If you are a baseball fan you are well aware of the fact that all season long New York Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter has been chasing down the 3,000th base hit of his illustrious career. If you are not a huge fan of America’s pastime, to put this accomplishment into its proper perspective consider the fact that in the entire history of major league baseball just 27 players had accumulated 3,000 hits over their careers when this season began. It takes a great deal of sustained excellence to achieve this feat.
On Saturday, July 9th Jeter did indeed become the 28th major league baseball player to collect hit number 3,000. It was a home run launched into the left field bleachers of Yankee Stadium off David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays, and it was caught by a 23-year-old fan of the Bronx Bombers by the name of Christian Lopez.
The ball was the legal property of Lopez and baseball memorabilia experts placed its value at around $250,000, but of course things are ultimately worth whatever someone is willing to pay for them. So we will never really know exactly how much Lopez could have gotten for the ball had he chosen to sell it on the open market.
Rather than selling this valuable personal property, Lopez gave it to the Yankees with no demands for anything in return. They gave him some top-notch season tickets for the rest of this season as a token of their appreciation along with some signed Yankee gear.
Those items may well cost Lopez a considerable amount of money. If the IRS deems the acquisition of the seats and the gear to be income, CNN is reporting that Lopez may be liable for around $14,000 in taxes on income estimated to be worth about $120,000. If this transfer is considered a gift it would fall under the gift tax exemption and no taxes would be due.
This situation underscores the reason why you would be wise to consult with a financial planning attorney before making any decisions with tax implications when you are arranging for the transfer of property.