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Let's say that I pay a $25.00 tip on a $5.00 bill because I know the waitress is a hard working single mother struggling to get by in my neighborhood, when a dollar or two would be typical. This excess contribution above the "fair market value" of the service provided in this case seems roughly the same as a gift in my mind.

Applying logic to your argument, always dangerous when considering tax law, I think it falls apart. Should you pass on the street a stranger who's pushing a pram and holding a cup out to passersby and decide to give her a $20, that's a gift. Your connection with the waitress remains the service she's providing.

Continuing the food service and transfer of money in films basic theme, while veering slightly, let us consider It Could Happen to You. Gift? Tip? Partnership?



P.S. See how much fun this can be? C'mon over to VITA. You'd love it.

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