IRS Records Prove AROD is a Bad Guy in Boston

According to a recent Boston Globe review of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filings New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez is a bad guy. A Boston news source depicting a Yankee as a bad guy is hardly surprising. What interests me, as a tax attorney, is that the basis for hatred for Rodriguez this time is not baseball related; it is based on IRS records. According to the Boston Globe, nonprofit organizations are generally expected to donate 65 to 75 percent of their revenues to their designated charitable causes. The remainder of their revenues are supposed to be used to pay their necessary expenses and reasonable salaries of nonprofit employees. This was not the case for Rodriguez’s non-profit organization, according to the Globe.

In 2006, Rodriguez hosted a charity poker tournament that helped the A-Rod Family Foundation raise $403,862 for charity. How nice! However, according to IRS reports, barely 1 percent of the money raised were actually paid to charity. Specifically, only $5,000 was paid to Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund and only $90 was paid to a Little League baseball team in Miami; how charitable. The not for profit organization subsequently stopped submitting financial reports to the IRS, and was then stripped of its tax-exempt status. Again, AROD is a bad guy … no shocker … just surprised the revelation was tax based.

Hello Old Friend … Baseball is Here Again!

It’s finally here, and the San Francisco Giants are ready to defend their World Series title and the Tax Attorneys at Montgomery & Wetenkamp are ready to root them on. If you remember last year’s opening day, it was confusing; read about last year’s confusion here. This year, however, it’s simple; the season started with a national game on Sunday night (even if it was just the Battle of Texas more suited for a football matchup), and everyone else gets started today.

The only thing that irks me about this year’s opening day is the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants are again not getting to open the season at home against the Dodgers as World Champs. Even in 2011, the then defending World Champion Giants didn’t open at home, they opened in Los Angeles as they do today. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the best rivalry in sports, just we deserve an opening day at home, especially as the World Champs. Raising the banner and getting the rings in front of the Dodgers and their “fans” would be awesome.

On the other hand, we get to raise the banner and get the rings in front of the Cardinals, as we did in 2011, which is almost as good as sticking it to the Dodgers. However, the Cardinals did take it from the Giants in 2011 thanks to Scott Cousins. I guess I need to remember that baseball’s Opening Day is just one game… and since we open the season in Los Angeles, we get the bad guys at home to end the season; when the games really count. Play Ball and enjoy the story of the season…

 

Tax Considerations for MLB Free Agents

photo via mlbreports.com

Major League Baseball (MLB) free agents should consider the tax consequences of playing for a team located in a high tax state.  Players always go into negotiations with their agent at their side; should they maybe have a tax attorney on their other side?  Tax relief — it’s one of many variables that can be considered when changing teams, but it’s typically fairly low on the list of considerations.  Of course the teams located in states that do not have income taxes are going to flaunt that little benefit as much as possible (i.e., Seattle Mariners).

Due to Obama’s tax increase on salaries above $200,000 and the expiring Bush tax cuts,  taxes will increase for all MLB players beginning January 1, 2013, regardless of the teams they play for.  Thus, many free agents are negotiating for front-loaded deals that pay out as much as possible before the end of the year.  See full article for more information.

Superstitions helped win the 2012 World Series for the SF Giants

You read it here first on April 6, 2012 at http://www.mwattorneys.com/blog/?p=319; the San Francisco Giants were going to, and did in fact win the 2012 World Series. Thank you to those who did their part to defeat the Dodgers, Reds, Cardinals, and the Tigers. While superstition, as you will read below, will win you a sacred World Series Championship, it will not get you the tax relief you deserve.

Included in those who deserved a World Series Championship and who did their part are of course two time Cy-Young winner Tim Lincecum, the horse Matt Cain, Pablo Sandoval (no longer “strand’em all), ZITTO, all of Giants nation, and of course, the tax attorneys at Montgomery and Wetenkamp.

“How?” you ask, could the IRS tax attorneys at Montgomery & Wetenkamp possibly have played a role in this historic sporting achievement? I will tell you: Like many baseball fans and Giants fans, we are superstitious when it comes to baseball. Some of the pundits, who also picked the Tigers to win, disregard baseball superstition…. Well, don’t disregard the baseball gods. One of my favorite talking heads, Damon Bruce, of the Damon Bruce Show on KTCT 1050 during the playoff run, compared Giants’ fans superstitions to that of a nine year old’s wishes, or something of the like. Well, Damon, even though I am a fan of yours, I will disagree. Additionally, if you paid homage to the baseball gods, maybe your Chicago Cubs would win a title, or two…. like the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.

