Monday, January 29, 2007

The hits keep coming

Here's another example from the MSM under the rubric of "stuff you can't make up."

Apparently Brian Emmett, who had won a "flight to space" in a loudly promoted public contest in 2005, believed he had to "give up his seat" because he wasn't able to pay the taxes on his "winnings."

Well, I try to use polite, high-road language on this forum, so rather than say what I truly feel, I'll just say that poor Mr. Emmett was..."misinformed".

The fact is, the so-called "prize" he won has no cash retail value of any kind. Why? Because commercial space tourist flights - other than the $21 million a pop Soyuz excursions to ISS, which arguably do not fit the definition - simply do not exist.

Emmett should not have been liable for any tax whatsoever until the day he could actually claim a real seat on a real rocket that was really going somewhere. Those do not exist, yet. Not Rocketplane, not Virgin Galactic, not anybody has anything that is blessed by AST and ready to take paying passengers. And until they do, his "prize" is just a blank sheet of paper, with about the same cash value as that deed to Mars acreage I bought from that guy a few years back, just for fun.

However, should a real seat actually materialize in 2009-11 timeframe, Emmett would have had 4-6 years to set aside enough personal savings to pay the tax.

Think he was disappointed when he gave up his seat? Imagine his chagrin should he read something like this and realizes he did so for no good reason??


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same thing. I do not have to pay taxes on the letters I get from Ed McMahon saying I have won $10 million. A little different I know, but until you have the prize delivered, you should not have to pay taxes.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 9:31:00 AM  

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