IRS wants $29 million in estate taxes for bald-eagle sculpture that … can’t legally be sold

posted at 9:45 pm on July 23, 2012 by Allahpundit

That’s one way to increase tax revenue from the rich. If you can’t get Congress to pass the Buffett Rule, why not just start taxing phantom income instead?

They want their money, even if you don’t get yours.

The object under discussion is “Canyon,” a masterwork of 20th-century art created by Robert Rauschenberg that Sonnabend’s children inherited when she died in 2007.

Because the work, a sculptural combine, includes a stuffed bald eagle, a bird under federal protection, the heirs would be committing a felony if they ever tried to sell it. So their appraisers have valued the work at zero. But the IRS takes a different view. It has appraised “Canyon” at $65 million and is demanding that the owners pay $29.2 million in taxes…

While art lovers may appreciate the IRS’ aesthetic sensibilities, some estate planners, tax lawyers and collectors are alarmed at the agency’s position, arguing the case could upend the standard practice of valuing assets according to their sale in a normal market. IRS guidelines say that in figuring an item’s fair market value, taxpayers should “include any restrictions, understandings, or covenants limiting the use or disposition of the property.”

The owners inherited a cool $1 billion in art from their mother but have had to sell nearly $600 million worth to cover the federal and estate taxes. As for the eagle, they can either (a) keep it and come up with $29 million, (b) sell it and go to jail for that, (c) refuse to pay the tax and go to jail for that, or (d) accept the feds’ valuation and come up with the $29 million, then donate the sculpture to charity and take a relatively small charitable deduction every year for the next … 75 years. I’m honestly curious to see if the IRS backs down now that there’s been some media attention to this or if they figure, as their boss does, that the public’s sufficiently hostile to rich people that they can play hardball here by demanding a tax on an asset that can’t legally generate income. Which way are we betting? Let me know in the comments!


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I wouldn’t be surprised if the piece ends up destroyed (sacrificed?) in order to appease our new (government) gods.

LibertarianRepublican on July 23, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Comes on the heels of the EPA enforcing laws that are not real yet and the administration refusing to enforce laws that do exist.

eva3071 on July 23, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Well, past time to abolish the IRS.

Saw this earlier today. Unbelievable. Well, almost.

And the family cannot even donate the piece to the museum where it is on “loan” unless they pay the tax penalty first…

coldwarrior on July 23, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Read this earlier today on another site. This is totally unreasonable. If it can’t be sold then it has no more monetary value than my grand children’s finger paintings. The government via the IRS is out of control. Unfortunately no telling how the tax court will rule.

chemman on July 23, 2012 at 9:49 PM

You didn’t sculpture it…
someone else did..
pay up.

Electrongod on July 23, 2012 at 9:50 PM

The estate tax is intrinsically unfair and prior to the last century only levied for temporary periods during national crises — such as during a time of war. It is unfair because it taxes things twice. The original possessor of the assets would have already paid taxes on them.

cynccook on July 23, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Read this earlier today on another site. This is totally unreasonable. If it can’t be sold then it has no more monetary value than my grand children’s finger paintings. The government via the IRS is out of control. Unfortunately no telling how the tax court will rule.

chemman on July 23, 2012 at 9:49 PM

They’re just warming up for their new duties under 0bamaCare.

cynccook on July 23, 2012 at 9:54 PM

The IRS will back down. They hate any press that makes them look stupid and/or incompetent.

GarandFan on July 23, 2012 at 9:55 PM

It [IRS] has appraised “Canyon” at $65 million and is demanding that the owners pay $29.2 million in taxes…

Then the IRS has interjected themselves as the only customer..

Anti up Taxpayers..

Electrongod on July 23, 2012 at 9:55 PM

its Bush’s fault

Aggie95 on July 23, 2012 at 9:55 PM

GIVE the sculpture to the IRS – you therefore ‘paid’ the tax, and got to give the IRS ‘the bird’ at the same time.

GarandFan on July 23, 2012 at 9:56 PM

You can Google “Robert Rauschenberg Canyon” and get multiple images. It was created in 1959 and to say it has “zero value” is ridiculous. Sure is ugly, which means it probably is worth tens of millions.

Marcus on July 23, 2012 at 9:56 PM

of course a real authentic american indian like elizabeth warren is able to sell bald eagles and their parts if they are to be used for religious purposes…

has the family considered publishing a cookbook of cherokee recipes, checking a few boxes, and then joining princess lily white’s tribe?

mittens on July 23, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Why not give it to an art gallery and take a $29 million deduction. The feds have valued it at that, they can’t contest the amount. A judge would laugh the IRS out of court.

