We here at Umpbump were a bit, uhm, apathetic towards the whole 756 thing. Can’t blame us, we’re Bonds-ed out and the instant re-runs of said home run are not helping.
Obviously, we’ve also stayed away from blogging about Matt Murphy, the 21-year-old Queens, NY native and Mets fan that caught the ball. (That he even held on to it is amazing, did anyone see that one dude in the orange shirt just crowd-surf 10 or 12 rows down to the spot where the ball landed? That takes skill.)
Anyway, Murphy said he was doing a 51-49 deal with his buddy:
“I’m going to be smart about what I do with it,” said Murphy, when asked about his plans. “Funny enough, I’m only keeping 51% of what the ball brings. The rest goes to my pal Amir Kamal, who was with me.”
Well, you may wanna rethink that deal kid, cuz it turns out you’re carrying a helluva lot of taxable income right now:
As soon as 21-year-old Matt Murphy snagged the valuable piece of sports history Tuesday night, his souvenir became taxable income in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service, according to experts.
“It’s an expensive catch,” said John Barrie, a tax lawyer with Bryan Cave LLP in New York who grew up watching the Giants play at Candlestick Park. “Once he took possession of the ball and it was his ball, it was income to him based on its value as of yesterday,”
By most estimates, the ball that put Bonds atop the list of all-time home run hitters with 756 would sell in the half-million dollar range on the open market or at auction.
That would instantly put Murphy, a college student from Queens, 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 Barrie. Capital gains taxes also could be levied in the future as the ball gains value, he said…
Dude; just when you thought you had “won the lottery” as you said, here comes the Man to take all your money.
You could go to Australia, as you planned all along, and never come back. I doubt the IRS is going to fly half-way around the world just to catch a tax evader, even if you now are in the highest tax bracket.
Then again, you can sue the hell out of the IRS on the constitutional grounds of their taxation on your newly-caught taxable income. Hey, you may even win:
Attorney Tom Cryer, who hasn’t paid taxes in 10 years, thinks income tax “is a sham,” and argued in court that the current tax laws don’t apply to personal earnings, reports the Shreveport Times.
Cryer created a trust listing himself as the trustee, and received payments of dividends, interest and stock income to that trust, according to the indictment. He also was accused of concealing his receipt of the sources of income from the IRS by failing to file a tax return on behalf of that trust. “I determined that my personal earnings were not 100 percent profits, some were income,” Cryer said.
While Cryer agrees he has income, the U.S. Attorney’s office was apparently unable to prove that income equals taxable revenue.
So there you have it Matt. All you gotta do is create a shady trust fund in your name (or even on your buddy’s name) sell yourself that ball for nothing and voila, they can’t touch you.
Note: Nothing in this post should be regarded as professional tax advice. This is merely a satire of the delicious irony that is our bureaucratic government and all its ramifications.