Are Free Windows Really Free?

On Thursday, September 7, 2017 the Cleveland Indians won their 15th game in a row, which meant lots of rejoicing for not only fans of the team, but customers who purchased windows from a Cleveland company back in July. Universal Windows Direct offered rebates to any customer who purchased windows in July if the Indians won 15 straight games after August 1st. According to Yahoo!, the company now will pay out $1.7 million to honor the promotion, however, they purchased a $75,000 insurance premium to help cover the costs.

For customers who were lucky enough to win free windows, congratulations! But remember, in the IRS’ eyes, free isn’t always free. According to IRC Code Section 74, gross income includes amounts received as prizes and awards. The winners would be required to report the fair value of the windows they received on their 2017 income tax return. If you’re a lucky winner and need tax help with this transaction, please call the Ten Key Group at (234) 334-1966 and he will be happy to help. Or, if you’re not a winner and need tax help regardless, please reach out to him just the same.