Corky Boyd on July 23, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Oh…My….God!

Tina is on Hannity!

Fox captures another conservo-babe.

Smack some sense into Sean, Tina.

KirknBurker on July 23, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Donate it to a wind farm and let them claim it as a “programmatic” killing.

Fallon on July 23, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Could be worse…

After January, the federal estate tax goes to 55%.

coldwarrior on July 23, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Tina moving to OK raised the property values.

The IRS is going to tax homeowners in the state for the unrealized gain.

AMT for Oklahomans.

KirknBurker on July 23, 2012 at 9:58 PM

WTH is wrong with this country. I agree with you chemman.
Welcome back AP, well rested I hope, it’s gonna be a long slog from now till Nov.

D-fusit on July 23, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Get a true bid for its worth and if the sum is sufficiently small, well then take the sculpture for a boat ride on Lake Superior and suffer a tragic loss into the deep.

Bishop on July 23, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Make the thing look like a spotted owl..

Case closed..

Electrongod on July 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM

You never want to catch the winning baseball of a games 7 world series home run as the IRS will want their cut of what they think it is worth. Even if you don’t sell it and in one year the value has dropped to be less than the taxes they want. Sell it at a loss just to pay the taxes owed.

tjexcite on July 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM

Do they have to accept the bald-eagle sculpture as an inheritance?

sharrukin on July 23, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Give ‘em the damn bird.

BKeyser on July 23, 2012 at 10:03 PM

So what’s new. The EPA is fining companies that don’t use cellulose(sp?) ethanol, a product which does not exist.

I suppose they will be declaring your grandmother’s walker a national treasure and tax you at 50% of your future earnings.

gasmeterguy on July 23, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Donate it to the Treasury at its assessed value by the IRS.

Liam on July 23, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Get a true bid for its worth and if the sum is sufficiently small, well then take the sculpture for a boat ride on Lake Superior and suffer a tragic loss into the deep.

Bishop on July 23, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Light it on fire. Is part of it metal? Light a really big fire.

Jaibones on July 23, 2012 at 10:07 PM

cynccook on July 23, 2012 at 9:54 PM

I waved to you on the ABC thread.

I never liked Rauschenberg’s art. It’s mostly grotesque.

Fallon on July 23, 2012 at 10:07 PM

The owners should sue the IRS to force them to buy the artwork for $65 million. Naturally the government exempts itself from the laws, so it is the only possible customer. The owners should consider the IRS appraisal as an offer to buy and sue the IRS to force them to perform.

jaime on July 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM

WTF?

Kaptain Amerika on July 23, 2012 at 10:09 PM

They should donate it to a charity, such as a museum, and take the charitable deduction for the amount the government says it’s worth to reduce their other taxes.

JustTruth101 on July 23, 2012 at 10:09 PM

You never want to catch the winning baseball of a games 7 world series home run as the IRS will want their cut of what they think it is worth. Even if you don’t sell it and in one year the value has dropped to be less than the taxes they want. Sell it at a loss just to pay the taxes owed.

tjexcite on July 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM

It’s an unsettled issue.

aunursa on July 23, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Looks like an artistic “happening” [bonfire] to remove the piece from existence is the only way to solve this dilemma.

profitsbeard on July 23, 2012 at 10:11 PM

The estate tax is intrinsically unfair and prior to the last century only levied for temporary periods during national crises — such as during a time of war. It is unfair because it taxes things twice. The original possessor of the assets would have already paid taxes on them.

cynccook on July 23, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Indeed. It’s amazing how few people know this and fight against it, from this angle.

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Fire sale. Don’t give the Government the satisfaction. Burn it, Robert Rauschenberg, would approve.

Bmore on July 23, 2012 at 10:11 PM

With six-figure treasures so rarely falling out of the sky, the agency declined to comment Wednesday on what regulations would apply and whether they would be enforced in the case of the Bonds ball. History does not provide much of a guide since most fans who have been lucky enough to snag previous long balls have chosen to sell their mementos. And at least one ball was as much a source of embarrassment for the IRS as revenue. As Mark McGwire chased the mark for most home runs in a season in 1998, IRS officials initially said the ball that broke Roger Maris’ long-standing record could be subject to taxes even if it were returned to McGwire. The statements were ridiculed by politicians and quickly disavowed by the agency’s top brass. “All I know is that the fan who gives back the home run ball deserves a round of applause, not a big tax bill,” then-IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti said at the time.

aunursa on July 23, 2012 at 10:11 PM

If they rip out the bald eagle and replace it with a fake bald eagle (or leave an empty spot where the eagle was), they could sell the piece, no?

