Income is earned.
    With vehicle use, dog ownership, crossing a bridge, transfer of goods across a border by a single party, a zero-income corporation, and pollution, there is no income earned, and no money changes hands beyond the payment of taxes.

    The tax code is sufficiently vague when it comes to items like this. The actions of the IRS during this episode, and episodes in the past, only buttress the point.
    No, the IRS specifies that income from all sources is taxable, unless specifically exempted. Since homerun baseballs are not specified, they're included in income.


    I repeat. You can tax a baseball's worth. You can tax the income it produces. But you cannot tax a baseball in and of itself.
    The IRS taxes the fair market value of the baseball, based on an appraisal.

    It was taxed when the baseball was sold, just as it should have been....period.
    Fortunately for you, the fair market value of the baseball equals the selling price in this case.


    This is unbelieveable. The US tax system is a voluntary system now? LOL!

    I am going to give you the opportunity for you to read and retract this statement, because I am going to give you the benefit of a doubt that you were somehow imparied when you made this statement.
    If you had studied US income tax law, as you claimed, you would know that the IRS, by its own admission defines itself as a system of voluntary compliance.

    Here's just one mention of it at irs.gov:
    http://www.irs.gov/app/understanding...on3/T1L3fs.pdf


    If the ball was subject to tax, it would have been taxed. End of story.
    Correct. It was taxed.

    What mythical lawyers you keep alluding to here? The ones named anonymous and "tax attorney"?
    Nope. No one named "anonymous."

    1) From the article, Alice Abreu of Temple Law School.

    2) "Tax Lawyer" says:
    It is not a gift for income tax purposes because it does not meet the disinterested generosity test of Duberstein. I see no exception in IRC Section 61 that would exclude it from gross income. The value of the ball would have to be determined by a qualified appraiser, but the appraiser would have to value the ball as of the moment of receipt, meaning that it would be valued without considering the later verification of authenticity. That value would be taxed as ordinary income and would establish basis. Once the ball is later sold, there would be capital gain on the difference between the basis and the amount received.

    3) "Tax Attorney" says:
    1. The fan has an income (windfall under section 61) at the moment she catches the ball and takes the ownership of it, and not when she sells it.

    2. The amount of income mentioned in Item 1 above is the fair market value of the ball at the time. (The fan may need to get an appraisal. For the tax treatment of the appraisal costs, see Item 5 below.)

    3. The income from catching the ball is ordinary income. It is not a self-employment income, however, because the ball as a windfall does not constitute renumeration in exchange for personal services.

    4. The profit upon sale of the ball is indeed a capital gain, and taxable at a lower rate if the fan satisfies the holding period. The ball should probably be treated as a collectible, however. Any long-term gain therefor should be taxable at 28 percent and not at 15 percent (or 20 percent if the sale occurs after 2008).

    5. Once the fan includes the income mentioned in Items 1 and 2 above, her basis is the amount that she included in her gross income in the year of catching the ball. In addition, she may increase her basis further with any appraisal costs paid or incurred and any costs paid to sell the ball (e.g., broker fees or commissions).



    4) "Tax Professor" says:
    The tax attorney who spoke before is correct. Under the Cesarini ruling and IRC Sec. 61, gross income includes “all income from whatever source derived” unless it is specifically excluded by the IRC. In Cesarini, the taxpayer found money stashed in an old piano; this money was considered “treasure trove”. This is practically identical to the baseball issue. The only difference is ability to pay the tax. However, I’m sure that with a little tax research I could find a tax court case where a taxpayer found a non-cash asset and had to pay tax before it was sold.

    In any case, the taxpayer will have to pay tax based on the FMV of the ball. The tax will be ordinary income. The amount of income recognized will be the taxpayer’s basis in the ball.

    If the taxpayer later sells the ball for a gain, it will be taxed as a capital gain; that is, short term rates (ordinary income) if held for under one year, long term rates (28 percent as a collectible) if over one year.

