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chazuli
I've been getting some flack from the guys I run over the amount of nuyen they're getting for their loot. Specifically they have a problem with the 30% of cost rule. Basically, they're wondering why they couldn't just put the goods they've acquired up on 'ebay'....

To get specific, the runners in my group are operating underwater salvage out of the ruins of L.A. Their opposition so far have been enviromental along with some paracritters, and the rewards they've recovered have been some jewelry from a store in a submerged section of Beverly Hills.

The question they've raised is given they have a couple of players with SINs, why can't they just sell the jewels directly on 'epay'? I've quoted them the value of the gems at 350,000 (there are six members of the party, I wanted them to walk away from the run w/ about 17,000 nuyen) But they're now looking to get 80% from selling the jewelry themselves. The assumption we're all operating on is the jewelry is 'legitimate salvage', since they recovered it from underwater.

Any ideas on the ramifications and justifications for the 30% rule?

Oracle
The 30% rule is for equipment that can't be legally sold. If the jewelry is legal salvage, they should be able to sell it for a higher price.
BlackHat
Definitions of fence (ignoring those about swords or enclosing property):
receive stolen goods
a dealer in stolen property

I'm not sure about te 30% rule, but I see no reason why they would have to fense the jewelry - especially given they have legit SINs. The jewels wern't stolen, and arn't illegal in themselves. Sure, if they go to a pawn shop, they won't get afraciton of what its worth - but most jewelers will appraise items and buy them (even if they just end up re-setting them) but it isn't like the jewels are counterfeit, stolen, "used" (in the sense that they perform worse), used in any crime, and there is no crackdown on them. I also don't imagine a gemstone pricewar going on.

So, I think that the 30% fencing rule was meant to be when Shadowrunners are trying to fence somewhat tracable or illegal loot - and in a hurry. I would say that if the group wants to unload the jewels quickly, sure, leave it at 30% and let the players roll to bump it up. Otherwise, they didn't do anythign illegal, so htey have no reason to "fence" the loot. They just need to legitimatly sell it to a jeweler (which would tie those transactions to their legitimate SINs, so they better not spend their newfound money on guns and drugs), and I would also make this take about a month (for the jewelers to appraise them, with a second opinion within their company, and for them to gather the funds).

Also, if they were obtained from LA. I believe, in order to be perfectly legal, Seattle would tax the imports. So, you could shave off some percent there too, if you wanted. EDIT But since there are no real rules about how the city of Seattle behaves, in terms of taxes and law concearning other states, its a totally arbitrary GM call.
MaxHunter
If you are too worried about the extra payoff, there's always some sort of organized crime organization willing to profit from someone else's job.

"Hello, we have heard you have just gotten a hefty amount of nuyen for your work. Aren't you worried about protection? My cousin Vito and I could surely help..."

Cheers,

Max
nezumi
Apparently none of you guys have ever tried to sell jewelry.

We were trying to sell off a diamond engagement ring. It was independently valued (twice) at about $2,000. The most we could get for it was $700. We visited half a dozen pawn shops. Don't expect better on ebay. And that's not dealing with problems involving moving stolen goods.
Brahm
I'm with nezumi. This is used stuff, and you aren't selling from a storefront so you just aren't going to get anything close to appraised unless it is a very special piece that a number of people would have an interest in. Not stolen? Prove it! Where is the pink slip (receipt). Why are you selling it? "I found it in the ocean" sounds so much like "My dog ate the receipt".

Also the PCC and or city of LA might have something to say the legality and tax status of the salvage. Or the previous owner, or his insurer assuming it was covered, might decide he wants his loot back. If an insurer they might even be willing to work out a recovery fee and further work opportunities.

But that aside, they want to sen up their own high-end retail business? DING, you just won! They just handed you a big fat juicy plot hook. Put it out on ebay that you are some smuck with 350K worth of jewelry for sale? You just don't know who is going to come a-knocking at your door. As the buyer or unannounced.
calypso
"Used" jewels? Explain that one to me...

I think it depends what avenues they pursue to sell them. If they want MONEY NOW!!11 then they have to pawn them, and probably will only get 30% of their value. If they're willing to wait, I see no reason they shouldn't get closer to 75% of their value at auction.