Therefore, it does have a value/price, and it is worth money to them.

daryl_herbert on July 23, 2012 at 10:12 PM

From what I’ve read it WAS in an art museum, in Washington DC, and now is in a “private collection” in New York, the “Sonnabend Collection”.

To take it, and then say it has a value of zero? I hate the IRS like everybody, but these are billionaire tax-cheats.

Marcus on July 23, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Which way are we betting? Let me know in the comments!

The Obama way! You didn’t build that…it’s mine!

AUINSC on July 23, 2012 at 10:12 PM

You can Google “Robert Rauschenberg Canyon” and get multiple images. It was created in 1959 and to say it has “zero value” is ridiculous. Sure is ugly, which means it probably is worth tens of millions.

Marcus on July 23, 2012 at 9:56 PM

I did Google and go look at it. Ack! Looks like the bald eagle splattered poop all over the canvas while flying. I wouldn’t value it a a nickel.

fullogas on July 23, 2012 at 10:12 PM

You didn’t sculpt that.

MadisonConservative on July 23, 2012 at 10:13 PM

The saying that You Can’t Take it With You was invented by Uncle Sam. What a socialist money grab the estate tax is. The US government takes 35% of any large estate. In Canada, for example, there is no estate tax. You can transfer all your wealth to your descendents.

keep the change on July 23, 2012 at 10:13 PM

Anyone want to bet they are not Democratic Donors?

Grunt on July 23, 2012 at 10:13 PM

WTF?

Kaptain Amerika on July 23, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Welcome to Amerika..

Electrongod on July 23, 2012 at 10:14 PM

And you wonder why people try to hide money from the Feds? Not even the Church asks for that kinda money.

racquetballer on July 23, 2012 at 10:14 PM

******************* NUTS *****************************!

canopfor on July 23, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Fire sale. Don’t give the Government the satisfaction. Burn it, Robert Rauschenberg, would approve.

Bmore on July 23, 2012 at 10:11 PM

I approve of this message.

Electrongod on July 23, 2012 at 10:15 PM

To take it, and then say it has a value of zero? I hate the IRS like everybody, but these are billionaire tax-cheats.

Marcus on July 23, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Water has a lot of value in the desert. Its not worth much near a river. The question is how much it can be sold for.

sharrukin on July 23, 2012 at 10:16 PM

******************* NUTS *****************************!

canopfor on July 23, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Are they worth a cool $65 mil?

Electrongod on July 23, 2012 at 10:16 PM

(c) refuse to pay the tax and go to jail

What Would Timothy Geither Do??

TN Mom on July 23, 2012 at 10:18 PM

The cover pic looks presidential..

Haven’t seen something like since…..

Electrongod on July 23, 2012 at 10:19 PM

People should think – what if it was Michael Bloomberg (or George Soros) taking this out of a museum and putting it in their private collection and saying “Oh that? It isn’t worth anything and I’m certainly not going to be taxed on it.”

Marcus on July 23, 2012 at 10:19 PM

The family probably wishes they bundled their butts off for Barry when they had the chance…coulda got a huge multi-billions grant from the Dept of Interior or Fish and Wildlife to study the effects of incorporation of bald eagles into sculptures or something.

The big obstacle is that once the IRS notice is sent out…you can’t dispose of the property, sell it, give it away or “lose” it and be absolved of the IRS imposed-debt and penalties.

Remember than when you are looking at estate planning.

coldwarrior on July 23, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Haven’t seen something like since…..

Electrongod on July 23, 2012 at 10:19 PM

I had a spare “That” after posting the above…

Electrongod on July 23, 2012 at 10:20 PM

The owners inherited a cool $1 billion in art from their mother but have had to sell nearly $600 million worth to cover the federal and estate taxes.
==============

Ahem,only in America!
(sarc)

Canada Inheritance Tax Laws & Information

What is inheritance tax?
************************

In Canada, there is no inheritance tax. Instead the CRA treats the estate as a sale, unless the estate is inherited by the surviving spouse or common-law partner, where certain exceptions are possible. This means that the estate pays the taxes owed to the government, rather than the beneficiaries paying. By the time the estate is settled, the beneficiary should not have to worry about taxes.

Is there a death tax in Canada?

