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In response to my link to a story on this topic, TMFTaxes replied:

But what I found interesting in the link to the story was the following:

<<But in fact, many tax professionals agree,however reluctantly, with the IRS' original spin on the issue. “The IRS is catching hell for trying to carry out the will of Congress,which writes the tax laws,” says Steven Reuschlein, a certified public accountant in Madison, Wis.

“It's pretty clear that the return of a ball in which the batter had no ownership in the first place would clearly be a gift under ordinary circumstances.”>>

I could be argued that the IRS did have it right, IMHO. But they soon realized that they were in the middle of a PR nightmare. And in a rare fit of common sense, decided to drop the issue.

But, as this story shows, IRS is damned if they do, and damned if they don't. Any wonder why moral at the service is as low as it has ever been?

I reply:

The remark you quoted is the reason I thought the link might be of interest, Roy. It seems to me, by the way, that the turnaround can be justified by arguing that a fan who simply gives the ball back immediately has never accepted possession in the first instance. Surely this would be the ruling if the fan simply threw the ball back onto the field. Wouldn't it? --Bob
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