Also, unless the law changed significantly in 65 years, the "law of finds" means that since they're the ones recovering the unclaimed salvage, it's legally theirs. So, they're not trying to sell stolen goods. And jewelery retains its value remarkably well.

So I'd say, the longer they're willing to wait for a payoff, the more they should get for them.

Calypso
Dashifen
Put them online and make the previous owner see the add. The previous owner seems to have some Family who would like to take a look at the gems to be sure that they're as valuable as the players say they are.

Edit: Damn, the Family was already mentioned.....

Okay, second idea: put the gems online. An interested buyer is more interested in saving money. He/She sets a up a meeting with the players for the purposes of verifying the stones' value with an independent appraisal. The meet is, actually, just a show to try and steal some or all of the stones, replacing them with fakes that the buyer made up based on the images of the stones found online.

Ah ... a whole "run" based around one NPC's use of the Palming skill biggrin.gif
nezumi
I know SR3 has some rules on selling stuff yourself which increases the price (and risk of getting caught with it) based on the amount of time and number of people contacted about it. Why not use those rules?
Brahm
QUOTE (calypso @ Mar 3 2006, 10:35 AM)
"Used" jewels? Explain that one to me...

Secondhand, not from a storefront.

QUOTE
I think it depends what avenues they pursue to sell them. If they want MONEY NOW!!11 then they have to pawn them, and probably will only get 30% of their value. If they're willing to wait, I see no reason they shouldn't get closer to 75% of their value at auction.


Depends on the type of jewelry. Whether it lots of pedestrian pieces or a few highend ones. Because if it is pedestrian you are pretty much guaranteed to be selling to a middleman anyway that is looking to buy low and sell at something closer to market. No way he'll pay a premium on something that means lots of small sales for him. That puts you way back down the scale.

QUOTE
Also, unless the law changed significantly in 65 years, the "law of finds" means that since they're the ones recovering the unclaimed salvage, it's legally theirs. So, they're not trying to sell stolen goods. And jewelery retains its value remarkably well.


There is a lot of stuff that has changed in 65 years. Like Dragons being elected President. There is absolutely no reason why a special law, tax or otherwise, couldn't be brought into place because of the LA destruction. Or a corp got a salvage contract. Or a criminal org has declared it their turf and actively discourages salvage operations or sells kneecap insurance to salvage operations.

Even now would you not be paying income taxes? Runners normally don't report their income wink.gif, but these guys are going through legal channels. The Taxman cometh!

QUOTE
So I'd say, the longer they're willing to wait for a payoff, the more they should get for them.


This can easily be reflected in negotiation rolls. Potential buys call them with an offer and they with an offer. Maybe they talk them up, maybe they don't. However the will from start to finish be getting calls from bottom feeder traders that are trying to lowball them and get a deal. Also if it is lots of smaller pieces they will likely have to break up into lot sales themselves.
danzig138
All I can offer is that, instead of screwing them in one of the many ways suggested, let them seel the stuff off after a period of time, like someone mentioned, a month or so. Let them get 60-80% for it.

Next time, if you want them to come out with 17k in profit each, work the value so that when they sell the loot legit, its value is such that they come out of it with 17k each optimally.
Brahm
QUOTE (danzig138 @ Mar 3 2006, 12:26 PM)
All I can offer is that, instead of screwing them in one of the many ways suggested, let them seel the stuff off after a period of time, like someone mentioned, a month or so. Let them get 60-80% for it.

Next time, if you want them to come out with 17k in profit each, work the value so that when they sell the loot legit, its value is such that they come out of it with 17k each optimally.

Income tax isn't the GM screwing the player, it is the government screwing the PC in the same old song and dance we both know so well.

The big boys staking a claim on a chunck of known huge wealth isn't the GM screwing the players. It is SR.

Using unexpected loot and unexpected PC decisions as a plot hook isn't the GM screwing the player. It is the GM taking advantage of an opportunity. If the GM used the hook as an excuse to just take an abirtary amount without playing it all out and giving the PCs a real chance of even gaining from the adventure that isn't using it as a plot hook.
calypso
What it comes down to is you guys are offering excuses to lower the value of the items, when such an excuse shouldn't be needed.

