Modell’s, Steiner, Miller help Lopez with taxes, loans

Yanks turned down K-Rod, not in on Beltran
Open Thread: 2011 Triple-A All-Star Game

When Christian Lopez decided to give Derek Jeter the ball from the Yanks’ short stop’s 3000th hit in exchange for Yankee schwag,, Lopez, as we discussed yesterday, may have inadvertently incurred a decent amount of tax liability on top the $100,000 in outstanding student loans he owes. Today, we learn that this story has a happy ending. As ESPN New York reported, Modell’s and Miller High Life have both offered to help out. The beer company said they would cover Lopez’s tax liability while Modell’s said a portion of sales of Yankee merchandise would help offset Lopez’s loans as well. Furthermore, as NBC’s Bruce Beck noted, Brandon Steiner and Mitchell Modell both guaranteed $25,000 for Lopez’s loan repayments as well. Good deeds sometimes do get rewarded.

Yanks turned down K-Rod, not in on Beltran
Open Thread: 2011 Triple-A All-Star Game
  • Rainbow Connection

    What about Jeter? (You know, the guy that makes hundreds of millions to hit a ball)

    • Horatio

      Does he still get paid to hit? I think it’s about being really sure-handed now.

    • mike c

      last time I checked jeter got a contract to pay baseball. unfortunately catching a ball in the LF bleachers doesn’t mean you deserve to get paid, especially if you’re too stupid to sell it

  • Xstar7

    I’m glad SOMEONE finally decided to help Lopez out.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      And it’s not even anyone related to the Yankees.

      • Pat D

        Ha! That was during Game 5 of the 2009 World Series.

      • Xstar7

        Hehe, yeah. Where were the Yankees during all of this?

  • Pastadivingarod

    If the boss was still alive this kid would be working in the yankees PR dept for paying off those school loans and earning good money. Not to mention comercials on YES

  • southeryankeefan

    Won’t every thing they pay be taxable as well to the extent it exceeds the yearly gift limitations?

    • NC Saint


    • Jetrer

      if its ruled income, it is taxable to him
      if its ruled a gift, its taxable to to gift giver to the extent it exceeds yearly and lifetime gift tax exclusions

  • Rich Mahogany

    These stories about Lopez “doing the right thing” are tiresome. There would have been nothing wrong with him selling the ball, so there is no “right thing.”

    These stories also make it seem like the IRS is attacking Lopez for no good reason. But he accepted season tickets in an area of the stadium that is off-limits to most fans in exchange for the ball, and he has decided not to return them despite the tax hit. He even suggests the IRS should “help him out.” The tickets and merchandise Lopez got – which he was free to decline – must be worth at least $20,000 based on the estimated tax hit. The IRS should not “help out” anyone who lucks into something worth $20,000.

    Also, something omitted from all these “helping out Christian Lopez” stories is that Lopez will have to pay taxes on all the “help” he gets. If Modell’s and Miller pay Lopez’s taxes, Lopez will owe taxes on those payments. He will also owe taxes on the $25,000 loan repayment. When someone else gives you something valuable for free, you have to pay taxes on it.

    • nathan


    • V

      “When someone else gives you something valuable for free, you have to pay taxes on it.”


      I won’t accept ‘because that’s how it is’ as an answer.

      This makes absolutely no fucking sense to me, not that much of this country’s government does. I should be free to give someone as much money as I want “just because” without making them pay taxes to a government that had nothing to do with said transfer. Let’s go to a VAT system or fair tax or something, but the status quo is beyond batshit fucking insane.

      • Coolerking101

        Actually the answer is very simple. If this country didn’t make you pay taxes on free gifts, within a week, every transaction would turn into a free “gift” one way or another.

        • Dean Travers

          Most transactions would not meet the legal definition of a gift.

      • Rich Mahogany

        Here’s my answer: because it’s fair. For the most part, the IRS does not play favorites when it comes to income. If you get something of value, it is income and you have to pay taxes on it.

        If I work for a year and make $30,000 in salary, I have to pay taxes on that $30,000.

        If I am lucky enough to catch a valuable HR ball and choose to exchange it for memorabilia and season tickets worth $30,000, I have to pay taxes on that $30,000.

