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  1. gojeda's Avatar
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    #41  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    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.
    If you live in NYC. Again - I think we both know that government can enact a tax on almost anything. If US Tax Code was not vague on when taxes on the baseball apply, we would not be having this "discussion".

    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?
    Non-sequitur. The baseball is not a form of payment as are these hypothetical paintings.

    Secondly, no one says the ball's value is not subject to tax. The discussion is about when the tax is applied. Your assertion of consensus here is erroneous borne out by my two sources.

    But to answer you question above, the arrangement you specified above is essentially a barter transaction. As a result, both parties involved are subject to taxes.

    Why do you keep deliberately making false statements??? You already know that everyone doesn't accept it. Please stop it.
    I have demonstrated, using two sources now, that there is sufficient doubt as to whether the ball is taxable when caught. NO ONE has said the mere act of catching and keeping the ball is a tax liability.

    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.
    This is because the IRS does not have the resources in place to do so. Otherwise, it would scrutinize returns more than it does already.

    The computer age is closing the gap.

    For cash payments, such as tips, day labor, and gambling winnings, the IRS largely depends on voluntary compliance.
    There is no such thing as voluntary compliance. Waiters and gamblers are REQUIRED to report their winnings/earnings.

    A person either complies or does not. Whether he gets caught or not is another thing altogether.

    Using your logic, however, that $200 is not taxable income because the IRS did not tax it.
    And AGAIN you are assuming too much here.

    No....that $200 is taxable beginning with the fact that these are tangible and liquid earnings.

    These lawyers cite the actual law at the core of the issue, and you ignore them.
    Section 61 doesn't quite cut it...sorry.

    The IRS is not required to comment to the press on individual cases.
    The IRS is requied to answer questions on tax law, which this, essentially, boils down to. The fact that they did not was because there was sufficient doubt in the answer.

    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.
    The law is vague, and their inertia echoes the sentiment, sorry.

    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.
    US Tax code trumps "public image".

    Rakowski interprets the law as saying it's taxable income, but acknowledges that the IRS hasn't stated what it would do.
    False. Rakowski interprets nothing - and says that (the ball being taxable income) *MIGHT* be the right view.

    Bankman is talking about what you can get away with under our system of voluntary compliance, not what the law says.
    Nice "spin"....

    Bankman is talking about a pragmatic interpretation of the law. He supports the notion that, in cases like this, the ball is not taxed until it is not sold or income is made off of it.
  2. #42  
    I think we both know that government can enact a tax on almost anything.
    Wow, are you finally admitting that your blanket statement about taxes was wrong? That would be a first.
    Admission of being wrong, that is.

    Non-sequitur. The baseball is not a form of payment as are these hypothetical paintings.

    Secondly, no one says the ball's value is not subject to tax. The discussion is about when the tax is applied. Your assertion of consensus here is erroneous borne out by my two sources.

    But to answer you question above, the arrangement you specified above is essentially a barter transaction. As a result, both parties involved are subject to taxes.
    You admit now that property itself can be income, without having to generate cash from a sale - another big concession.
    And you had said a baseball is not income.
    To support this, you're trying to make a distinction about not being a form of payment, but the IRS doesn't recognize that distinction, at least not in that way. If you get something and it has value, then unless it is specifically exempted, it's taxed. One exemption is if it's a gift, but you have to let that argument go if you want to stick with your latest source. (And since you never answered how it meets the disinterested generosity test, I assume you've also conceded that point completely.)


    I have demonstrated, using two sources now, that there is sufficient doubt as to whether the ball is taxable when caught. NO ONE has said the mere act of catching and keeping the ball is a tax liability.
    Four lawyers say it's taxable income, including one quoted in the first article.

    There is no such thing as voluntary compliance. Waiters and gamblers are REQUIRED to report their winnings/earnings.

    A person either complies or does not. Whether he gets caught or not is another thing altogether.
    If it were "required," there would be consequences. For most people who cheat on their taxes, there is zero punishment.


    And AGAIN you are assuming too much here.

    No....that $200 is taxable beginning with the fact that these are tangible and liquid earnings.
    As you'd say, if it were taxable, the IRS would tax it. But the fact is, the IRS didn't tax it, so it's not taxable. Your logic.

    Section 61 doesn't quite cut it...sorry.
    Please respond to the content of the three legal opinions which cite section 61. Thanks.

    The IRS is requied to answer questions on tax law, which this, essentially, boils down to. The fact that they did not was because there was sufficient doubt in the answer.
    Please cite the law that requires the IRS to answer journalist questions about an individual's case. Thanks.

    False. Rakowski interprets nothing - and says that (the ball being taxable income) *MIGHT* be the right view.
    False. Rakowski had to interpret the law to reach that conclusion.

    Bankman is talking about a pragmatic interpretation of the law.
    That's right. He takes a practical approach and says the IRS isn't going to enforce the law, so the guy can do what he wants.