It really is "screw the players". Yes, they should have to pay income tax on it if they sell them legally. But all this talk of having an NPC steal them, or mug them, or so forth, is pretty heavy-handed.

No where did I see the OP ask for ways to lower the amount of money the PCs would get. He simply asked if perhaps he should be giving them more than 30% for legally obtained goods. And I say that the answer is yes.

Calypso
Brahm
QUOTE (calypso @ Mar 3 2006, 12:52 PM)
But all this talk of having an NPC steal them, or mug them, or so forth, is pretty heavy-handed.

Death and taxes....and thieves

Heavy handed is a Firewatch platoon or a GD silently dropping out of the sky while they sleep. Setting up a opposition that the PCs can deal with using reasonably priced and straightforward tactics is fair game, and frankly a great change of pace "run". Especially if they have an opportunity to maybe even turn the tables and corpse loot some extra gear or pick up a contact by impressing the J that sent the guys to rob them. They want to put up a target that they would take a swipe at themselves? They aren't the only criminals in town!

EDIT

I guess I wasn't as clear about that as I should have been. Yes, do not bring in the theives just to take cash away. If the PCs hold the day let them have that extra cash. It is only a doubling of what you budgeted for, and it is getting divided 7 ways. That should'nt be enough to break your game.

This is also a great opportunity to create an advisary that the players can really loath, if they don't have it already. Emotionally engaging the players towards a goal that will give them a sense of accomplishment when they reach it. The tricky part is doing that with out pulling out the deus hammer. I suggest the best way to go about it is set up an opposition that has a 50/50 or slightly higher chance defeat the team, but will tends to do so in a none lethal manner and even if they fail are likely to survive. So either way the PCs and the NPC(s) are still around, and it was a memorable experience either way. It also doesn't cheat the players, and hopefully they don't feel directly cheated, because victory was there to be won fair and square. Their PCs though of course will feel either cheated or vidicated, and in a way the players are likely to experience themselves.

Players engaged!
Cain
It's still heavy handed, arbitrary, and unfair. If the players have done a good job of covering their tracks, there's no reason why a team of thieves would be coming after them. EBay has several protection programs in place to protect buyers and sellers, and any shadowrunning team worth their salt will have a few more.

There's other ways of offering plot hooks than screwing over the players and railroading them into the storyline you want them to play. Just because you're not using orbital bovine bombardment doesn't mean that you're not playing it square with your players-- you're still railroading them.

Let the *players* actions decide what steps would be taken. Unless that jewelry is really expensive, why would a gang of near-equal shadowrunners come after them for it? If you want a plot hook, let some of the jewelry be magical, letting the players choose rather or not they want to follow up on that lead. Don't just throw things at them "just because"-- instead, let them choose the course.
Brahm
QUOTE (Cain @ Mar 3 2006, 01:23 PM)
If the players have done a good job of covering their tracks, there's no reason why a team of thieves would be coming after them.

They are publicly saying we got us some jewels we think are worth 1/3 of million nuyen.gif . That pretty much covers both off there. Now if they take extra precautions to mitigate this, then they are indeed covered. Until the taxman comes.
Cain
QUOTE (Brahm)
QUOTE (Cain @ Mar 3 2006, 01:23 PM)
If the players have done a good job of covering their tracks, there's no reason why a team of thieves would be coming after them.

They are publicly saying we got us some jewels we thing are worth 1/3 of million nuyen.gif . That pretty much covers both off there. Now if they take extra precautions to mitigate this, then no they are indeed covered. Until the taxman comes.

If they're using an online auction house, they're going to be well-protected the whole way through; EBay, for example, doesn't require that you tell all potential buyers your name and home address. You're allowed to use a User ID that protects you somewhat. Combine that with a blind email drop, a certified offshore account, and having the jewels held by the auction house, the players aren't going to be in any trouble at all. The auction house might be robbed, but their insurance will pay the PC's off.
Brahm
I know I wouldn't drop hundreds of thousand dollars on jewels site unseen. If they use a service to provide physical security for inspection of the jewelry and escrow? They will likely have mitigated the risk.

But they have also now used a between that is going to take a cut. As big as fencing countraband? No, but it isn't going to be free.