So, what superstitions did the tax attorneys at Montgomery & Wetenkamp do to win the ultimate baseball prize? Here is list, beginning well before the playoffs. However, our agreement with the Baseball Gods mandates that we don’t specify beginning dates, or ending dates of any of the listed superstition actions as some overlap and may still be ongoing through the off season:

  • Do not blog excessively about the San Francisco Giants’ dominance of the NL West;
  • Do not rub in Giants’ dominance of the Los Angeles Dodgers to those poor souls who are Dodger fans;
  • Do not wear black SF Giants jersey;
  • Only wear standard SF Giants cap with 2010 World Series patch;
  • Let game watching visitors only enter through the garage;
  • Do not wear game jerseys;
  • Do not change the baby’s clothes (diapers were okay);
  • Wear the same shirt during games;
  • Do not watch games live (use the DVR);
  • Watch the game live with baby on the lap;
  • Sit on the right side of the couch while watching games using the DVR (not live);
  • Don’t watch the game with the baby;
  • Use the San Francisco Giants 2010 World Series Championship beer mug to drink beer during the game;
  • Alternate San Francisco Giants 2010 World Series Championship beer mug with generic San Francisco Giants beer mug to drink beer during the game;
  • Alternate San Francisco Giants 2010 World Series Championship beer mug with generic San Francisco Giants beer mug to drink beer game to game;
  • Drink a beer with corresponding beer mug when the game actually starts, but do not finish. Stop drinking the beer by the time you watch the game on DVR, but keep some beer in the mug until the Giants’ next win…. then drink;
  • Do not let visitors in the house to watch the game in through the garage door;
  • Do not hate on the Dodgers;
  • Superstitions reset series to series;
  • No Visitors;
  • KNBR Radio coverage only – Do not watch the games on television (this was more or less out of necessity given the poor and biased broadcasting by Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. The worst commentators in the history of the game);
  • Wear 2010 National League Championship hat;
  • Wash a car during the game;
  • Wash a car during the game;
  • Do not wash cars;
  • Listen to entire game on KNBR outside (this included a severe rain storm);
  • Only go inside during commercial breaks;
  • Do not go inside ever!!!!;
  • Going inside is okay, only if changing diapers;
  • Do not wear socks or shoes, only sandals;
  • Socks are okay only for half the game… choose the half wisely;
  • There’s no such thing as superstition;
  • Eat standing up;
  • Wear 2010 World Series Championship hat;
  • There’s no such thing as superstition;
  • Do not gloat;
  • Do not eat;
  • Tape the KNBR audio feed in 90 minute increments, then sync up with the game on television using the DVR, then watch with the volume at “3” not muted;
  • There’s no such thing as superstition;
  • Do not gloat;
  • Visitors are Okay;
  • Watch games on the left side of the couch;
  • There’s no such thing as superstition;
  • Make sure that everyone you know, knows that your team won the World Series of Baseball.

Anyone who counted the Giants out was not paying attention to the team throughout the season let alone the post season. Anyways, these were the things the tax relief attorneys at Montgomery & Wetenkamp did to bring a World Series title home…. What did you do to bring the title home? Please comment to let us know…. it takes a village (to win a World Series).

The Giants celebrate their World Series win at Comerica Park on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 in Detroit, MI. Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle / SF

Perseverance Pays Off

It’s difficult to write about tax relief today after witnessing our beloved San Francisco Giants defeat the Detroit Tigers in a four-game World Series sweeeeeep!  What a dramatic series, and what an amazing season!  One of my favorite stories is that of Barry Zito, who didn’t even make the roster in the club’s 2010 World Series appearance.  He never gave up and battled back to become one of the KEY players in the Giants’ postseason.

Anyone who files a whistleblower claim must have similar tenacity and perseverance.  First it was Bradley Birkenfeld — who for his efforts and patience was awarded an unprecedented $104 million.  And now we hear of another whistleblower getting a cool $38 million from the IRS Whistleblower Office.  Only this time we don’t know the guy’s name and we don’t know the name of the firm with the illegal (or overly-aggressive) tax relief plots.  It is IRS policy to keep these details private so the individual may continue to work and maintain a somewhat normal life.  We only know about Birkenfeld because he agreed to allow the details to be publicized.

We have, however, heard from the whistleblower’s attorney who has expressed how pleased he is that the IRS has been able to keep things on the down low.  He gives the Whistleblower Office brownie points (1) for actually following through on a whistleblower payout, and (2) for doing so in a professional manner.

