Earlier this May, while eating his McDonald’s hamburger, Charles Ramsey made the 9-1-1 call that freed Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus from a 10-year captivity from an adjacent Cleveland home.
Though rumors of Ramsey’s receiving free hamburgers for life may not be true, a McDonald’s spokesperson has said that “the local owner-operators of the McDonald’s restaurants in Mr. Ramsey’s neighborhood have connected with him and offered complimentary McDonald’s food for the next year and in addition, [McDonald’s has] made a $10,000 donation to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children […]”.
In a similar 2004 situation, Oprah gave away 276 new Pontiac G-Sixes to members of her audience for free; however, “according to a spokeswomen for Harpo Productions Inc., Oprah’s company, the recipients [had] to pay a tax on the winnings, just like any prize”. The recipients may have thought that they had free, brand new cars; nevertheless, the $28,500 car would have to be claimed as income. In turn, the individuals would have had to pay anywhere up to $7,000 in tax or have to forfeit the new car.
So, will Charles Ramsey have to pay tax on his McDonald’s burger?