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Should Derek Jeter Be Asking for a Stake in the Yankees?

Fay Vincent is making the suggestion that sports stars, like DJ, should be negotiating for shares of their respective teams.

My question is why sports figures are not taking steps to generate tax-favored income by bargaining to get ownership interests in their teams. Imagine how much better off old timers like Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris would have been if they had been able to obtain even tiny shares of the Yankees franchise in 1961. In today’s context, it is true enough that the tax rate on capital gains income may soon rise to 20%—but that’s still far below the rates levied on top income earners.

Since Vincent – a former entertainment lawyer – has been around the block with big-time earners, he might be on to something here, although maybe the Steinbrenners aren’t interested, being the shrewd business family that they are (George died in a year with no estate tax for crissakes). Since neither Jeets nor the Yanks are budging in the negotiations, this idea could work. It’ been floated in the Times so it’s not like this option is a huge secret. Make something happen, people.

By most accounts, Jeter wants to finish his career in New York and the man has been the franchise for over the last decade. Forget the cash, ask for shares and save on some taxes. It’s not complicated.

Okay, maybe it’s a little complicated.

Accounting News Roundup: BP’s Tax Break Could Bring Congressional Belly Aching; Steinbrenner’s Will Postpones Decision Estate Taxes; KPMG Foundation Awards Minority Scholars | 07.28.10

BP Seeks Tax Cut on Cleanup Costs [WSJ]
“In releasing second-quarter results Tuesday, the London-based oil giant said it was taking a pretax charge of $32 billion to cover damages, business claims an the next several years.

That total will be offset against its U.S. tax bill, resulting in a $10 billion reduction in taxes, the company said. The tax reduction will cut the company’s anticipated net spill-related losses to $22 billion, the company said.

BP paid $10.4 billion in taxes world-wide last year, according to its 2009 annual report.

Tax experts said that BP’s filing reflected standard accounting practices, even if the sums involved were unusually large.”

The Boss’ will power [NYP]
“The Boss’ will stipulates that an undisclosed portion of his estimated $1.1 billion sports, shipping and racehorse-breeding fortune will go into a trust for his widow, Joan, 74.

And it assigns Steinbrenner’s lawyer, Robert Banker, to decide whether that trust pays federal estate tax for this year, or not until after Joan Steinbrenner dies.

Although there currently is no federal estate tax for 2010, that could change if Congress acts to close the loophole and enacts such a tax retroactively, putting Steinbrenner’s estate on the hook for $500 million or more.

But under the law, Banker would have nine months from Steinbrenner’s July 13 death to decide if the estate should pay estimated estate tax for a 2010 filing — or at the rate in effect whenever Joan dies. Banker can take another six months before deciding to make that move permanent.”

LinkedIn Value Tops $2 Billion After Tiger Global Investment [Bloomberg]
“Tiger Global Management LLC, a hedge fund founded by Chase Coleman, paid $20 million for a stake in LinkedIn Corp., valuing the professional-networking website at more than $2 billion, said two people familiar with the matter.

The purchase, at $21.50 a share for about a 1 percent stake, was from existing shareholders and doesn’t represent new investment, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the sale has not been disclosed. LinkedIn, based in Mountain View, California, is closely held.”

Sexy SAP? Surely not!! [AccMan]
SAP is known for helping HUGE companies manage all of its resources including CRM, accounting, HR, etc. etc. with enterprise solutions. There’s no chance that a huge company like this with a slew of mega corp clients could have something sleek and flexible for your small business, right? Dennis Howlett would beg to differ:

“SAP has a reputation of being big, heavy, slow and expensive. Fine for the Nestlé’s and Colgate-Palmolive’s of this world but hardly a fit for an SME business. That’s simply not true. ByDesign can be used by companies as small as 10 users. 20 users would be nice but 10 is OK. If you’re moving from say Line 50 then implementation and data transfer can be handled for less than £10K. You’re going to do a good amount of work yourself in learning how this thing works but SAP has provided plenty of guided learning material to help.”

Including a video that DH has up over at AccMan today. So simple, the editor of an accounting blog can understand it. No more excuses, people.

KPMG Foundation Awards $470,000 in Scholarships to 47 Minority Accounting Doctoral Scholars [PR Newswire]
“The KPMG Foundation [on Tuesday] announced it has awarded a total of $470,000 in scholarships to 47 minority accounting doctoral students for the 2010–2011 academic year. Of the 47 scholarships, the Foundation named 12 new recipients and renewed 35 existing awards. Each scholarship is valued at $10,000 and renewable annually for up to five years.”

IRS Demands $45 Million From Billionaire McCombs [Forbes]
Clear Channel founder and former Minnesota Vikings owner, “Red” McCombs finds himself in a similar pickle with the IRS as Phil Anschutz.

George Steinbrenner’s Final Win: The Estate Tax?

By now most of you have heard that George Steinbrenner passed away this morning at age 80. We’d ask that you to wait at least a few hours before you start dispensing with the Costanza or GS quotes in Larry David’s voice (“Big Stein wants an eggplant calzone!”) but we realize not every one was a fan of the Boss.

The silver lining in Big Stein’s death is that since the estate tax still remains in limbo among the hallowed walls of Congress, his $1.1 billion fortune (Forbes’ latest ranking) could possibly pass to his heirs tax free.

It’s an especially well-timed passing if you read yesterday’s morbid Wall St. Journal article. If you didn’t happen to read it, the article more or less made the case for every wealthy person to give serious consideration to paging Jack Kevorkian, taking a nice warm bath with a toaster or whatever their preferred method of self-imposed death would be.

Steinbrenner is the third billionaire to pass on to the big baseball diamond in the sky (btw, can someone up there keep him away from Billy Martin?) this year – Walter Shorenstein and Dan Duncan are the others – and if the family is as shrewd about their money as they are about their baseball team, they will likely fight any retroactive provisions in the new estate tax (assuming it ever passes).

As with mentioned in the Duncan post, we hope that the Steinbrenners are able to keep their fortune; not because we’re opposed to taxing the rich (just ask AG), it’s because we’re opposed to an incompetent and impotent Congress who allowed the estate tax to expire in the first place. Besides, GS went out with the Yankees as reigning champs, so it seems fitting that he gets a final win against the tax man as well.

RIP Big Stein.

George Steinbrenner, Yankees’ Owner, Dies at 80 [NYT]