NEW YORK (WFAN / WCBS 880) – The debate raged all weekend long and spilled over into Monday: if you were Christian Lopez, would you have given back Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit ball?
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The results were mixed, though now it seems Lopez will have to pay a hefty tax on the bounty he received from the Yankees in exchange for the prized piece of memorabilia.
According to the New York Daily News, Lopez, who admitted he owes more than $100,000 in student loan debt, may have to pony up between $5,000 and $13,000 to the IRS.
The New York Times calculated the superfan’s tax bill — for the Jeter autographed bats, balls and jerseys, four front-row seats on Sunday and four Champions Suite tickets for the remainder of the season — at around $14,000.
“Worse comes to worse, I’ll have to pay the taxes,” Lopez told the New York Daily News. “I’m not going to return the seats. I have a lot of family and friends who will help me out if need be.”
Lopez gave up his chance at selling the ball, valued by Steiner Sports at $250,000 on the open market. Now the 23-year-old Verizon employee wouldn’t mind a little help — maybe from the Yankees?
“The IRS has a job to do, so I’m not going to hold it against them,” he told the Daily News, “but it would be cool if they helped me out a little on this.”
If the Bombers turn a blind eye, Lopez will surely be dreading tax day.
As University of Cincinnati tax professor Paul Caron told the Times, “Pretty clearly he’s going to have to report as income the value of all the stuff he got for the ball.”
Should the Yankees give Lopez a hand with his tax bill? Sound off in the comments below…