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Should I decline a grand prize trip I won because of the taxes I have to pay??

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  • Should I decline a grand prize trip I won because of the taxes I have to pay??

    At first I thought it was a spam/spoof email "You are the grand prize winner of our sweepstakes!". Turns out, last week I actually DID WIN the grand prize which includes not only one, but two golf related trips. I spent the first 48hrs making calls and writing emails to confirm this was legitimate. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to hang out with the golf pros during a famous tournament in January, get fitted for my own set of custom clubs, play on two different famous courses, have an individual lesson with a pro, and other perks.

     

    The issue is, the prize is worth around $9000, which I will have to pay taxes on. Given our high tax bracket it will probably be close to $4000! These trips include things that I literally could not pay to do, such as walking on the course during the tournament with one of the famous golfers. It is an amazing opportunity and I'm sure will be an incredibly fun time and leave me with great memories and stories.

     

    However, my interest in golf is medium. I play occasionally throughout the summer, and I do not watch golf on TV. I cannot take cash instead of the trips, and I can't transfer the prize to anyone else, it has to be me and one guest. My husband has about the same level of interest in golf as me. (My FIL and MIL however are green with envy-I wish I could give it to them!).

     

    I am an ED doc, we are near FI in our mid 40's with a net worth of 2.7M. We can easily afford to pay the taxes on this prize. However, like my husband said, "if you were going to spend $4000 on a trip, would this be it?"  And the answer is no, this is not my "dream trip". However it is an unusual opportunity that will never happen again, and I'm sure I would enjoy it. Is that enough reason to do it??????? I need to give my acceptance or denial within the next few days. I would appreciate everyone's thoughts!

     

     

  • #2
    I guess I'm still skeptical - did you enter the contest? What is their motivation to give this prize away, otherwise? I have less interest in golf than you do but I'd still be tempted. Like you said, once in a lifetime. It is sure to be a great experience if it is everything you're being led to believe. Everything included? Travel, accommodations, etc?
    Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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    • #3
      I thinking you're asking yourself the wrong question.  Don't ask "If I were going to spend $4k on a trip, would this be it?"  Ask "Do I want to spend $4k for this prize?"  That's a pretty personal question only you can answer.  It still sounds like a scam though.  Did they say how many timeshare presentations you have to sit through?

      Comment


      • #4
        Really both questions are legit.

        1) do you want to spend ~$4,000.00 of tax on these trips.

        2) do you want to kill X days of vacation on these trips vs. going on your own vacation, working extra shifts.

        Ask them why don't they gross up the prize and withhold taxes for you.   

        Really if you put that much effort into confirming it was legit, sounds like you're at least a little excited about it.  Did you have some other vacation planned that this would displace?

        Comment


        • #5
          Our friends recently won a $9000 safari trip to South Africa on the Price is Right. They paid about $3700 in taxes on it.

          When they returned we all asked them if they'd do it again, and their answer was a resounding "Yes". They mentioned this was a trip they would never have thought to plan for themselves and it was headache free (almost like a cruise) since everything was already pre-planned. The only downside in their opinion was that they had to pay out of pocket for alcohol and the rooms that were booked for them were not the nicest, just average. They claim if they had planned this trip for themselves they could have selected fancier acommodations for $3700; but they would never have thought to plan a trip like this for themselves.

          I hope that story gives you something of value...

           

           

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          • #6
            Thanks for the comments so far!

            Just to clarify, I spent a lot of time confirming this is legitimate. I did enter the sweepstakes a few months ago by email, and no, I don't have to sit through any timeshare lectures I did not look into the details of the sweepstakes, because come on, who would ever expect to actually win?

            Yes, everything including travel, accommodations and meals are covered, although I expect there are things that will come up that won't be covered, like drinks.

             

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            • #7
              I say go for it. These are experiences you will never have if you decline, because you're not going to spend $9,000 of your own after-tax money (which would require earning about $16,000) and you'll likely come out with interesting stories to tell on the golf course for years.

               

               

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              • #8
                Go!

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                • #9
                  Go and take one of your in-laws.  It will create a lifetime memory for you both and you will be the world's greatest DIL.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    While you say your interest in golf is only "medium," you obviously have enough interest in the sport to enter a sweepstakes that offered this particular trip as a prize.  And this isn't a vacation you could re-create on your own at some future date; it's literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  So I agree with the majority of the others on this thread:  go and enjoy yourself!

                    Comment


                    • #11




                      At first I thought it was a spam/spoof email “You are the grand prize winner of our sweepstakes!”. Turns out, last week I actually DID WIN the grand prize which includes not only one, but two golf related trips. I spent the first 48hrs making calls and writing emails to confirm this was legitimate. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to hang out with the golf pros during a famous tournament in January, get fitted for my own set of custom clubs, play on two different famous courses, have an individual lesson with a pro, and other perks.

