Paul L. Caron

Monday, September 4, 2006

Lederman on Tax Consequences of Supreme Court Bobbleheads

Oconnor_bobblehead_1 Rehnquist_bobblehead_4Leandra Lederman (Indiana) has posted The Federal Income Tax Consequences of the Bobble Supreme Phenomenon on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

Since 2003, the Green Bag Journal has been commissioning and distributing limited edition bobblehead likenesses of the Justices of the United States Supreme Court. Demand for the bobble Supremes has not been limited to existing recipients, and bobble longing has inspired purchases and even poetry. Given the importance of the bobble Supreme phenomenon to the national economy, the time has come for guidance on the tax consequences of their receipt, ownership, and transfer. Fortunately, draft proposed regulations on the federal income tax treatment of bobble Supremes recently surfaced. Although the regulations have not and never will be officially sanctioned (and, worse yet, are in Q&A format), they provide that they will affect owners and custodians, former owners and custodians, and prospective owners and custodians of bobble Supremes, as well as anyone who does not read them in full and send them to ten friends. Public comments on the proposed regulations are solicited by mail or via a website provided for that purpose; written or electronic comments must be received by April 16, 2007 to be assured of consideration.

For prior TaxProf Blog coverage, see:

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The answer to one question is assured. Receipt of a Supreme Court Bobblehead cannot conceivably be "income" under the 16th Amendment -- as interpreted by the DC Circuit in Murphy -- because any value associated with such artifacts is a return of human capital.

Posted by: Jake | Sep 4, 2006 6:46:52 PM