And that is all assuming they didn't create a trail during the original salvage operation. Equipment purchase or rental? The dock they left from? Navigation beacon from their boat they took out?

Basically I'd look at it as if the PCs were running against the same salvage and sell operation. Turn about is indeed fair play.
kigmatzomat
There's 3 ways to do this:

1. You strictly adhere to the rules even when they don't make any sense. (i.e. forcing salvage to be sold at 30%)

2. You find a way for the rules to make sense by ret-conning the setting (taxes, changes to the centuries-old international maritme laws of salvage, etc)

3. You give them the option of 30% NOW or ~80% the way you normally sell jewelry: ssssllllloooowwwwlllllllyyyyy. To get 250,000Y will take between 6-months and a year, they will have to PAY (gasp) an upfront fee (~1-2%) to get the jewelry appraised and PAY (double gasp!) for it to be kept in a secure (bank-type) location (another 1-2%) as well as PAY (triple gasp) for insurance (yet another 1-2%).

So they can take 100,000Y right now or PAY ~10,000Y to earn 250,000Y over several months. Deal or no Deal?

By the way: their best bet is for their stuff to be stolen and covered by insurance since that would cover full (100%) value. So can they resist the urge of stealing their own kit?
nezumi
QUOTE (kigmatzomat)
By the way: their best bet is for their stuff to be stolen and covered by insurance since that would cover full (100%) value. So can they resist the urge of stealing their own kit?

There are many problems with it, the most basic being that I don't think most insurance companies cover most of the cost of jewelry (unless you bought special insurance just for it), the second being that insurance companies don't sell their services to the SINless.
Brahm
QUOTE (nezumi)
QUOTE (kigmatzomat @ Mar 3 2006, 02:47 PM)
By the way: their best bet is for their stuff to be stolen and covered by insurance since that would cover full (100%) value.  So can they resist the urge of stealing their own kit?

There are many problems with it, the most basic being that I don't think most insurance companies cover most of the cost of jewelry (unless you bought special insurance just for it), the second being that insurance companies don't sell their services to the SINless.

Two of the runners have a SIN.
Brahm
QUOTE (kigmatzomat @ Mar 3 2006, 02:47 PM)
2. You find a way for the rules to make sense by ret-conning the setting (taxes, changes to the centuries-old international maritme laws of salvage, etc)

Ret-conning income tax? nyahnyah.gif I better get hold of my accountant. The bastard apparently has been getting me to cut huge cheques to the government for no apparent reason!

The insanity of LA may or may not be covered by the Maritime Law. What is the precidence of a enormous city dropping below sea level and that is expected to pop up again in a couple of years? wink.gif

EDIT More importantly how does this interact with whatever new laws allow extra-territorality that apparently can now occur underwater? Oceanic Arcologies have extra-territorality right?
FrankTrollman
We aren't talking about someone pulling up a bunch of agricultural equipment, or fuel cells, or vehicles or something. We're talking about someone pulling up jewelry, and the fact is that jewelry has no inherent value at all. Diamonds, saphires, even gold is available in raw form extremely cheaply. Gold costs just 1 per gram, and diamonds are available for less than that. You could fill a 2-liter bottle with pure gold and it would be worth less than 40 grand (and weigh more than some dwarfs).

The fact is that jewelry only has any value because DeBeers-Universal Omnitech is willing to shoot people who openly admit that a diamond ring isn't worth more than a set of corrective lenses. Stores that are backed by DeBeers sell jewelry for a lot of money because they have the marketting apparatus (and the Liberians with AKs) to make that happen.

If you're just a guy on the street with some diamond necklaces (whether obtained legally or not), they are worth basically fuck-all. Sorry, but you probably should have been dredging up something with real value instead of just marketting pizzaz. Giving the PCs 30% of retail for jewelry is generous.

Check it out.

-Frank
Cain
QUOTE
I know I wouldn't drop hundreds of thousand dollars on jewels site unseen. If they use a service to provide physical security for inspection of the jewelry and escrow? They will likely have mitigated the risk.

But they have also now used a between that is going to take a cut. As big as fencing countraband? No, but it isn't going to be free.