No, Canada does not have a death tax or an estate inheritance tax. In Canada, no inheritance tax is levied on the beneficiaries; the estate pays any tax that is owed to the government.

How do Canadian inheritance tax laws work then?

When a person dies, their legal representative has to file a deceased tax return to the government. Any taxes owing from this tax return are taken from the estate before it can be settled.

Once the executor has settled the estate, the CRA issues a clearance certificate to confirm all income taxes have been paid or that the CRA has accepted security for the payment. As a legal representative, it is important to get this clearance certificate before distributing any property. If you do not get a certificate, you can be liable for any amount the deceased owes.

What are Canada’s inheritance tax rates?

As there is no inheritance tax in Canada, all income earned by the deceased is taxed on a final return.(More…)

http://turbotax.intuit.ca/tax-resources/inheritance-tax.jsp

canopfor on July 23, 2012 at 10:21 PM

canopfor on July 23, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Are they worth a cool $65 mil?

Electrongod on July 23, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Electrongod:Hmmmm,I will not Besmirch,the US Eagle!:)

canopfor on July 23, 2012 at 10:23 PM

******************* NUTS *****************************!

canopfor on July 23, 2012 at 10:15 PM

……..no!!!!!!!…this is nucking futs!!!!!!!

KOOLAID2 on July 23, 2012 at 10:23 PM

TN Mom on July 23, 2012 at 10:18 PM

“What Would Brian Boitano Do?”

coldwarrior on July 23, 2012 at 10:24 PM

I’m of the opinion that the IRS will try to extract the extra $29 million from the estate.

They’ve taken the position that they are owed that money and that the article in question is of their estimate value.

If the heirs try to fight this in court, they would still have to pay the $29 million up front and then sue to get it back. The IRS would drag that case out for years which would consume still more of the heirs inheritance.

I’m thinking that the IRS is banking on the heirs trying to cut their losses and simply pay.

thatsafactjack on July 23, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Electrongod:Hmmmm,I will not Besmirch,the US Eagle!:)

canopfor on July 23, 2012 at 10:23 PM

LOL..

Didn’t expect that answer :)

Electrongod on July 23, 2012 at 10:24 PM

We have an upside down government working overtime, trying to turn this country into a third world nation.

savage24 on July 23, 2012 at 10:26 PM

WTF?

Kaptain Amerika on July 23, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Welcome to Amerika..

Electrongod on July 23, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Electrongod:Ahem…Lol:)

canopfor on July 23, 2012 at 10:26 PM

canopfor on July 23, 2012 at 10:23 PM

LOL..

Didn’t expect that answer :)

Electrongod on July 23, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Electrongod:I’m covering my own *ss!:)

canopfor on July 23, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Do they have to accept the bald-eagle sculpture as an inheritance?

sharrukin on July 23, 2012 at 10:03 PM

:D Estate Planning 101… But it seems like the heirs want to fight the IRS on this and I say good for them. This is nothing short of confiscatory.

cynccook on July 23, 2012 at 10:27 PM

AP is back..
QOTD will be around 10 minutes to Cat Scratch Fever.

10 to 9 my time…

Electrongod on July 23, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Now that is a story.

ahlaphus on July 23, 2012 at 10:28 PM

As for the eagle, they can either…

Can they give the eagle to the IRS in lieu of cash?

malclave on July 23, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Marcus on July 23, 2012 at 10:19 PM

I say no problem. Except George has a butt ugly sculpture. It’s not the Party Marcus, it’s the principle. You know, principles?

KCB on July 23, 2012 at 10:29 PM

:D Estate Planning 101… But it seems like the heirs want to fight the IRS on this and I say good for them. This is nothing short of confiscatory.

cynccook on July 23, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Well I hope they win and give the IRS a boody nose.

If they cannot sell it, then it has no intrinsic value.

sharrukin on July 23, 2012 at 10:29 PM

The children should write letters to their Congressma… err Congressperson and their Senators protesting the actions of the IRS.

If their elected representatives refuse to help, they can publicize their refusal which would probably not go over well with the other constituents.

If any of their elected representatives were go take an interest and ask the IRS why something that cannot be legally sold has a market value imputed to it, and maybe threaten to call a hearing on the matter in which the IRS would have to testity, it is likely that the IRS will decide that it actually can’t be sold so has no market value.

After all, the elected representatives cost enough, get some use out of them.

I wonder if they could just tell the IRS, “come and get it, we cede any proceeds from its sale by the IRS”.

