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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Foster's will flow

The lucky young man who caught the Bonds home run ball is a New Yorker -- a Mets fan! -- who was in San Francisco on a layover for a flight to Australia. He says he and a co-traveler, a Yankee fan, are going to split the proceeds of the ball 51-49. They bought their game tickets at the last minute, apparently from a scalper. At last report, the ball -- worth around a half million dollars -- is "under lock and key" somewhere, and the trip Down Under is still on.

Comments (7)

NB: no one in Australia drinks Foster's (at least that I ever saw). They all mock it. Which is stupid, because most (non-Foster's) Aussie beers are just as bad.

A guy from Queens might start by ordering a Foster's anyway.

They probably haven't cracked a Fosters after hearing about their newfound tax liability...

There is no tax liability. The IRS announced back in the Mark McGwire days that the catcher of the historic ball has no income until he or she sells it. Whether that's right or wrong as a matter of theory is debatable, but if the IRS doesn't care, the lucky guys don't have to. More here.

Yahoo had an article about the tax liability this morning I thought you would enjoy.


Even if he does not sell the ball, Murphy would still owe the taxes based on a reasonable estimate of its value, according to John Barrie, a tax lawyer with Bryan Cave LLP in New York. Capital gains taxes also could be levied in the future as the ball gains value, he said.

Don't believe everything you read on Yahoo. If the kid keeps the ball, the IRS will never pursue this.

I heard one argument today that Mr. Murphy could claim he "received" the Property (the ball) at the bottom of the "scrum" prior to Barry Bonds crossing the plate, thus technically not a Home Run Ball, but an ordinary ball, not unlike a "foul ball" when he took possesion.
With the $40 Invetment to get into the stadium (the ticket), less the fair market value of a major league baseball at $3, he incurred a net capital loss. :)
Boy Jack, I admire you with all this tax knowledge. It's quite confusing to us regular, everyday layman.....

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