Probably not, but then again, the cut isn't going to be that painful, either. Auction houses like Christies of London will likely only charge 5% or so. Also note that you can use a blind email with them, nowadays; in 2070 an offshore numbered account shouldn't be a problem, either.

Best of all, Christies has insurance. If the jewelry is stolen, then Christies's insurance will reimburse the team for something approaching their full value.
Brahm
QUOTE (Cain @ Mar 3 2006, 04:35 PM)
QUOTE
I know I wouldn't drop hundreds of thousand dollars on jewels site unseen. If they use a service to provide physical security for inspection of the jewelry and escrow? They will likely have mitigated the risk.

But they have also now used a between that is going to take a cut. As big as fencing countraband? No, but it isn't going to be free.

Probably not, but then again, the cut isn't going to be that painful, either. Auction houses like Christies of London will likely only charge 5% or so. Also note that you can use a blind email with them, nowadays; in 2070 an offshore numbered account shouldn't be a problem, either.

Best of all, Christies has insurance. If the jewelry is stolen, then Christies's insurance will reimburse the team for something approaching their full value.

So 5% and another 40ish % for income tax and costs for setting up the offshore blind drop account applied to say 75% of sale...and that is really optimistic. So you are looking at somewhere near 40% of appraisal in cash that while it is now nice and legal which has it's upsides, is also linked to a real SIN so you need to be careful what you spend it on. So the choices are 30% now in underworld cash/goods or perhaps 40%-45% later in In The System cash. That is a real head scratcher, and likely comes down to their particular situation. Which seems fair, no?
FrankTrollman
Dude, whatever.

This is Adiamor's yellow-gold diamond ring page. Notice how everything costs $200+

and

This is Ebay's diamond rings section. Notice how everything costs less than $40?

Yeah, if you can get 20% of the value of jewelry on Ebay, you're doing fantastic. Go ahead and let people sell shit on ebay, the turnover just isn't good.

-Frank
chazuli
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Part of the difficulty is that one of the characters is a Face with a mondo skill in negotiation. The rules as written don't really allow a negotiator to negotiate a better price.

You can use negotiation to get things more quickly, or to find things to buy more readily but thats about it. Within the context of the rules, (barring an external factor like a supply shortage), the absolute best price you can get selling something is 30% whether you have 7 ranks in Negotiate or none. That doesn't seem right somehow.

I think its from this that the players are wondering why can't *they* do the selling instead of going through a middleman. It's interesting that jewelry doesn't fare well on ebay.

What do you think of this idea as a house rule: use the rules to find an item in reverse. So, the Face has to make an extended Negotiate Test (10) with an interval based on the value of the item. (In the instance of the jewelry which is worth more than 10,000, 1 week). For that they're able to find a buyer who will offer them 40% of the price listed (modified as per the chart, so if the item is used -10%, if it's stolen an additional -10% and a chance of getting busted). Finally, each success beyond the threshold will allow them to get 1% more, but no more than an additional 10%.

Additionally, they have to have a SIN or face a detection test against their fake SIN with the whole deal going sour if that fails. Obviously, by using their SIN it means there's a trail leading to them, which might be undesirable, but that's a risk they can assume if they wish.

Do you think that would be unbalancing?

Best,
Chazuli
Cain
QUOTE
So 5% and another 40ish % for income tax and costs for setting up the offshore blind drop account applied to say 75% of sale...and that is really optimistic. So you are looking at somewhere near 40% of appraisal in cash that while it is now nice and legal which has it's upsides, is also linked to a real SIN so you need to be careful what you spend it on. So the choices are 30% now in underworld cash/goods or perhaps 40%-45% later in In The System cash. That is a real head scratcher, and likely comes down to their particular situation. Which seems fair, no?

No, it doesn't. It seems like screwing over the players for being creative.

If you use an offshore bank account, you're pretty much null and void on taxes. And in the BBB, setting up offshore accounts is much subsumed under lifestyles. There's no reason to make life more difficult for the players, if they've done their homework and have covered themselves well.

If the extra cash is going to be a problem, you can always bleed it out of the game in a lot of different ways. Having them do a lot of personal missions is always good: they spend money on lifestyles, ammo, and wear-and-tear on gear, but aren't earning any income, since everything is done for personal reasons instead of cash. A clever GM can always work it into the storylines, instead of tossing massive obstacles in their path.