    Also, you had claimed that the IRS rep said the tax code is vague on this issue, and I asked you to provide a quote. Since you didn't provide a quote, should I take that as a concession that your claim was false?
  3. gojeda's Avatar
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    #43  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    Wow, are you finally admitting that your blanket statement about taxes was wrong? That would be a first.
    Admission of being wrong, that is.
    If you want to claim this small morsel as some sort of vindication about your view of the baseball...fine...

    Shall we get on to the matter of the baseball then?

    You admit now that property itself can be income, without having to generate cash from a sale - another big concession.
    I admit to what I have stated. Again - no one has denied that the ball has value. I repeat, the question is when taxes are applied.

    Why are you having so much trouble with this?

    And you had said a baseball is not income.
    And I still say that. The baseball is not income. You tax income, not the baseball. This is the important distinction that is precluding from addressing the problem in a critical manner.

    To support this, you're trying to make a distinction about not being a form of payment, but the IRS doesn't recognize that distinction, at least not in that way. If you get something and it has value, then unless it is specifically exempted, it's taxed.
    Again....who has ever said the ball cannot be taxed? This has been explained several times already and your penchant to mischaracterize the position will be highlighted each time you do so.

    Four lawyers say it's taxable income, including one quoted in the first article.
    None of the lawyers have said, without equivocation, the mere act of catching the ball is subject to tax liability.

    I think you need to accept this and move on.

    If it were "required," there would be consequences.
    A person is most certainly required to pay taxes, just like a person is required to adhere to the speed limit when driving.

    Because the IRS does not have the resources to go over each return with a fine tooth comb does not remove the fact that taxes must be paids.

    There is absolutely nothing of an optional nature here.

    For most people who cheat on their taxes, there is zero punishment.
    People are required to obey the speed limit, but most are not punished either.

    By your logic, are you saying then that people are not required to obey the speed limit because, chances are, they are will not be caught?

    By the way, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the idea of our supposed "voluntary" tax system, as told by the IRS:

    http://www.irs.gov/taxpros/article/0...#_Toc153765503

    As you'd say, if it were taxable, the IRS would tax it. But the fact is, the IRS didn't tax it, so it's not taxable. Your logic.
    My position was, and is, and will be - that the mere act of catching and possessing the ball does not mean he needs to pay taxes on the ball. This is not the same as saying that the ball is always tax free.

    If he was required to pay taxes on the ball, the IRS would have made that perfectly clear.

    Please cite the law that requires the IRS to answer journalist questions about an individual's case. Thanks.
    If citizen requires clarification of the tax code, the IRS is behooved to answer those questions.

    False. Rakowski had to interpret the law to reach that conclusion.
    Naught - Rakowski is completely ambiguous in his answer. He interprets nothing. His answer is one of complete doubt.

    That's right. He takes a practical approach and says the IRS isn't going to enforce the law, so the guy can do what he wants.
    There is no particular law to enforce under these circumstances. That is what he was saying.

    Also, you had claimed that the IRS rep said the tax code is vague on this issue, and I asked you to provide a quote. Since you didn't provide a quote, should I take that as a concession that your claim was false?
    I refer you to his words in the aforementioend NY Times article.

    I take it by your coy demeanor that you accept that the IRS is ambivalent on the matter on the basis that the Tax Code is not clear on the matter then?
  4. #44  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    If you want to claim this small morsel as some sort of vindication about your view of the baseball...fine...
    BIG morsel.

    I admit to what I have stated. Again - no one has denied that the ball has value. I repeat, the question is when taxes are applied.

    Why are you having so much trouble with this?
    Sorry, it's difficult to converse with you when you don't keep a consistent position.

    You say a baseball has to be sold to be income, but a painting is income in itself.

    You make up a new legal theory about a baseball not being a form of payment.

    You say, "You tax income, not the baseball." And then immediately follow with, "Again....who has ever said the ball cannot be taxed?" And then you accuse me of mischaracterizing your position.


    None of the lawyers have said, without equivocation, the mere act of catching the ball is subject to tax liability.
    Come on, gojeda. I'm sure you could stick to the truth if you really tried.
    From the first article:
    Some professors, such as Alice Abreu of Temple Law School, feel strongly the answer is clear. "It's taxable income" to the fan the instant that person catches the ball, Prof. Abreu replies.
    And "Tax Attorney" said:
    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.

    A person is most certainly required to pay taxes, just like a person is required to adhere to the speed limit when driving.

    Because the IRS does not have the resources to go over each return with a fine tooth comb does not remove the fact that taxes must be paids.

    There is absolutely nothing of an optional nature here.
    Except that millions of Americans choose not to pay their full tax obligation, without consequences. And it's not entirely a matter of resources. There's a lot of income they can't catch even in an audit.

    People are required to obey the speed limit, but most are not punished either.

    By your logic, are you saying then that people are not required to obey the speed limit because, chances are, they are will not be caught?

    By the way, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the idea of our supposed "voluntary" tax system, as told by the IRS:

    http://www.irs.gov/taxpros/article/0...#_Toc153765503
    I'm familiar with the argument used by tax dodgers who say that "voluntary" means they don't have to pay. I'm not making that argument.

    I'm just explaining to you why the IRS uses the word "voluntary." They recognize that they're dependent on the honor system.