                       

                      The issue is, the prize is worth around $9000, which I will have to pay taxes on. Given our high tax bracket it will probably be close to $4000! These trips include things that I literally could not pay to do, such as walking on the course during the tournament with one of the famous golfers. It is an amazing opportunity and I’m sure will be an incredibly fun time and leave me with great memories and stories.

                       

                      However, my interest in golf is medium. I play occasionally throughout the summer, and I do not watch golf on TV. I cannot take cash instead of the trips, and I can’t transfer the prize to anyone else, it has to be me and one guest. My husband has about the same level of interest in golf as me. (My FIL and MIL however are green with envy-I wish I could give it to them!).

                       

                      I am an ED doc, we are near FI in our mid 40’s with a net worth of 2.7M. We can easily afford to pay the taxes on this prize. However, like my husband said, “if you were going to spend $4000 on a trip, would this be it?”  And the answer is no, this is not my “dream trip”. However it is an unusual opportunity that will never happen again, and I’m sure I would enjoy it. Is that enough reason to do it??????? I need to give my acceptance or denial within the next few days. I would appreciate everyone’s thoughts!

                       

                       
                      Click to expand...


                      Why not find someone super excited about this (FIL?) and have him pay you $4K to do it. Then you both go, you go for free, he gets it at a price he considers fair and you both have a great time.
                      Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

                      Comment


                      • #12




                        I thinking you’re asking yourself the wrong question.  Don’t ask “If I were going to spend $4k on a trip, would this be it?”  Ask “Do I want to spend $4k for this prize?”  That’s a pretty personal question only you can answer.  It still sounds like a scam though.  Did they say how many timeshare presentations you have to sit through?
                        Click to expand...


                        I'd take the question one step further to: "in 20 years will I be disappointed to have spent $4k on this prize." It sounds to me like you wouldn't especially given your responses.

                        Comment


                        • #13







                          At first I thought it was a spam/spoof email “You are the grand prize winner of our sweepstakes!”. Turns out, last week I actually DID WIN the grand prize which includes not only one, but two golf related trips. I spent the first 48hrs making calls and writing emails to confirm this was legitimate. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to hang out with the golf pros during a famous tournament in January, get fitted for my own set of custom clubs, play on two different famous courses, have an individual lesson with a pro, and other perks.

                           

                          The issue is, the prize is worth around $9000, which I will have to pay taxes on. Given our high tax bracket it will probably be close to $4000! These trips include things that I literally could not pay to do, such as walking on the course during the tournament with one of the famous golfers. It is an amazing opportunity and I’m sure will be an incredibly fun time and leave me with great memories and stories.

                           

                          However, my interest in golf is medium. I play occasionally throughout the summer, and I do not watch golf on TV. I cannot take cash instead of the trips, and I can’t transfer the prize to anyone else, it has to be me and one guest. My husband has about the same level of interest in golf as me. (My FIL and MIL however are green with envy-I wish I could give it to them!).

                           

                          I am an ED doc, we are near FI in our mid 40’s with a net worth of 2.7M. We can easily afford to pay the taxes on this prize. However, like my husband said, “if you were going to spend $4000 on a trip, would this be it?”  And the answer is no, this is not my “dream trip”. However it is an unusual opportunity that will never happen again, and I’m sure I would enjoy it. Is that enough reason to do it??????? I need to give my acceptance or denial within the next few days. I would appreciate everyone’s thoughts!

                           

                           
                          Click to expand…


                          Why not find someone super excited about this (FIL?) and have him pay you $4K to do it. Then you both go, you go for free, he gets it at a price he considers fair and you both have a great time.
                          Click to expand...


                          This is probably the optimal solution, but I'd feel kind of weird asking someone to do that.  Probably just my own personal hang up.  If you can pull it off and with no one feeling weird about it, this is the way to go.  A less extreme version would be to split the cost of the tax (i.e., pay 2K each).  If you paying 4K is a close call, then 2K should be an easy decision for you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If I get to keep the clubs I’m in for 4K. When do we go?
                            A bargain at that price.


                            Have fun! Don’t ruin it for your father or mother in law.

                            Comment


                            • #15




                              If I get to keep the clubs I’m in for 4K. When do we go?
                              A bargain at that price.
                              Have fun! Don’t ruin it for your father or mother in law.
                              Click to expand...


                              I know almost nothing about golf, but I guess that's an important factor.  What's the estimated value of the clubs?  Also, if you tried to sell them unused, how much could you get for them

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