QUOTE
What do you think of this idea as a house rule: use the rules to find an item in reverse. So, the Face has to make an extended Negotiate Test (10) with an interval based on the value of the item. (In the instance of the jewelry which is worth more than 10,000, 1 week). For that they're able to find a buyer who will offer them 40% of the price listed (modified as per the chart, so if the item is used -10%, if it's stolen an additional -10% and a chance of getting busted). Finally, each success beyond the threshold will allow them to get 1% more, but no more than an additional 10%.

That might work. I'd make sure that you add extra dice for appropriate things, such as knowing the right people, extra homework on their part, and so on. You can also penalize them for things like: small market, oddity of item, etc.
tisoz
QUOTE (chazuli)
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Part of the difficulty is that one of the characters is a Face with a mondo skill in negotiation. The rules as written don't really allow a negotiator to negotiate a better price.

You can use negotiation to get things more quickly, or to find things to buy more readily but thats about it. Within the context of the rules, (barring an external factor like a supply shortage), the absolute best price you can get selling something is 30% whether you have 7 ranks in Negotiate or none.

We always played the price started at 30% and got negotiated from there.
Brahm
QUOTE (Cain @ Mar 5 2006, 04:22 AM)
No, it doesn't.  It seems like screwing over the players for being creative.

question.gif
I must say you have a very bizzare concept of screwing over players. Their thinking has been rewarded by:
1) Allowing them to choose the standard way or another way.
2) Possibility of clean money.
3) Possibility of between 30% to 50% more money than the GM originally projected.

News flash. Not all creative ideas pan out. They just don't. I tend to also evaluate the idea on its merit and soundness. In this case it works out that it indeed is a reward, if the results happen to suit their needs. Modest income tax and handling fees are fairly natural barriers to their plan.

QUOTE
If you use an offshore bank account, you're pretty much null and void on taxes.


That sir is called tax evasion. They could indeed try that, but now we are talking smuggling. Cyberpirates ahoy!

QUOTE
If the extra cash is going to be a problem, you can always bleed it out of the game in a lot of different ways. Having them do a lot of personal missions is always good: they spend money on lifestyles, ammo, and wear-and-tear on gear, but aren't earning any income, since everything is done for personal reasons instead of cash. A clever GM can always work it into the storylines, instead of tossing massive obstacles in their path.


Oh, I see. So how exactly is tossing personal problems their way and drying up paying work not screwing them in your books? wobble.gif
hyzmarca
I suspect "blood diamonds" has a whole new meaning post awakening and that their value to those who would be interested is porportional to the number of people who you can prove were killed over them.

Anyway, if you want to get big bucks on Ebay you have too sell something rare like an Insect Shaman or a booger that looks like Elvis and/or Jesus.
Cain
QUOTE
I must say you have a very bizzare concept of screwing over players.

If they've covered themselves well, they get rewarded. Tossing additional barriers in their path is screwing them over.
QUOTE
In this case it works out that it indeed is a reward, if the results happen to suit their needs. Modest income tax and handling fees are fairly natural barriers to their plan.

Barriers which they've overcome. Next!
QUOTE
That sir is called tax evasion. They could indeed try that, but now we are talking smuggling. Cyberpirates ahoy!

Just by virtue of being SINless, they're forced into using offshore bank accounts and the like. Many shadowrunners break multiple laws by existing. Heck, since when does a SINless shadowrunner pay taxes on his shadowrunning income?

Sending the IRS after the players for business as usual, especially when they've been careful about things, is definitely screwing them over.
QUOTE
So how exactly is tossing personal problems their way and drying up paying work not screwing them in your books?

You don't "dry up" paying work. Instead, you offer them missions that have a personal, rather than monentary reward. A longtime faithful contact suddently gets into trouble, and can't afford to pay the players to bail him out, for example. Or give them a chance to have revenge on the Johnson who double-crossed them early in their careers. The important thing is that players can say "no" to a scenario, and the problems offer personal rewards. There's lots of things a good GM can do along these lines.
Brahm
QUOTE (Cain @ Mar 6 2006, 11:24 AM)
Barriers which they've overcome. Next!
....
Just by virtue of being SINless, they're forced into using offshore bank accounts and the like. Many shadowrunners break multiple laws by existing. Heck, since when does a SINless shadowrunner pay taxes on his shadowrunning income?