    This is different from traffic laws in that the police can catch you speeding. There's no way to catch a waiter who reports only 90% of his tip income.

    If citizen requires clarification of the tax code, the IRS is behooved to answer those questions.
    We don't know whether the fan asked the IRS any question, and if so, what the answer was. We do know that the IRS begged a journalist not to ask him about this fan's situation.

    And to be clear, comments from the IRS don't have the force of law. While you can probably depend on their public statements to determine what rules they intend to enforce, any advice from the IRS is not binding in court. When people rely on bad information received from the IRS, the courts say, too bad.

    Naught - Rakowski is completely ambiguous in his answer. He interprets nothing. His answer is one of complete doubt.
    No. Complete doubt would be, "I have no idea."

    There is no particular law to enforce under these circumstances. That is what he was saying.
    You wish.

    I refer you to his words in the aforementioend NY Times article.
    You had claimed that the IRS rep said the tax code is vague on this issue. Please provide the quote. Thanks.


    I take it by your coy demeanor that you accept that the IRS is ambivalent on the matter on the basis that the Tax Code is not clear on the matter then?
    The tax code is very clear on this. But the IRS refuses to make a public statement for fear of public outrage.
  5. gojeda's Avatar
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    #45  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    You say a baseball has to be sold to be income, but a painting is income in itself.
    The painting is subject to tax because it has been bartered. Both parties in a barter transaction are subject to a tax.

    You make up a new legal theory about a baseball not being a form of payment.

    You say, "You tax income, not the baseball." And then immediately follow with, "Again....who has ever said the ball cannot be taxed?" And then you accuse me of mischaracterizing your position.
    Yes, the ball's value.

    Your logic that the ball 'in and of itself' is income is fine if slicing off the portion of the ball was acceptable form of tax renumeration.

    Except that millions of Americans choose not to pay their full tax obligation, without consequences. And it's not entirely a matter of resources. There's a lot of income they can't catch even in an audit.
    This still does not remove the fact that millions of Americans are in violation of tax law.

    I'm just explaining to you why the IRS uses the word "voluntary." They recognize that they're dependent on the honor system.
    It is a poor use of the word and, at the very least, needed to be qualified.

    This is different from traffic laws in that the police can catch you speeding. There's no way to catch a waiter who reports only 90% of his tip income.
    Of course there is. It is a question of surveillance.

    We don't know whether the fan asked the IRS any question, and if so, what the answer was. We do know that the IRS begged a journalist not to ask him about this fan's situation.
    The silence means that US Code tax code is sufficiently ambiguous. If it were not, then there would not be an issue here.

    No. Complete doubt would be, "I have no idea."
    When a person starts using words like "maybe" and "could be", that means they have no idea.

    You wish.
    Believe what you want. The reality is what it is.

    You had claimed that the IRS rep said the tax code is vague on this issue. Please provide the quote. Thanks.
    Again, I refer you to Mr. Korb's quote in the NYTimes article.

    The tax code is very clear on this. But the IRS refuses to make a public statement for fear of public outrage.
    Quite false. If the ball was taxable when caught, it would have been taxed. Accept it and move on.
    Last edited by gojeda; 11/08/2007 at 03:29 AM.
  6. #46  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    The painting is subject to tax because it has been bartered. Both parties in a barter transaction are subject to a tax.

    Yes, the ball's value.

    Your logic that the ball 'in and of itself' is income is fine if slicing off the portion of the ball was acceptable form of tax renumeration.
    You change your position with every post. And your strawman argument is not helpful.

    Fortunately, the IRS tax code hasn't changed over the course of this thread. Section 61 defines gross income as "all income from whatever source derived" unless specifically excluded. This includes income in the form of money and property. So unless you can find an exclusion for a baseball, it's income. There's nothing vague about this.

    The fair market value of the painting would be included in income, not as a barter, but as "Property transferred in connection with performance of services" under Section 83.

    The silence means that US Code tax code is sufficiently ambiguous.
    Your entire argument now seems to rest on the fact that the IRS refused to comment on a journalist's question about a specific case. But the IRS has no such obligation. And IRS commentary, as I said, has zero force of law. Their answers to questions, or lack thereof, would not relieve or impose any tax obligations already defined in the tax code.


    When a person starts using words like "maybe" and "could be", that means they have no idea.
    Come on. This is basic English.
    A person who has an idea says, the answer might be X.
    A person who has no idea can't suggest what the answer might be.


    Again, I refer you to Mr. Korb's quote in the NYTimes article.
    You still won't provide the quote because it doesn't exist. You had claimed: "as the IRS represtantive said, the tax code is vague on matters like this."

    But here's the reference in the article:
    When asked, Mr. Korb hides his head in his hands and replies: "Please, whatever you do, don't ask me that question."

    Your claim was FALSE. Again. Korb did not say that the tax code is vague.

    Since the IRS never said this, you're reduced to inferring that the tax code is vague because the IRS refused to answer. A more intelligent analysis would actually look at the tax code and explain what was vague about it. But you're unable to do that. (Remember, it doesn't matter if it seems vague to someone who doesn't understand the tax code.)

