Paul L. Caron

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Al Gore and the Nobel Peace Prize: Avoiding an Inconvenient Tax

What are the tax consequences of Al Gore's receipt of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize (shared with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)?  Had Gore not done any tax planning, the $1.8 million cash award would have been income to him.  From IRS Publication 525:

Pulitzer, Nobel, and similar prizes. If you were awarded a prize in recognition of accomplishments in religious, charitable, scientific, artistic, educational, literary, or civic fields, you generally must include the value of the prize in your income.

But Gore apparently planned in advance to take advantage of § 74(b):

Exception for certain prizes and awards transferred to charities Gross income does not include amounts received as prizes and awards made primarily in recognition of religious, charitable, scientific, educational, artistic, literary, or civic achievement, but only if—

  1. the recipient was selected without any action on his part to enter the contest or proceeding;
  2. the recipient is not required to render substantial future services as a condition to receiving the prize or award; and
  3. the prize or award is transferred by the payor to a governmental unit or organization described in paragraph (1) or (2) of section 170 (c) pursuant to a designation made by the recipient.

Gore announced on Friday:

My wife, Tipper, and I will donate 100 percent of the proceeds of the award to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan non-profit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion in the U.S. and around the world about the urgency of solving the climate crisis.

Since the Alliance for Climate Protection is a § 501(c)(3) organization and Gore meets the other § 74(b) requirements, the $1.8 million will not be included in his income. (Hat Tip:  Don't Mess with Taxes.)

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Nobel Peace Prize: NEW Global Warming Antiperspirant

AP – Al Gore has for a long time been full of hot air. He has a vivid imagination about the world around him. His inherent mistrust of the seasons seems to stem from an episode of the Twilight Zone, in which the Earth gets too close to the Sun. Summers are hot & sticky, and Al is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures needed to create a more effective global deodorant.

If college roommate, Tommy Lee Jones, could save the City of Los Angeles from errant magma (Volcano), and the world entire from a giant cockroach (Men In Black), then certainly big Al Gore deserves a prize for his global initiative to combat global wetness. The same active ingredient and trusted formula that kept our leaders dry during the Cold War – now in unscented. As the planet heats up, you don’t have to! Clinton tested: guaranteed to leave no trace.

Now that Global Warming has been legitimized, a “private group” out of Monterey California of all places, wants to seed the North Atlantic with iron oxide particulate, to help plankton absorb more carbon dioxide (greenhouse gasses). Strategy: “cleanup the planet and make a buck on the side.” Another inconvenient truth; here’s how their misguided scam to pirate the “Peace Dividend” sparked the worst terrorist attacks on United States soil:

Posted by: Peggy McGilligan | Oct 16, 2007 11:01:23 AM

Did Gore vote on this amendment? Maybe he was planning on winning the Nobel way back then!

Posted by: Milbarge | Oct 14, 2007 8:57:07 PM

It's morally repugnant that Nobel prize winnings are now taxed, it seems to me. Used to be that Nobel prizes were excused under IRS rules; but part of the mean changes in tax law to favor the rich included making the prizes taxable.

Surely there is a more noble way to run the government.

Posted by: Ed Darrell | Oct 14, 2007 2:08:27 PM