It’s All Star Election Season – Vote Early and Often…. With Your Validation Code

It’s almost July…. This means that it’s time to get the BBQ ready, buy some fireworks, and get your votes in for the MLB All Star Game. Although I’m an experienced tax attorney, I’m not THAT old… but old enough to remember using the punch cards at the ballpark to cast my All Star vote. Now, eligible voters (fans) can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com or via your mobile device until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET. So get your votes in for the National Leaguers who will play the Yankees, Red Sox, and Josh Hamilton.

Online voting is nothing new. It’s been around since… well the answer is actually not as easy to find as I thought it would be…. but it’s been around for some time. While stuffing the online ballot box today with various San Francisco Giants, under my various email addresses, completing a validation code for each vote; I began to ponder, is this another MLB annoyance similar to the Designated Hitter or Astro Turf, or do some people only cast one vote. Or, do people really change their votes. Really? More specifically, if MLB is going to give me 25 votes per email address to stuff the ballot, why make me spend 15 minutes to do it 25 times. Just give me the option to submit 25 votes one time per address. Alternatively, just give me the punch card at the ballpark.

As a side note, I know most San Francisco Giants fans want Matt Cain to start the All Star game. I’m never a fan of the Giant’s All Star game pitcher, ala Vida Blue, Atlee Hammaker, Rick Reuschel, Jeff Brantley, and Shawn Estes. On the other hand, in more recent years, with the exception of Tim Lincecum, there have been some decent All Star pitching performances. But why risk a pitcher from your own team? As a leaving note on Giants All Star Pitchers, the National League would have won the 2008 All Star game if Clint Hurdle would not have replaced Brian Wilson for New York’s lame arm extraordinaire Billy Wagner. Four years later, and it still bugs me.

 

 

It’s Baseball’s Opening Day!!!! – Sort Of

Baseball season is finally here! So if you follow this blog, you know that the Tax Attorneys at Montgomery & Wetenkamp, are San Francisco Giants fans first, then baseball fans second. Just like tax day is no longer April 15th; Baseball’s opening day has gone the way of the dinosaur. Worse however, is it is now confusing … just like taxes can be at times.

For those baseball fanatics reading this and thinking the season has already started, technically you’re right. It started in Japan last week with the A’s and the Mariners. After which they sensibly returned to spring training to play more exhibition games. Therefore, that was not opening day.

For those of you that aren’t on Japan time and missed those games, you may have thought the opening day was earlier this week on Wednesday when the Marlins opened their new ballpark against the Cardinals. Wrong again. The Marlins immediately jumped on an airplane and played the Reds on Thursday in Cincinnati. That’s not a home-stand and therefore not opening day. Same could be said about the Tigers and Red Sox who played Thursday just to have an off day Friday. This is the case with all of the teams that played Thursday, with the exception of the Dodgers and the Padres, who played the first game of their home-stand yesterday, and are shockingly playing today as well. You may be thinking, well that must count as a home-stand and must have been the real opening day. Wrong Again! If it involves the Dodgers, by rule, does not count.

That leaves us only to conclude that today, Friday, April 6, 2012, is Baseball’s official opening day for 2012 because the 2010 and 2012 World Champion San Francisco Giants are finally in the fight for the pennant. It’s sad that gone are the (opening) days where every team in the league has a 50/50 shot to be in first place after the 27th out.  However, at least the boys of summer are back.

Magic Buys Dodgers for $2 Billion

I sincerely regret having to mention both the Lakers and the Dodgers in the same post, but this is pretty big news, so I will make an exception.  Last night a financial group led by former LA Laker, Magic Johnson, purchased the LA Dodgers for $2 billion.  Some think this is just what the Dodgers need to breathe some life back into their ball club.

Important Baseball Start Dates

Today I asked Christian (my personal MLB knowledge source) when baseball starts and he said, “It depends . . .” then he proceeded to give me this long-winded, convoluted answer. I told him, “C’mon, it’s Friday.  Loosen up.  I’m not asking you for your legal opinion here.  Take your attorney hat off for just a second and answer my question!”

Then he had me take a look at MLB’s Important Dates link and I saw why he answered me like he did.  It really IS complicated!

February 19, 2012  –  Pitchers and Catchers report

February 29, 2012  –  First exhibition game: Florida State University vs. Philadelphia Phillies, Florida

March 2, 2012  –  First Spring Training game: Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics, Phoenix

March 28, 2012  –  First Regular Season game: Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics, Tokyo

April 4, 2012  –  Opening Night: St. Louis Cardinals at Miami Marlins

April 5, 2012  – Opening Day