    If the taxpayer later sells the ball for a loss, it will be a capital loss - deductible against capital gains or $3,000 per year against ordinary income.

    This is a nice article; I’m going to pass it out to my classes this fall.


    Note that they all reference section 61, which says that income includes everything, unless specifically excluded.

    The IRS doesn't seem to think so.
    You keep saying that as if repeating it enough times will make it true. But the IRS has never said that a caught and kept baseball is not income.


    I have provided an article that provided critical analysis and contained quotes from an IRS representative. You have provided NOTHING except the commentary of someone by the name of "anonymous" and "tax attorney".
    Go read my posts from the beginning. I explained the law to you, and quite clearly. All of it was based on actual knowledge of how the US tax system works. It wasn't speculation. It wasn't guessing. It wasn't googled.

    You provided a link that supported my position. FOUR attorneys (who know what section 61 is) have argued that the baseball is income. NOT ONE LAWYER, not even anyone at the IRS, has said that the baseball is not income. Yet you hold onto the belief that there is some uncertainty about whether the baseball is income because a JOURNALIST implied that there were some open questions relating to the details of how the baseball is taxed, and because the IRS guy refused to be vilified by making a public statement about this case.


    The appraiser is going to have to demonstrate how he has arrived at the figure he submits to the court. A mere "guess" does not cut it despite what you say. The appraiser will use things like precedent and market climate to make the case for the price he cited.
    And if appraisers from the two sides disagree, then the court will have to make a judgement call.


    Again....debateable. There are two schools of thought as to whether or not the ball is a gift.
    There's a ton of case law on gifts, and a property given in the course of business doesn't qualify.


    The IRS supports me. Commentators named "anon.y.mous" and "tax lawyer" support you.
    The IRS has not stated an opinion on this case, as you have. Your repeated claims that the IRS supports you are absolutely false. The only one who might be on your side is a journalist.

    Four lawyers, none of whom is named "anonymous", agree that the baseball is taxable income.
  19. gojeda's Avatar
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    #39  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    You have to pay taxes to use your vehicle. I don't know what it is about that you don't understand.
    No....again, the NYC law is broad. "Use" is not a prerequisite. You do not have to use the vehicle, under this law, to be taxed.

    Furthermore, what does NYC tax code have to do with the IRS?

    You're very confused. Vehicle registration is the process of paying taxes on the car. It's not an independent "service" of the government which is taxed.
    The car is not being taxed. Taxes are paid on registration, not the car.

    No, the IRS specifies that income from all sources is taxable, unless specifically exempted. Since homerun baseballs are not specified, they're included in income.
    A baseball is not income. A baseball may produce income. Not the other way around.

    The IRS taxes the fair market value of the baseball, based on an appraisal.
    When the fair market value can be determined.

    Fortunately for you, the fair market value of the baseball equals the selling price in this case.
    No need to change the argument here. We are talking about if Murphy had held on to the ball, put it in a vault and had made no money off the ball whatsoever.

    I think everyone accepts that the value of the ball is determined when (and only when) it is sold and/or money is made off the ball - which was my point from the get go.

    If you had studied US income tax law, as you claimed, you would know that the IRS, by its own admission defines itself as a system of voluntary compliance.
    Sir, there is nothing voluntary about the US tax system. People are thrown in jail for not paying taxes. People are penalized for filing late. People are audited for being dishonest.

    The word voluntary is a misnomer here.

    <snipped quotes from web users professing to be tax experts>

    Sorry....the IRS is clear here, despite what "Tax Professor" has to say.

    If the taxpayer later sells the ball for a loss, it will be a capital loss - deductible against capital gains or $3,000 per year against ordinary income.
    That is assuming, of course, the value of the ball was determined - which was not.

    Note that they all reference section 61, which says that income includes everything, unless specifically excluded.
    The ball is neither specifically excluded, or included. Again, the ball can be construed to be a gift. Like I have said, there are two schools of thoughts on this.

