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PostHeaderIcon Lucky Catch?

Maybe not.

The 21-year-old college student who caught Barry Bonds record-breaking home run ball may be in for a world of trouble with the IRS.

Tax lawyers fall squarely around the issue, some going with the common sense approach that, although the ball is estimated to be worth over $500,000 at auction, the ball is not income until it is sold.

Others claim the ball is taxable immediately, the same way treasure found diving in U.S. coastal waters is.

Still others claim that it is both immediately taxable (for approximately $210,000 in taxes based on estimated worth of $600,000) and subject to long-term capital gain taxes if the young fan waits more than a year to sell his prize.

Then there’s the question of how to determine the initial investment value of a ball the man caught for free…

For more on this silly (yet scary, and the IRS is refusing to comment thus far) tax question, check out the articles below:

WSJ Law Blog: Barry Bonds’ Ball

WSJ Journal Online: The Big Catch Could Have a Big Catch

TheStar.com: Mets fan could face big tax bill for snagging Bonds’ ball

KITV Honolulu: Fan Might Not Sell Bonds’ Historic Ball

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