Heard about the man, Christian Lopez, that caught Derek Jeter’s 3,000 hit baseball? Lopez, quite an admirable man, decided to give the baseball back to Jeter. The Yankees in turn gave Lopez some nice gifts. Now the federal government wants Lopez to pay taxes on the gifts. Not kidding.
For his gesture, Lopez was rewarded by the Yankees with luxury box tickets for the rest of the season (including postseason), along with signed baseballs, bats and jerseys from Jeter. In addition, Lopez received four premium front-row seats to last Sunday’s Yankees-Rays game.
The IRS will likely consider Lopez’s gratuities from the Yankees as income, and if so, he could end up having to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $13,000 in taxes, according to the New York Daily News. The New York Times, meanwhile, says the face value of the tickets to the remaining 32 regular-season games at Yankee Stadium are worth anywhere between $44,800 and $73,600. The paper’s conservative estimate puts Lopez’s tax bill at $14,000.
“Worse comes to worse, I’ll have to pay the taxes,” Lopez told the Daily News on Monday. “I’m not going to return the seats. I have a lot of family and friends who will help me out if need be. The IRS has a job to do, so I’m not going to hold it against them, but it would be cool if they helped me out a little on this.”
The man did a good deed in returning the baseball to Jeter. And the IRS, of course, has to get their greedy hands involved. Heaven forbid Lopez be rewarded for his act of kindness.