    You keep saying that as if repeating it enough times will make it true. But the IRS has never said that a caught and kept baseball is not income.
    I am not sure how many times it needs to be repeated. The US tax code is sufficiently ambiguous when it comes to things like this. If the ball was clearly taxable, it would have been taxed. The fact that is was not taxed, and the fact that the IRS is hemming and hawing on the issues, means that there is doubt as to whether the ball can be taxed or not - under current tax laws.

    Go read my posts from the beginning. I explained the law to you, and quite clearly. All of it was based on actual knowledge of how the US tax system works. It wasn't speculation. It wasn't guessing. It wasn't googled.
    I suggest you re-read the article and familiarize yourself with why the IRS representative did not give an answer.

    You provided a link that supported my position. FOUR attorneys (who know what section 61 is) have argued that the baseball is income. NOT ONE LAWYER, not even anyone at the IRS, has said that the baseball is not income. Yet you hold onto the belief that there is some uncertainty about whether the baseball is income because a JOURNALIST implied that there were some open questions relating to the details of how the baseball is taxed, and because the IRS guy refused to be vilified by making a public statement about this case.
    Section 61 is the section dealing with gross income. NO ONE from the IRS has said the ball is subject to gross income....NO ONE.

    And furthermore, you should know that Section 61 specifies that you cannot be taxed on income YOU HAVE NEVER EARNED.

    So the question to you is when Murphy caught the ball - what income was earned?

    And if appraisers from the two sides disagree, then the court will have to make a judgement call.
    No they don't. The court does not have to do anything. No one has to do anything. The only one that has to do anything here is the IRS.

    Furthermore the judgement call can be appealed so that it is tied up in the courts for a long time.

    The IRS has not stated an opinion on this case, as you have. Your repeated claims that the IRS supports you are absolutely false. The only one who might be on your side is a journalist.
    The IRS has not stated an opinion on the case because, as the IRS represtantive said, the tax code is vague on matters like this.

    If the ball was evidently taxable, it would have been taxed, and the IRS would have said so.

    Furthermore, read this:

    There doesn't appear to be a precedent for the situation, and a pair of Bay Area tax experts disagreed on whether Murphy has cause for concern.

    Eric Rakowski, a law professor at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall, said the ball could be viewed as a windfall that is part of Murphy's income.

    "That might be the right view," Rakowski said. "Nobody knows whether it's the right view because the IRS refuses to say."

    Stanford law Professor Joseph Bankman called the prospect of Murphy being taxed before sale "almost an urban legend."

    "When an ordinary person," he said, "finds something that is valuable but not very liquid, and is hard to get the exact value of, we don't tax that person until sale."

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl.../BAGSRMMGJ.DTL
  20. #40  
    No....again, the NYC law is broad. "Use" is not a prerequisite. You do not have to use the vehicle, under this law, to be taxed.
    As I said, you have to pay taxes to use your vehicle.

    But this does contradict your earlier statement that you could store a vintage car without paying taxes.

    Furthermore, what does NYC tax code have to do with the IRS?
    You made a false, blanket statements about all taxes in this country, not about the IRS. This is one of many counterexamples proving your statement wrong.


    A baseball is not income. A baseball may produce income. Not the other way around.
    Back to a variant of my original analogy, if your boss pays you with his own paintings, which have never been sold, is that income? Do you owe the IRS any taxes?


    I think everyone accepts that the value of the ball is determined when (and only when) it is sold and/or money is made off the ball - which was my point from the get go.
    Why do you keep deliberately making false statements??? You already know that everyone doesn't accept it. Please stop it.

    Sir, there is nothing voluntary about the US tax system. People are thrown in jail for not paying taxes. People are penalized for filing late. People are audited for being dishonest.