    If the ball was taxable when caught, it would have been taxed.
    Just as a waiter's unreported tip income would have been taxed if it were really taxable? Great logic.

    The ball is taxable. 4 out of 6 lawyers agree on that. The 5th thinks it might be taxable, but is unsure what the IRS will do about it. And the 6th doesn't say that it's not taxable, but says that as a practical matter, the guy can do what he wants.
  7. #47  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    You change your position with every post.
    Have you met gojeda?
  8. gojeda's Avatar
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    #48  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    You change your position with every post. And your strawman argument is not helpful.
    You keep saying that, but you haven't demonstrated how.

    Fortunately, the IRS tax code hasn't changed over the course of this thread. Section 61 defines gross income as "all income from whatever source derived" unless specifically excluded. This includes income in the form of money and property. So unless you can find an exclusion for a baseball, it's income. There's nothing vague about this.
    Unless you can demonstrate the the ball is income, and catching the ball is income, then section 61 doesn't apply.

    I think you need to read this important part of Section 61:

    “Except as otherwise provided in this subtitle, gross income means all income from whatever source derived, including (but not limited to) the following items: Compensation for services, including fees, commissions, fringe benefits, and similar items; Gross income derived from business; Gains derived from dealings in property; Interest; Rents; Royalties; Dividends; Alimony and separate maintenance payments; Annuities; Income from life insurance and endowment contracts; Pensions; Income from discharge of indebtedness; Distributive share of partnership gross income; Income in respect of a decedent; and Income from an interest in an estate or trust.”

    So I am going to ask you under what catagory the baseball falls under when it was caught.

    The fair market value of the painting would be included in income, not as a barter, but as "Property transferred in connection with performance of services" under Section 83.
    The operative word here being "fair market value".

    Secondly, the baseball was not part of a barter transaction.

    Your entire argument now seems to rest on the fact that the IRS refused to comment on a journalist's question about a specific case.
    And the fact that the fair market value of the ball was not determined. And the fact that the fair market value of the ball is in doubt. And the fact that US Code does not deal with the particular circumstances. And the fact that section 61 And the fact that the IRS did not move to tax the ball. And the fact that opinions, from people smarter than you or I, are sufficiently all over the place.

    Come on. This is basic English.
    A person who has an idea says, the answer might be X.
    A person who has no idea can't suggest what the answer might be.
    This is really ridiculous that I need to explain the meaning the word "maybe" to you.

    You still won't provide the quote because it doesn't exist. You had claimed: "as the IRS represtantive said, the tax code is vague on matters like this."
    "Whatever you do, please do not ask me that question."

    I will also cite another quote you conveniently did not bring up, but will repeat again here:

    "Everyone’s sure they know the right answer, but there’s very little agreement."

    ~Phillip Mann of Miller & Chevalier

    But here's the reference in the article:
    When asked, Mr. Korb hides his head in his hands and replies: "Please, whatever you do, don't ask me that question."

    Your claim was FALSE. Again. Korb did not say that the tax code is vague.
    If the tax code was not vague, then he would have given a more succinct answer.

    Just as a waiter's unreported tip income would have been taxed if it were really taxable? Great logic.
    Your the one sitting there saying that unreported income means the waiter does not have to pay taxes in it - and that makes our system "voluntary".

    The ball is taxable. 4 out of 6 lawyers agree on that.
    The ones named "Tax Attorney" I am sure
  9. #49  
    Unless you can demonstrate the the ball is income, and catching the ball is income, then section 61 doesn't apply.

    I think you need to read this important part of Section 61:

    “Except as otherwise provided in this subtitle, gross income means all income from whatever source derived, including (but not limited to) the following items: Compensation for services, including fees, commissions, fringe benefits, and similar items; Gross income derived from business; Gains derived from dealings in property; Interest; Rents; Royalties; Dividends; Alimony and separate maintenance payments; Annuities; Income from life insurance and endowment contracts; Pensions; Income from discharge of indebtedness; Distributive share of partnership gross income; Income in respect of a decedent; and Income from an interest in an estate or trust.”

    So I am going to ask you under what catagory the baseball falls under when it was caught.
    Basic English again. "including, but not limited to"
    As I've said several times now, section 61 includes everything, unless specifically excluded. This is a fundamental principle of US tax law.


    And the fact that the fair market value of the ball was not determined. And the fact that the fair market value of the ball is in doubt. And the fact that US Code does not deal with the particular circumstances. And the fact that section 61 And the fact that the IRS did not move to tax the ball. And the fact that opinions, from people smarter than you or I, are sufficiently all over the place.
    1. That's the obligation of the taxpayer. 2. It's up to the IRS to decide whether to challenge the fmv. Until it does, the only one doubting the fmv is you. 3. Section 61 includes all income, unless specifically excluded. 4. The IRS doesn't have to do anything. It's the taxpayer's responsibility to determine his tax obligations and pay accordingly. 5. We've covered this already. You're in no position to judge how smart anyone is, especially when it comes to tax matters. And the opinions of the quoted lawyers are pretty consistent.

    You seem to think that using the word "fact" a lot makes your argument seem stronger.


