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Should Catching a Baseball Be Taxable Income?

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posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 05:15 PM
According to a tax lawyer, as soon as Matt Murphy caught the 756th home run ball by Barry Bonds, he was instantly responsible for paying taxes on a ball that may be worth $600,000.

College Student Who Caught Bonds Ball Tells 'Today' He May Not Sell

Selling the ball for that amount would instantly put Murphy in the highest tax bracket for individual income, where he would face a tax rate of about 35 percent, or about $210,000 on a $600,000 ball.

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.

If somebody catches a ball like this and only makes $30,000 a year, he wouldn't even be able to keep it, even if he wanted to, due to the taxes he would have to pay to keep the ball.

I don't think the IRS should be able to tax items like this unless they are sold! Then the IRS can get there cut.

It's ashame our government is sooo greedy that the average citizen can't even keep a piece of sports history they caught at a ballpark because they couldn't afford to pay the taxes on it!

posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 05:19 PM
I read this earlier today. I think a good lawyer could have this overturned. You pay your admission, you get your souvenir. This one just happens to be worth a lot of money. Are they going to tax every child that takes home a baseball? This is BS imo.

posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 05:20 PM
IMO they shouldn't tax him even if he sells it. What a crock this government is. Greedy bastards with their hands out always wanting a piece.

Oh and how about the part where a family member dies and they've once again got their hand out. "Sorry your dad died, but we gotta take 40% of the inheritance".

Greedy heartless bastards indeed. I'd like to know where the citizens of the USA decided on such ridiculous taxes. Because I really don't believe that the majority would think it's just.

It's time we had another tea party.

posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 05:29 PM
i also agree.
not to mention who's to say how much its worth? to me the baseball even if it is the home-run record one is worth next to nothing. a baseball collector/enthusiast and the like that ball is probably worth a whoe lot.

so as i said who's to say how much it is worth. unless of course they tax you after you sell it for such and such price.

but taxing merely because its in your posession is ridiculous.

posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 05:37 PM
All that money is going to congress' mortgages, new fancy cars, and
what ever large business' demand.
This is such a terrible structure because this means whenever you win the
government will win too. When you lose then you lose alone.
This tax money is not going anywhere special, US will still be in debt
somehow even if every person wins $50,000. Why? simply because your
law makers, higher power are most corrupted by greed and power.

posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 05:40 PM
Yeah, I heard this on the radio this morning. It seems like how they are going to approach this is still up in the air. There are conflicting laws concerning how thie type of issue is dealt with, from what I understand.

posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 05:45 PM
If you had to pay the tax, and say you lost the ball what would the
outcome bring?

posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 06:22 PM
Will the government tax Matt Murphy according to income, or profit? If it is considered income and he sells the ball in order to pay the taxes, while maintaining some wealth, will he also have to pay taxes on the profit received from selling it? These are strange laws. I suppose if he doesn't want to give up the ball and is unable to pay the taxes that he could join forces with Ed Brown

posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 06:27 PM
Well, according to the story I read, he was piled on by 30 people. The police got him out, face and body scraped up. So if they want their tax money, fine. Let him sell it, pay the 40% tax BUT he gets to beat the crap out of 30 IRS employees. That's gotta be worth a $1/4 mil.

posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 06:33 PM

Originally posted by intrepid
Well, according to the story I read, he was piled on by 30 people. The police got him out, face and body scraped up. So if they want their tax money, fine. Let him sell it, pay the 40% tax BUT he gets to beat the crap out of 30 IRS employees. That's gotta be worth a $1/4 mil.

Lol, I agree with you %100! But I hope he does not have to pay taxes
on it. Just think of it as a congressman catching the ball, you guys think
he would have to pay taxes on it? I am sure it would get waived before they
even tell him his options.


posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 06:33 PM
Its really a very stupid situation to the average person looking at this.

If they guy keeps the ball he just got, he might not be able to pay taxes on it. So hes forced to sell it.

Its like the taxes in this case are there just to get the ball into rich peoples hands to me, as in, the only people who can afford to pay the taxes and own the ball.

Taxes are no different than the Mafia:
Keep it, you have to play big bucks.
Sell it, they take a 30% cut.
Loose it, and you may as well disapear from the country cause "they" will be watching your every move.

posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 06:42 PM
Yeah, it doesn't make a lot of sense on the surface of it.