    The word voluntary is a misnomer here.
    While there are reporting mechanisms to help verify that people report income from employers and financial institutions, there's still a large cash economy which the IRS can't closely monitor. For cash payments, such as tips, day labor, and gambling winnings, the IRS largely depends on voluntary compliance. And many people make their decisions on what they can get away with, rather than what the law is. For example, if you win $200 in a poker game with friends, that $200 is taxable as income under the law, and the law is very clear about it. But the chances of your being audited are slim, and even if you're audited, the auditor isn't likely to catch it unless you confess. So you're not going to go to jail or get penalized for breaking the law. This is what the IRS means by "voluntary."

    Using your logic, however, that $200 is not taxable income because the IRS did not tax it. But there's no basis for that claim. The lack of enforcement of tax law when it comes to poker earnings doesn't make it legal to not report it as income. Likewise, the lack of action on the part of the IRS with regard to the baseball means squat.


    <snipped quotes from web users professing to be tax experts>
    These lawyers cite the actual law at the core of the issue, and you ignore them. Obviously, you'd prefer disparaging them over actually responding to the merits of their arguments.

    Sorry....the IRS is clear here, despite what "Tax Professor" has to say.
    Here is the IRS's position on the subject:
    When asked, Mr. Korb hides his head in his hands and replies: "Please, whatever you do, don't ask me that question."

    Please provide the IRS statement that contradicts the four tax lawyers opinions.


    Again, the ball can be construed to be a gift. Like I have said, there are two schools of thoughts on this.
    Please explain how the baseball meets the disinterested generosity test in Duberstein. Thanks.


    I suggest you re-read the article and familiarize yourself with why the IRS representative did not give an answer.
    It's clear the guy didn't want to become the nation's villain by answering the question.

    Section 61 is the section dealing with gross income. NO ONE from the IRS has said the ball is subject to gross income....NO ONE.
    The IRS is not required to comment to the press on individual cases.

    You've argued, falsely, that the IRS supports your position. They don't. They haven't taken a public position on this. That doesn't mean the law is vague.

    One of the big issues that the IRS has been actively working on over the past decade has been improving its public image. They actually care what the public thinks of them. (Google it.) This factors significantly in their decisions about what cases they pursue and how they interact with the public. The comment on the McGwire ball drew widespread criticism, from the press, the public, Congress, and the White House; and for no benefit really. No one at the IRS wants a repeat of that.

    And furthermore, you should know that Section 61 specifies that you cannot be taxed on income YOU HAVE NEVER EARNED.

    So the question to you is when Murphy caught the ball - what income was earned?
    The fair market value of the baseball. We've gone over this many times. And it was also covered in the legal opinions which you ignored.


    The IRS has not stated an opinion on the case because, as the IRS represtantive said, the tax code is vague on matters like this.
    Please quote the IRS representative who said the tax code is vague on matters like this.


    There doesn't appear to be a precedent for the situation, and a pair of Bay Area tax experts disagreed on whether Murphy has cause for concern.

    Eric Rakowski, a law professor at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall, said the ball could be viewed as a windfall that is part of Murphy's income.

    "That might be the right view," Rakowski said. "Nobody knows whether it's the right view because the IRS refuses to say."

    Stanford law Professor Joseph Bankman called the prospect of Murphy being taxed before sale "almost an urban legend."

    "When an ordinary person," he said, "finds something that is valuable but not very liquid, and is hard to get the exact value of, we don't tax that person until sale."
    Both of them are responding to the question of whether there is cause for the fan to be concerned about IRS action.

    Rakowski interprets the law as saying it's taxable income, but acknowledges that the IRS hasn't stated what it would do.

    Bankman is talking about what you can get away with under our system of voluntary compliance, not what the law says. Note that he talks about "an ordinary person." But there's no special treatment in tax law for ordinary persons (aside from tests of simplicity), but they can get away with bending the rules because the IRS depends on voluntary compliance. "An ordinary person" wouldn't bother reporting earnings in a poker game, and "an ordinary person" wouldn't bother reporting income when they find an object of unknown value. And the IRS generally won't say or do anything about it in either case. That doesn't mean they're not taxable income.
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