    This is really ridiculous that I need to explain the meaning the word "maybe" to you.
    I guess you're still having trouble with "idea" vs. "no idea."


    "Whatever you do, please do not ask me that question."

    I will also cite another quote you conveniently did not bring up, but will repeat again here:

    "Everyone’s sure they know the right answer, but there’s very little agreement."

    ~Phillip Mann of Miller & Chevalier
    You had claimed: "as the IRS represtantive said, the tax code is vague on matters like this." Are you still refusing to admit you were wrong??


    If the tax code was not vague, then he would have given a more succinct answer.
    So your argument is that you infer that the tax code is vague.


    Your the one sitting there saying that unreported income means the waiter does not have to pay taxes in it - and that makes our system "voluntary".
    I just demonstrated the fallacy in your assumption that everything taxable has been taxed, and you missed it.
  10. gojeda's Avatar
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    #50  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    Basic English again. "including, but not limited to"
    As I've said several times now, section 61 includes everything, unless specifically excluded. This is a fundamental principle of US tax law.
    I am sorry, what is the relevant verbage in Section 61 again? Still waiting.

    And the opinions of the quoted lawyers are pretty consistent.
    Consistently inconsistent, I suppose, is one way to put it.

    You seem to think that using the word "fact" a lot makes your argument seem stronger.
    Indeed it does.

    FACT: There is nothing in the US tax code that says the ball is taxable when caught.
    FACT: The IRS has been perfectly ambiguous as to whether or not the ball is taxable or not when it was caught.
    FACT: Tax lawyers' opinion are sufficently all over the place, indicating that no one really knows what the correct answer is.

    I guess you're still having trouble with "idea" vs. "no idea."
    I guess you still having trouble with the meaning of the word "maybe".

    You had claimed: "as the IRS represtantive said, the tax code is vague on matters like this." Are you still refusing to admit you were wrong??
    Why would I admit I am wrong when, in fact, the IRS was vague on the whole issue, as told by Mr. Korb himself?

    So your argument is that you infer that the tax code is vague.
    It is not only my arguement nor is it my only arguement.

    I just demonstrated the fallacy in your assumption that everything taxable has been taxed, and you missed it.
    The only fallacy that has been demonstrated, so far, is your assertion that there is no question about the matter when, in fact, experts (who, again, are smarter than you or I on these matters) have given conflicting opinions.
  11. #51  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    I am sorry, what is the relevant verbage in Section 61 again? Still waiting.
    “Except as otherwise provided in this subtitle, gross income means all income from whatever source derived, including (but not limited to) the following items:"

    I've explained this probably 4 or 5 times. I have to think you're just playing dumb now. You can't possibly misunderstand "including but not limited to" as you pretend. You can't possibly misunderstand "all income from whatever source derived." And you can't possibly misunderstand "except as otherwise provided."

    FACT: There is nothing in the US tax code that says the ball is taxable when caught.
    According to Section 61, it's taxable, unless you can find an exception for caught baseballs.

    FACT: The IRS has been perfectly ambiguous as to whether or not the ball is taxable or not when it was caught.
    The law is defined by the tax code, not by declined interviews with the press.

    FACT: Tax lawyers' opinion are sufficently all over the place, indicating that no one really knows what the correct answer is.
    We've gone over this. Four lawyers say the baseball is taxable when caught. None of them comment about what the IRS would do. One lawyer points out that the IRS hasn't made a public statement about what it would do, but says the baseball might be taxable. And one says the IRS likely won't do anything about it. They're pretty consistent in that if you got them all together in a room, they'd probably be in agreement about what the tax code says and what people generally get away with.

    Why would I admit I am wrong when, in fact, the IRS was vague on the whole issue, as told by Mr. Korb himself?
    It's pointless having a discussion with you if you insist on holding onto such dishonest positions. You made a false claim that the IRS said the tax code is vague. You based your beliefs on this false claim. And now you refuse to acknowledge the difference between your inference and an actual statement.

    The only fallacy that has been demonstrated, so far, is your assertion that there is no question about the matter when, in fact, experts (who, again, are smarter than you or I on these matters) have given conflicting opinions.
    First, your fallacy:
    You said, "If the ball was taxable when caught, it would have been taxed." In our system of voluntary compliance, as described by the IRS, the IRS doesn't proactively take tax payments for most income in the form of cash or property. It is the obligation of the taxpayer to calculate his tax obligations and make the appropriate payment. If he doesn't pay tax on certain income, that doesn't affect whether that income was taxable to begin with, as you imply.

    Second, your strawman about my "assertion."
    I don't say that there's "no question." I said the lawyers are pretty consistent, as noted above. (Before you introduced the second article, I had said all four lawyers were unanimous.)

