American Express has resurrected their My Wish List[sup]TM[/sup] promotion. In this promotion they offer up different items for sale over a multiday period for low-to-insane prices. As an example I think the first one had a BMW Z4 (or similar) offered at $5,000 (USD). The list of that car is more like $40k, IIRC. The current sale started with big motorcycles, then home theater system, fancy robo-vacuum, etc. They offer a limited number of each item, maybe 3 of the BMWs, 8 of the motorcycles, 300 blenders, 100 beds. You get the picture. I tried to buy a $5,000 BMW but wasn’t quick or lucky enough.
Now if I win a cruise or the lottery I have to pay tax on this as “income”. But what about very reduced price goods? If a car is worth $40,000 but I get it for $5,000, did I just get a keen bargain or have I won a prize? Does it change if I turn the car around the next day and sell it for $30,000?