Russ808 on July 23, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Welcome to Amerika..

Electrongod on July 23, 2012 at 10:14 PM

That’s what the K is for… Occupied. and in Distress…

Kaptain Amerika on July 23, 2012 at 10:31 PM

“What Would Brian Boitano Do?”

coldwarrior on July 23, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Haha!

TN Mom on July 23, 2012 at 10:31 PM

oh and Allah… just cuz you got a bunch of new bloggers doesn’t mean you can slack off. I come here to read you every day and I expect to see something from you every day. as you were.

Kaptain Amerika on July 23, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Give the IRS the art and demand change or tax credit back.

Hog Wild on July 23, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Can they give the eagle to the IRS in lieu of cash?

malclave on July 23, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Their the wons so interested in the success of that eagle..
I would say “shove it”…
sideways…

Electrongod on July 23, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Maybe they could go all Brady Bunch…have a bake sale or maybe win a singing contest or something?

coldwarrior on July 23, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Question: How did Rauschenberg get around the Lacey Act and the Bald Eagle Protection Act in the first place? Could they get an exemption permit for the sculpture if it was given or used in an educational setting?

Wow. This is a weird topic.

Fallon on July 23, 2012 at 10:33 PM

That’s what the K is for… Occupied. and in Distress…

Kaptain Amerika on July 23, 2012 at 10:31 PM

I know..
:)

Electrongod on July 23, 2012 at 10:34 PM

But seriously, who knew that there was so much money in taxidermy art? What am I bid for this ‘masterwork?’ It’s called ‘The Futility of Man’s Desire.’

cynccook on July 23, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Oh and there are more of these guys running around thanks to Obamacare… nice.

Ukiah on July 23, 2012 at 10:36 PM

The IRS will back down. They hate any press that makes them look stupid and/or incompetent.

GarandFan on July 23, 2012 at 9:55 PM

They also don’t want to arouse the ire of the masses…

wildcat72 on July 23, 2012 at 10:40 PM

:D Estate Planning 101… But it seems like the heirs want to fight the IRS on this and I say good for them. This is nothing short of confiscatory.

cynccook on July 23, 2012 at 10:27 PM

I was just thinking that, heh. Have a bunch of folks disclaim it and let the state deal with it. I understand wanting to fight for the principle of the thing though.

Othniel on July 23, 2012 at 10:41 PM

Question: How did Rauschenberg get around the Lacey Act and the Bald Eagle Protection Act in the first place? Could they get an exemption permit for the sculpture if it was given or used in an educational setting?

Wow. This is a weird topic.

Fallon on July 23, 2012 at 10:33 PM

The Eagle was old; supposedly it once belonged to someone from Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders.

cynccook on July 23, 2012 at 10:41 PM

GIVE the sculpture to the IRS – you therefore ‘paid’ the tax, and got to give the IRS ‘the bird’ at the same time.

GarandFan on July 23, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Yep, and they will owe you a REFUND on the difference between the tax assessment and their assessed value…

wildcat72 on July 23, 2012 at 10:41 PM

I’m of the opinion that the IRS will try to extract the extra $29 million from the estate.

They’ve taken the position that they are owed that money and that the article in question is of their estimate value.

If the heirs try to fight this in court, they would still have to pay the $29 million up front and then sue to get it back. The IRS would drag that case out for years which would consume still more of the heirs inheritance.

I’m thinking that the IRS is banking on the heirs trying to cut their losses and simply pay.

thatsafactjack on July 23, 2012 at 10:24 PM

This is why the government should be obliged to pay the attorney fees of their TARGETS in any such action. No government agency should be allowed to win against citizens simply because they have unlimited time and money. Their target should have access to the SAME unlimited money.

This would make for LESS government actions (particularly frivolous ones) against citizens.

wildcat72 on July 23, 2012 at 10:44 PM

When dealing with any level of government you’ve got to expect travesties, atrocities and mind boggling stupidity.I don’t drive anymore but regularly go to NY-DMV to get my picture ID renewed. “No more automatic ID” said the DMV (who regularly wink at illegals with no IDs at all) “show us your Social Security”. “I lost it in the bushes of Southeast Asia 40 years ago” I told them. “Go to Social Security and get a new one-until then no ID.”

I went to Social Security. “Your New York ID has expired” they told me. “We can’t issue you a Social Security Card without a valid NY ID.”

Thank God for Passports which I have to use anytime I want to fly-the picture ID variety comes in handy.