    And I'm in general agreement with what the lawyers said. I only object to statements you've made, including, but not limited to, the following:
    • If the ball was taxable when caught, it would have been taxed.
    • The baseball is not income.
    • None of the lawyers have said, without equivocation, the mere act of catching the ball is subject to tax liability.
    • If he was required to pay taxes on the ball, the IRS would have made that perfectly clear.
    • There is no particular law to enforce under these circumstances. That is what he was saying.
    • NO ONE has said the mere act of catching and keeping the ball is a tax liability.
    • The IRS is requied to answer questions on tax law, which this, essentially, boils down to.
    • 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.
    • That is assuming, of course, the value of the ball was determined - which was not.
    • Again, the ball can be construed to be a gift.
    • And furthermore, you should know that Section 61 specifies that you cannot be taxed on income YOU HAVE NEVER EARNED.
    • 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.
    • A mere "guess" does not cut it despite what you say.
    • The IRS supports me.
    • The value of the ball is indetermineable until it is determined. Hellooooo?
    • 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
    • If the IRS won't act, it is because the tax code is sufficiently non-conclusive. Simple as that.
    • The cost of manufacturing the is only monetary value that can accurately ascribed to the ball - until it is sold or income is derived.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • The appraiser is not going to have an answer other than, "It was a guess."
    • 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.
    • The tax courts would be the first to say that the ball's value cannot be determined.
    • An appraiser would have no idea what price to put on it, which is the point here.
  12. gojeda's Avatar
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    #52  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    “Except as otherwise provided in this subtitle, gross income means all income from whatever source derived, including (but not limited to) the following items:"

    I've explained this probably 4 or 5 times. I have to think you're just playing dumb now. You can't possibly misunderstand "including but not limited to" as you pretend. You can't possibly misunderstand "all income from whatever source derived." And you can't possibly misunderstand "except as otherwise provided."
    I think you still have not demonstrated how catching the ball qualifies as income.

    Still waiting...

    It's pointless having a discussion with you if you insist on holding onto such dishonest positions.
    I am still waiting on the salient Section 61 passage.

    You made a false claim that the IRS said the tax code is vague. You based your beliefs on this false claim. And now you refuse to acknowledge the difference between your inference and an actual statement.
    As opposed to your false assertion that the ball is taxable when it was caught, when expert opinion remains wholly divided on the matter?

    You said, "If the ball was taxable when caught, it would have been taxed." In our system of voluntary compliance, as described by the IRS, the IRS doesn't proactively take tax payments for most income in the form of cash or property.
    Yet another dishonest assertion.

    The IRS, in fact, does proactively tax individuals all the time.

    If you are a gambler and make a sizeable amount of money from gambling, you will get caught.

    If you have won the lottery, the IRS takes its cut even before you get the money.

    It is the obligation of the taxpayer to calculate his tax obligations and make the appropriate payment. If he doesn't pay tax on certain income, that doesn't affect whether that income was taxable to begin with, as you imply.
    I never made this claim. Why are you trying to attribute this to me when nothing of the sort was ever said?

    Second, your strawman about my "assertion."
    I don't say that there's "no question." I said the lawyers are pretty consistent, as noted above. (Before you introduced the second article, I had said all four lawyers were unanimous.)
    Which, again, is a dishonest assertion. Your four lawyers (the ones named Anonymous, Tax Attorney, Tax Lawyer) were all in the comments section. The attorneys (the real ones that it) in the article were sufficiently all over the place in their opinions.
  13. #53  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    I think you still have not demonstrated how catching the ball qualifies as income.

    Still waiting...
    I think I've explained it clearly several times now. Go read the thread again if you still don't get it.


    I am still waiting on the salient Section 61 passage.
    That's great.


    As opposed to your false assertion that the ball is taxable when it was caught, when expert opinion remains wholly divided on the matter?
    My statements were true. As I explained, all the lawyers would likely agree on what the tax code says and what the taxpayer would get away with.


    Yet another dishonest assertion.

    The IRS, in fact, does proactively tax individuals all the time.

    If you are a gambler and make a sizeable amount of money from gambling, you will get caught.

    If you have won the lottery, the IRS takes its cut even before you get the money.
    My statement was true. You just don't read very well.
    1. I said "most."
    2. The IRS doesn't take a cut in advance of most gambling winnings.
    3. Lottery winnings generally aren't paid out in cash, despite all the green imagery in their advertisements.


    I never made this claim. Why are you trying to attribute this to me when nothing of the sort was ever said?
    You said: "If the ball was taxable when caught, it would have been taxed."

    Which, again, is a dishonest assertion. Your four lawyers (the ones named Anonymous, Tax Attorney, Tax Lawyer) were all in the comments section. The attorneys (the real ones that it) in the article were sufficiently all over the place in their opinions.
    My statement was true. Perhaps you don't understand how this works. To accuse me of dishonesty, you first need to find something I said which is false. Instead, you take my true statements, and make more false claims about them.

    Your claim about four lawyers in the comments section is FALSE. Your claim about one being named Anonymous is FALSE.
  14. gojeda's Avatar
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    #54  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    I think I've explained it clearly several times now. Go read the thread again if you still don't get it.
    No, I think you need to quote tax law here, since you have asserted that the tax code is, unequivocally, on your side here.

    My statements were true. As I explained, all the lawyers would likely agree on what the tax code says and what the taxpayer would get away with.
    So now it is "likely"? Where is this likelyhood you keep speaking of?