        I presume you’re ok with the first concept (even if you don’t like some aspect of itm like tax rates). So what’s the difference with the second concept that makes it so nonsensical? Lopez willingly accepted season tickets that are wildly expensive and far beyond the price range of most fans. Why should he not get a tax hit for that, just like if he had won the lottery or sold the ball for $250,000? He didn’t even have to work to get the ball, he was just in the right place at the right time.

        If the IRS starts doing things like saying “We’ll give Lopez a break because he seems like a good kid and he gave Jeter the ball back,” then everyone who thinks he shouldn’t have to pay taxes on his income (i.e., almost everyone) will say “ok IRS, help me out too.” And that would defeat the purpose of classifying anything of value received as “income.” The tax code is messed up enough already.

    • Dean Travers

      Only the giver taxes on a gift; not the receiver

      • Dean Travers

        sorry–I meant only the giver pays taxes on a gift; and that’s only if they exceed their lifetime gift allowance

  • Will

    Good deeds? Uh, he got sweet seats that he could sell, plus some other stuff, for his “good deeds”. I don’t see how piling tens of thousands of dollars on this guy is anything more than good publicity for these companies. Good to see they have their charitable priorities straight.

    Also, how the heck do you incur $100k in student loans… and go on to become a cell-phone salesman?

  • Rich Mahogany

    Anything is possible in this economy. But according to this article, his loans are $150,000. Even at $100,000, I’d like to know what school(s) he attended – maybe Harvard undergrad and Yale law? That is some serious coin.

    • Benjamin Kabak

      He went to Sarah Lawrence. It’s one of the — if not the — most expensive schools around. That’s a lot of debt though.

      • http://YAHOO STEVE


        • NC Saint


    • dr mrs the yankee

      Private university, no merit or government aid, more than four years to finish his degree and taking out a lot more to cover non-college expenses such as apartment living I’d bet. It’s ridiculous but sadly not uncommon.

      Here’s tuition info for St Lawrence:

  • Dela G

    The cool part was the quotes from the miller high life people. It sounds like they really care about living the high life

  • Dela G

    the guy got a 2009 championship ring, as well?

    holy shit

  • mike c

    hopefully this is the last we have to hear about this kid

    • V

      Hopefully this is the last I ever have to read your bullshit. Go jump in a lagoon.

      • mike c

        tsk tsk, I’m going to tell your mom the kind of language you’ve been using on the internet. especially with that nice fancy laptop she bought you

  • Mike HC

    If you “give Jeter the ball back for nothing,” but in the back of your mind, you kind of expect/believe the Yanks and Jeter will hook it up with a bunch of stuff, and that the good deed will get you publicity and possibly other preferential treatment, is it really as noble as it is made out to be? Not saying this guy was thinking along these lines, but just a general, philosophical thought.

    • Mike HC

      It is kind of like politicians taking the fake high road.

    • OMG Bagels!

      I don’t think he thought he was getting all this swag in the two minutes it took him to realize he caught the ball and that he wanted to give it back. It would have been easy for him to just ask for lots of money and know what he was getting than offering the ball back without having a clue if he was getting anything other than to meet Jeter.

  • Gonzo

    Per Darren Rovell, he’s in the clear tax-wise from the free seats. He said the Yanks are the ones that have to pay the gift tax.

    • Coolerking101

      Well then Mr. Rovell needs a quick lesson on how taxes are paid on gifts. He’s very wrong.

      • Dean Travers

        If the Yankees rec’d something in return–then the seats would not be considered gifts; since Jeter and not the Yankees got the ball–I guess it could be argued that the seats are gifts to Mr. Lopez. In that case, the gift tax implications apply to the Yankees–as the donor is responsible for paying the gift tax. If you don’t believe–just look up the gift tax FAQ on the IRS website.

  • Rick

    Hypothetical on the “fair market value” of the Champions seats on the off chance we have any accountants and/or tax attorneys:

    If he definitely did incur income tax on the tickets(like, say, if he won a raffle for the seats), is there any guiding authority on whether he could use the below-face Stubhub prices on most of those seats instead of the face price in computing his windfall?