MaiDee on July 23, 2012 at 10:56 PM

Didn’t I hear a case not too long ago about a drug dealer being taxed for the profits he made off illegal drugs?

Pretty sure that was discussed here.

I’m assuming this is the same type of thing.

ButterflyDragon on July 23, 2012 at 10:58 PM

Estate taxes are pure evil. It’s the epitome of “you (or your father or grandfather etc) didn’t build that, the collective did so we’re going to take it.”

gwelf on July 23, 2012 at 10:58 PM

Estate taxes are pure evil. It’s the epitome of “you (or your father or grandfather etc) didn’t build that, the collective did so we’re going to take it.”

gwelf on July 23, 2012 at 10:58 PM

Exactly. And the assumption that a person could only accumulate that much wealth at the expense of some poor underclass victims. That’s why they love to bandy about the term ‘robber barons’ so much. The whole situation is ironic, too because the piece at the center of the controversy is a ridiculous hodge podge of nothing. The artist was extremely Left Wing and the whole liberal art elite are the ones who have driven up the value to this level. See it for yourself. Here’s his EarthDay 1990.

cynccook on July 23, 2012 at 11:03 PM

Communism is communism is communism. Obamacommie can dress that pig up any way he likes, it’ll still resemble his wife wayyyyy to much.

Wolfmoon on July 23, 2012 at 11:04 PM

PS If Obama gets back in-800 additional IRS agents will be hired just to monitor US citizens foreign bank accounts (FATCA). Plus the estate tax threshhold of 5.12 million will plummet to only 1 million. PLUS the tax rate on any excess income over 1 million will skyrocket from 35% to 55%–Also expect increases in capital gains. And you thought FIT and Obamacare were the only tax increases on the plate!!!!

MaiDee on July 23, 2012 at 11:07 PM

Half-Vast Guess here: Maybe the IRS is basing their claim on records they have?

Seems to me such a precious piece of work would have to have an insurable declared value placed on it no matter where it was.

I always liked this Rauschenberg.

Del Dolemonte on July 23, 2012 at 11:32 PM

Estate taxes are pure evil. It’s the epitome of “you (or your father or grandfather etc) didn’t build that, the collective did so we’re going to take it.”

gwelf on July 23, 2012 at 10:58 PM

exactly. And remember your parents, grandparents already have been taxed on the very same prior to you inheriting it.

The government is greed. It is yours and they want it.

RockyJ. on July 23, 2012 at 11:36 PM

The estate tax is intrinsically unfair and prior to the last century only levied for temporary periods during national crises — such as during a time of war.

Will never be sympathetic to the IRS, but, sorry to break it to you but this IS a time of war. The U.S. stays at war.

kunegetikos on July 23, 2012 at 11:45 PM

The estate tax is intrinsically unfair and prior to the last century only levied for temporary periods during national crises — such as during a time of war.

Will never be sympathetic to the IRS, but, sorry to break it to you but this IS a time of war. The U.S. stays at war.

kunegetikos on July 23, 2012 at 11:45 PM

Oh, sorry. You meant a war that the U.S. intended to win.

kunegetikos on July 23, 2012 at 11:46 PM

The government is greed. It is yours and they want it.

RockyJ. on July 23, 2012 at 11:36 PM

Reminds me of when Mel Fisher’s team recovered the riches from the Atocha…State of Florida came in and said that it belonged to them.

The State of Florida didn’t do a damn thing to salvage that wreck.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 23, 2012 at 11:51 PM

The IRS will back down. They hate any press that makes them look stupid and/or incompetent.

GarandFan on July 23, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Too late.

ghostwalker1 on July 23, 2012 at 11:52 PM

I’m honestly curious to see if the IRS backs down now that there’s been some media attention

Although some may think its worth a shot ( considering the DoD allowing the uniforms in the gay pride parade due to the media attention ) , you’re from the wrong side of the political spectrum on this issue.

socalcon on July 24, 2012 at 12:04 AM

You didn’t sculpture it…
someone else did..
pay up.

Electrongod on July 23, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Funniest thing I’ve read since midnight!

Glenn Jericho on July 24, 2012 at 12:06 AM

The owners inherited a cool $1 billion in art from their mother but have had to sell nearly $600 million worth to cover the federal and estate taxes.

That is a crime in itself. Not that I’ve ever had that problem, but it’s a crying shame to inherit from your mother or father that just died, and then have to sell part of it to pay the taxes — whether it’s a billion dollars in art you inherit, or a small coin collection.

tom on July 24, 2012 at 12:08 AM

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