Fan Who Gave Back Ball from Derek Jeter’s 3,000th Hit Could Face Between $5,000 and $13,000 in Taxes
When Christian Lopez caught the home run that was Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit last week, he gave the historic ball to the Yankee’s shortstop without asking for any money, even though it may have fetched over $100,000 on the open market. The taxman isn’t being so generous with Lopez.
To reward Lopez for returning the ball, the Yankees gave him a luxury suite at Yankee Stadium for the rest of the season, as well as signed memorabilia. The gifts are valued at about $32,000, and tax experts expect the IRS to classify that as income, and charge Lopez between $5,000 and $13,000 if he accepts.
“Worse comes to worse, I’ll have to pay the taxes,” Lopez told the New York 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 Yankees or Jeter could also pay the taxes for him, which would probably be the happy ending this feel-good story deserves.