2Day's 2 Cents: Auction comes courtesy of the IRS

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 22, 2013 - 9:02 AM
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A signed jersey by Vikings defensive end Jared Allen will be one of the items up for auction on Tuesday in Fargo. If that's not your taste, you can go for the "Mary Poppins" photo signed by Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews.

The annual tax filing deadline of April 15 came last week. If you received any type of return, a different type of IRS-related event this week might be a place to consider reinvesting that cash.

The IRS sent out a news release recently about an auction Tuesday in Fargo featuring more than 300 items, many of them sports memorabilia. As a not-so-gentle reminder of what can happen when one doesn’t comply with federal laws, it is noted that the items for sale were “seized for nonpayment of internal revenue taxes.”

In other words: Pay your taxes and you can buy the items that have been taken away from those who do not pay their taxes.

If you are in the Fargo area or are curious enough to make the drive, here are some details: Preview all the items from the sale from 2 to 7 p.m. Monday or 8 to 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Country Inn & Suites. The auction starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday. You can bid on individual items — or you can attempt to buy the entire collection for the specific minimum bid of $7,362.

The collection is a mishmash of items. For example: an autographed boxing glove, an autographed Jared Allen Vikings jersey, Mickey Mantle-signed photos, Joe Mauer-signed baseballs … and an autographed photo of Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews from “Mary Poppins.”

Is it just like going to any other memorabilia show, or does the misfortune of others change the tone of things?

Who are the bidders? We imagine a mix of serious collectors, curiosity seekers and folks who made a wrong turn leaving the breakfast area at the hotel.

If you buy items and later resell them for a profit, do you wind up in some sort of bizarre tax whirlwind — and if you do it enough times and never claim the profit, will your purchased seized property eventually be taken back? (Probably?)

Having never been to such an event, it at least piques the curiosity — probably not enough to drive more than 200 miles from the Twin Cities, but one never knows.

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