Money Matters: Stories behind the viral 'beer money' story

September 20, 2019 01:30

Sponsored by NEFE

This week, the story of an Iowa man, whose joking sign requesting beer money at a football game was captured on TV, went viral. Why? Because viewers saw his sign and sent him thousands of dollars, which he pledged to donate to a children’s hospital. Now, donations are also being matched by at least two companies – Busch Beer, the beer the man wanted to buy, and Venmo, the money transfer app he used to receive donations.

Here’s the tip for consumer reporters: Behind nearly every viral story is an opportunity for a money story with helpful information for the average viewer.

In this case, a savvy financial reporter will ask a few questions about this story:
  • Are there tax implications to receiving large financial gifts? Does that differ if a large gift comes from one person, or many small gifts?
  • What are the tax implications if large gifts are, in turn, donated?
  • Are there fees associated with cash transfer apps?
  • Are there any taxes or fees for donors who give gifts to individuals with cash transfer apps?
  • How do tax implications for donors change based on whether they donate to charitable organizations or individuals, the amount of their gifts and method used to transfer the money?
Talk to an accountant, a tax professional or a financial planner to learn more. It’s relatively unlikely anyone in your audience will receive (so far) more than $40,000 in gifts, but it’s almost certain that your audience has questions about taxes related to gifts and donations. There’s no substitute to talking to a financial professional about specific situations, but consumer reporters have an opportunity to help audiences know a little more.

Weekly Money Matters personal finance content for your newsroom is sponsored by the National Endowment for Financial Education


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