When Bob Choate won a year's supply of coupons from Shipley's Do-Nuts at Astros Fan Appreciation Day in October, he "went up to the customer service window, fat, dumb and happy, and signed a form and picked up a fistful of certificates." Well, last month, the tax bill for free gluttony arrived. He owes taxes on $927.61 in winnings.
Now, the federal tax code says prizes worth more than $600 are subject to fair-market-value taxation. Thing is, he says he's only used eight coupons.
"I don't feel very appreciated. If I had known this was going to cost this much, I wouldn't have accepted. It was pretty poorly handled. I don't think (the Astros) thought a lot about their customers when they had their Fan Appreciation Day. I know I'm not going to get the full taxable benefits out of this, that's for sure."
To get his money's worth, Choate needs to gorge on 72,600 doughnut calories and 1,800 ounces of coffee. Waste not, bitch not.
'Lucky winner' at Astros game learns nothing is free [Houston Chronicle]
Fan Appreciation Day [Houston Astros]