Home Run Balls a Tax Nightmare?

Next time you try to catch a valuable home run ball, you might want to consider what the curent tax law says.

The bidding on Barry Bonds’ 755th and 756th home run balls stayed quiet over the holiday weekend with the current offer on #755 at $72,600 and #756 settled–at least for now– at $177,156.

Adam Hughes and Matt Murphy, the two fans who consigned the balls to SCP Auctions will cash a nice check, even if the items don’t break auction records. Yet the IRS will likely walk away with over 1/3 of the proceeds and even if the balls hadn’t been sold, you might be surprised to learn that current tax laws are not very ‘collector friendly’.

Most tax pros reluctantly concede that under current law, the fair market value of the ball is taxable income to the fan the instant that person catches the ball.

Ball hit by Barry Bonds for his 756th home run Meanwhile, PSA/DNA added its authentication to both Bonds balls before they were launched in the auction.

"We have marked these important baseballs with a synthetic DNA strand that only can be seen when illuminated by a specific laser frequency,” said Joe Orlando, President of PSA/DNA

"The DNA ink has an astronomical 1-in-33 trillion chance of being accurately reproduced by potential counterfeiters. We’ve used the same method to certify other historic sports items including footballs used in the last nine Super Bowl games and Mark McGwire’s 70th home run baseball.”

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