    2. The IRS doesn't take a cut in advance of most gambling winnings.
    Any wire transfer resulting from gambling greater than $10,000 is most certainly taxed proactively.


    3. Lottery winnings generally aren't paid out in cash, despite all the green imagery in their advertisements.
    They aren't? What are they paid out in then - baseballs?

    You said: "If the ball was taxable when caught, it would have been taxed."
    And this is true. If the act of catching the ball was taxable, it would have been taxed.

    My statement was true. Perhaps you don't understand how this works. To accuse me of dishonesty, you first need to find something I said which is false.
    Your assertion of consensus from tax lawyers, for example? Your assertion that tax code is ambiguous, yet you cannot honestly quote tax code to support the position?

    Your claim about four lawyers in the comments section is FALSE. Your claim about one being named Anonymous is FALSE.
    It is quite true...and the NY Times article, and subsequent commentary, is there for all to see. No need being evasive.
  15. #55  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    No, I think you need to quote tax law here, since you have asserted that the tax code is, unequivocally, on your side here.
    I already did. You haven't specified what you're confused about.

    Any wire transfer resulting from gambling greater than $10,000 is most certainly taxed proactively.
    That's not cash. The reason I specified cash and property is that the IRS generally cannot track payments made with cash and property.

    They aren't? What are they paid out in then - baseballs?
    They typically pay with a check. Even if you showed up with a wheelbarrow, I doubt they'd pay you in cash.

    Your assertion of consensus from tax lawyers, for example?
    You're relying on journalists to interpret legal issues. The Bertrand Russell quotation from the other thread is doubly relevant here.

    The first four lawyers stated an opinion on whether the baseball is taxable when caught, and they were unanimous. The last two lawyers responded to a question of whether the fan had "cause for concern." That question involves not just what the tax code says, but what the IRS will likely do about it. You assume that what the IRS collects equates to what the law says, but that's a bad assumption. There's actually a wide gap between what's owed and what's collected.

    There are a couple references to disagreement among lawyers, but the journalists are vague. You assume that the disagreement pertains to the issue of whether the code says the ball is taxable when caught. But there are other details that the lawyers may disagree about, such as what the cost basis would be.

    Your assertion that tax code is ambiguous, yet you cannot honestly quote tax code to support the position?
    You're confusing my position with yours. That's your assertion. And I've quoted the relevant tax code, but you keep claiming otherwise.

    It is quite true...and the NY Times article, and subsequent commentary, is there for all to see. No need being evasive.
    Again with the false claims. What is wrong with you? Is it your deliberate strategy to make me waste half my time in every post correcting you? There was no NY Times article in this thread. Alice Abreu of Temple Law School was quoted in the first article unequivocally stating that the baseball was taxable when caught. She was not a commenter, and she was not named Anonymous.
  16. #56  
    This has sure been fun. I have questions pertaining to the ball as income. Samkin seems to be asserting that the fan who caught the ball is somehow now responsible to pay tax on it simply because he caught it because the ball is somehow considered income.

    If that is actually what is being said here, why are IRS agents not stationed at all baseball games and why are taxes not collected from all ball catching fans as they exit the stadium?
    If said fan had several identical balls in his possession and the "special ball" was not different or distinguishable upon inspection would the fan then be taxed on all the balls?
    If he threw the ball in the trash on the way out would he still be taxed, since it seems that the act of catching the ball is what qualified it as income?
    Where in the course of the balls flight from the end of the bat to the fans hands does it convert to income?
    For what event or action is the fan being compensated for with this income ball? If it is related to game attendance why are the rest of the fans not compensated and taxed? I have been to many major league games and have not been thusly compensated or taxed. Have I just been lucky or should I expect the IRS to eventually catch up with me?

    I believe these to be valid questions. Please answer them as such.
  17. gojeda's Avatar
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    #57  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    I already did. You haven't specified what you're confused about.
    Regurgitating the line "the ball is taxable" is insufficient. Please cite tax law.

    That's not cash.
    A wire transfer is the electronic transfer of cash.

    You're relying on journalists to interpret legal issues. The Bertrand Russell quotation from the other thread is doubly relevant here.
    I have relied on lawyers not named "Anonymouis", "Tax Attorney", and "Tax Lawyer"....but real people who work with large tax law firms as well as a representative from the IRS.

    The first four lawyers stated an opinion on whether the baseball is taxable when caught, and they were unanimous.
    You keep repeating this, but I am still waiting for this consensus you speak of.

    Please cite the consensus among lawyers not named "Anonymous", "Tax Lawyer", and "Tax Attorney".

    There are a couple references to disagreement among lawyers, but the journalists are vague. You assume that the disagreement pertains to the issue of whether the code says the ball is taxable when caught. But there are other details that the lawyers may disagree about, such as what the cost basis would be.
    Wait a second, a paragraph ago you said there was consensus, now you are refereing disagreement among lawyers. Which is it? Can you please stick to one story please?

    You're confusing my position with yours. That's your assertion. And I've quoted the relevant tax code, but you keep claiming otherwise.
    Indeed, because you have yet to cite relevant tax code. You keep bringing up section 61, but I am still waiting for the verbage that says the ball is taxable when caught.