It would be like if I was digging an outhouse pit in my back yard and dug up a gold nugget the size of a chihuahua. Now, gold is theoretically worth a certain amount of cash per ounce, but I only realize that money if I sell it. It's not worth diddly squat if I don't sell it. So even though I have this big chunk I don't realize any kind of "income" unless I sell it or borrow against its worth.

No, it doesn't seem fair. I guess the only thing to do is abolish the government.

posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 01:23 AM
I say he gets the ball and shoves it up an IRS agents A##. The IRS is unconstitutional anyway. Burn them all at the stake.

posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 03:14 AM
you pay in increase in property taxes on your house when the county re- assesses and raises the valuation of your home.

this is much the same, although this is personal property which typically always depreciates thus the IRS has no interest in tracking things that are worth less value.....

If you really want to make $500k or $600k or a million dollars off of a $2.00 baseball because of the "story" attached to it. Then you should share the wealth to the government....

Its only a $2.00 ball remember, the valuation of the ball is like virtual world reality in Second Life. It does not "really" exist.

You are getting this large sum of money for nothing, that ball is the same as a ball you can buy at walmart and smack a time or two.

I don't know, maybe the pitcher threw a special serialized baseball that had bonds name on it typed in gold letters and stamped with the exact inning it was thrown in. And just so happens that is the ball that made the record home run.... Ok so then you might have something a little different then your $2.00 baseball.

But something tells me on the inside and outside of this baseball its identical to the probably 20 or 30 other baseballs used that night (or more).

Now personally I think its a total scam that the IRS can insist that he pay an assumed value taxation on the ball. Really if he wants to keep it he should ink some portion of the ball or drill a small hole in it. Then simply tell them the ball has no value as it was destroyed on accident.

He has the ball and it would be a very interesting court battle.

posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 03:23 AM
would the IRS charge him with a crime, a crime in which he purposely altered or destroyed his personally property in an effort to "cheat" the government ?

Actually better yet, the IRS should file a law suit on behalf of the stadium or baseball organization or team for lost property in possession.

Then he could be charged with a crime of withholding personal property of the team or venue.

He could be instructed by the court that he must return the baseball.

Which of course would then mean the team could auction off the ball to the highest bidder.

(Although this might cut some of the game attendance being so disrespectful to the very fans the support their multi-million dollar salaries.... )

What if you were playing baseball in your yard and the ball goes over the fence out towards the street and a random passerby catches it "hey I caught it, so its mine right"

But you paid for the ball, you were playing with it and ok it went over the fence, but the passerby did not pay for it.... so who owns the ball then....

posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 03:26 AM
If you go to a high school basketball game and the ball somehow comes into the stands and you catch it.

Are you then allowed to just walk out and say "hey I caught it its mine".

"oh look you were playing with that, but I caught it so its mine now..."

Somehow I do not think that would hold up in court...

I am afraid he must face the reality that if he wants to make some money the risk is he has to play by "their" rules.

posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 04:10 AM
Now can we see how idiotic income tax is? Please?

posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 06:34 AM
And what about Bonds?

Are the IRS tax vultures circling to add his bat to his income too?

Surely that is a huge unrealized capital gain?

Tax lawyers. Disgusting.

posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 07:13 AM
I'm going to say this is nonsense. For starters, there will be a taxable gain when he sells it. He'll pay capital gains tax on the net selling price. Long term if he holds the ball for more than a year, short term rates for anything less than a year. That's not an issue.

Catching that ball doesn't necessarily mean he's responsible for taxes on the value of the ball. For starters, it would imply that every penny you pick up on the street, every case of "finders keepers" would result in a taxable event and that is b.s. That would mean that every single ball caught in every single game would be taxed based on the value of the ball hit. Rather, the taxation would come when someone sells the ball. The cost of said ball would be nil. Well, if you want to try and save a few nickels, you might say it cost you the price of the ticket, the cost to park, the food at the park etc but that won't amount to much in the grand picture.

you sell the ball, subtract selling costs and any costs to obtain the ball and then you pay the tax.

If anything, the ball is a gift from MLB, The Giants, Bonds, etc. If it wasn't, then the ball would be the property of the team, the league, the player etc and every ball hit into the stands would have to be inventoried and returned after each game.

If you catch a home run ball and it is considered a taxable event, wouldn't the same be true for going out to dinner and running into Ali and having him sign a menu? That menu now has a value of a few hundred bucks at the very least.


posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 08:42 AM
no income should be taxable. But to indulge, if the tickets had taxes, then that's the tax. Period...

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