Earlier this week in a posting entitled Could Dealing With the IRS Become An Olympic Sport we compared the IRS position with regard to Olympic Medals s vs. the IRS position with regard to Oscar Statuettes awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at its annual Academy Awards Ceremony.
In that previous posting, we pointed out the IRS agreed to value the Oscar Statuette not at its fair market value on the open market but rather its nominal value after the Oscar recipient signs an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences agreement not to sell the Oscar Statuette. That is, not to value the statuette at the price one might expect to pay on E-Bay or at an auction house, but instead simply the price of the materials used to make it.
Going one step further is the case pending before the United Sates Tax Court of the Estate of Ileana Sonnabend, Deceased, originally scheduled for trial on October 22, 2012 although that trial date has been continued. In what appears to be consistent with the IRS original view of the Oscar Statuette of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the IRS is seeking to value an art sculpture that includes a stuffed bald eagle which the Petitioners believe was killed and stuffed during the time of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. Since it is illegal to sell bald eagles the issue is whether the value is nominal because it cannot be sold on the open market or some other value which the IRS has computed as $65,000,000.00. It has been speculated the sculpture could command a higher value if the IRS considers its value on the Black Market.
For more information on this or other tax law concerns, contact Horowitz & Weinstein.