    Please state relevant tax law, and please cite this mythical consensus among lawyers you keep harping on about.
  18. #58  
    Woof,
    Those are valid questions. Thanks for interrupting the thread. I got tired of it long ago, as I'm sure many others have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woof View Post
    If that is actually what is being said here, why are IRS agents not stationed at all baseball games and why are taxes not collected from all ball catching fans as they exit the stadium?
    1. The IRS depends on a system of voluntary compliance. It's rare for the IRS to police events.
    2. It wouldn't be practical since the balls would first need to be appraised, and the fans wouldn't likely be able to pay anyway.
    3. It wouldn't be cost effective for the IRS, since most caught balls at most games aren't worth much.
    4. If the IRS did that, the public and Congress would likely call for the removal of the IRS commissioner.

    If said fan had several identical balls in his possession and the "special ball" was not different or distinguishable upon inspection would the fan then be taxed on all the balls?
    If the homerun ball were completely indistinguishable, it would be worthless, right? Who would buy it without assurance that it's special?


    If he threw the ball in the trash on the way out would he still be taxed, since it seems that the act of catching the ball is what qualified it as income?
    This is actually very similar to the Mark McGwire baseball scenario. An IRS spokesperson was asked what would happen if a fan caught the ball, and then later gave it as a gift back to McGwire. The initial answer was that the fan would be taxed on the ball as income, but later after huge reaction from the public, and especially Congress, the IRS reversed itself, saying that the situation was more like when a person declines to accept a prize.

    Throwing the ball in the trash would probably be like the McGwire hypothetical ball and be treated like a declined prize.


    Where in the course of the balls flight from the end of the bat to the fans hands does it convert to income?
    The court's test for income is when the taxpayer has full ownership and his wealth increases by a knowable amount.

    For what event or action is the fan being compensated for with this income ball? If it is related to game attendance why are the rest of the fans not compensated and taxed? I have been to many major league games and have not been thusly compensated or taxed. Have I just been lucky or should I expect the IRS to eventually catch up with me?
    There's no requirement in the tax code that income be compensation for a service. For example, if you find a painting on the street or win a door prize, your gain is taxable even though you did nothing to earn it.

    On the other hand, if you receive something in compensation for a service, it automatically cannot be excluded from income as a gift. To qualify as a gift, it needs to meet the test of "detached and disinterested generosity."
  19. #59  
    gojeda,
    I'll continue this dialogue only if you:

    1. Accurately list the lawyers I cited in this thread.
    You repeatedly insist that one of them was named "Anonymous" (as if the username really matters), even after I corrected you twice. It's the intellectual equivalent of name calling. Replacing the real username with your fake name may entertain you, but it adds nothing to the discussion.

    2. Show that you understand what Section 61 means.
    Your response to the legal opinions that cited it was that section 61 doesn't "cut it." If you could intelligently describe how section 61 has been interpreted by the IRS and the courts with regard to income in the form of property, we'd have something to discuss. If you don't understand Section 61, you're in no position to claim that it doesn't cover caught baseballs.

    3. Admit your mistakes.
    Every time I correct you, you ignore it and move on to make more mistakes. It's very tiresome. Every one of your posts should begin with a list of mistakes that you made in the previous post.

    4. Specifically, admit that your claim that the IRS said the tax code was vague is false.
    If you can't distinguish between your inference and confirmed reality, then this discussion is pointless.
  20. gojeda's Avatar
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    #60  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    gojeda,
    I'll continue this dialogue only if you:

    1. Accurately list the lawyers I cited in this thread.
    You repeatedly insist that one of them was named "Anonymous" (as if the username really matters), even after I corrected you twice. It's the intellectual equivalent of name calling. Replacing the real username with your fake name may entertain you, but it adds nothing to the discussion.

    2. Show that you understand what Section 61 means.
    Your response to the legal opinions that cited it was that section 61 doesn't "cut it." If you could intelligently describe how section 61 has been interpreted by the IRS and the courts with regard to income in the form of property, we'd have something to discuss. If you don't understand Section 61, you're in no position to claim that it doesn't cover caught baseballs.

    3. Admit your mistakes.
    Every time I correct you, you ignore it and move on to make more mistakes. It's very tiresome. Every one of your posts should begin with a list of mistakes that you made in the previous post.

    4. Specifically, admit that your claim that the IRS said the tax code was vague is false.
    If you can't distinguish between your inference and confirmed reality, then this discussion is pointless.
    1. I suggest, instead, that you stop making wild claims about tax law - yet fail to properly cite relevant tax law to prove the point. I will remind you here that it was you, not me, who made specious claims using Section 61 as the foundation.

    2. I suggest to you that lawyers by the name of "Anonymous" and "Tax Attorney", who decided to respond to the cited WSJ article in the comments section, is a poor basis from which to accurately gauge taxation implications surrounding Barry Bond's baseball.

    3. I suggest you recant your assertion of "consensus" among tax lawyers when no such consensus exists (and, furthermore, proven not to exist).

    Until then, there is no further need to continue the discussion. You can believe what you want, even if it incorrect and thoroughly unsupported.
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