I think you need to go back and check this discussion. You see to have forgotten the whole underpinning is that there are teammembers with a valid, real SIN that were going to try sell on a legal market.

If it is on a legal market the government is going to be watching and they'll be showing up to take their cut. They just do that sort of thing when there is lots of money at stake. Good chance of sliding a few flee market priced sales past them. But a 6 figure sale? Very doubtful.
Cain
QUOTE
If it is on a legal market the government is going to be watching and they'll be showing up to take their cut. They just do that sort of thing when there is lots of money at stake. Good chance of sliding a few flee market priced sales past them. But a 6 figure sale? Very doubtful.

It happens all the time in the real world. If they're selling legally, then most governments will apply a sales tax or VAT to the buyer, not the seller. In fact, I've yet to see a tax that applies to the seller. Business taxes, yes, but that assumes that the team is using a front business, instead of selling directly on Christies.
Dranem
I don't see too much problem in legally selling salvage. It's a centuries old trade, and - as you mentioned - two of your runners are legit.
Facts that may affect the total profit from the run:
- Salvage operating costs. Maintaining your salvage gear is more than lifestyle cost.
- Lifestyle cost for each team member associated with the time it may require to find appropriate buyers
- Paying contacts/fixers/fence/etc to locate buyers or advertising to sell your goods and act as your middleman/contact for time/place of sale. Cost may vary depending how how much legwork the face character wants to do themselves, and what contacts they may have to acheive their goal.
- Runners may need to register their salvage operation with guilds/governement to benefit for higher payback
- Cost of secure storage of goods till buyers are found

Over all you're probably looking at a max of +/- 50-60% of the retail price of goods. The team will never acheive full retail price of goods unless they actually plan to open a retail business (which will incur addtional costs for storefront, business registration, tax numbers, etc) to sell them through.
All depends on how much you want to mico-manage this process.
Oracle
QUOTE (Cain)
If they're selling legally, then most governments will apply a sales tax or VAT to the buyer, not the seller.

I don't know how that works in the US. But in Germany retailers have to pay a tax of 16% on their turnover. The retailer of course then passes this tax on to the customers as VAT.
tisoz
QUOTE (Cain)
QUOTE
If it is on a legal market the government is going to be watching and they'll be showing up to take their cut. They just do that sort of thing when there is lots of money at stake. Good chance of sliding a few flee market priced sales past them. But a 6 figure sale? Very doubtful.

It happens all the time in the real world. If they're selling legally, then most governments will apply a sales tax or VAT to the buyer, not the seller. In fact, I've yet to see a tax that applies to the seller. Business taxes, yes, but that assumes that the team is using a front business, instead of selling directly on Christies.

Looking at it your way, the VAT to the seller is what they sold it for minus the retrieval cost. Otherwise called a profit for a business, and usually taxed.
IAmMarauder
QUOTE (Cain)
[QUOTE][QUOTE]What do you think of this idea as a house rule: use the rules to find an item in reverse. So, the Face has to make an extended Negotiate Test (10) with an interval based on the value of the item. (In the instance of the jewelry which is worth more than 10,000, 1 week). For that they're able to find a buyer who will offer them 40% of the price listed (modified as per the chart, so if the item is used -10%, if it's stolen an additional -10% and a chance of getting busted). Finally, each success beyond the threshold will allow them to get 1% more, but no more than an additional 10%. [/QUOTE]
That might work. I'd make sure that you add extra dice for appropriate things, such as knowing the right people, extra homework on their part, and so on. You can also penalize them for things like: small market, oddity of item, etc.

I was going to recommend something similar; using an extended test using Negotiations, and having a threshold based on various factors (legality, rarity, etc as mentioned by Cain). Set a base Value of 10%, and a base time of 6 months (or something similar). For every success over threshold, they can add 5% (or 10% if you want) to value or drop the time by 2 weeks (or a month). This then puts the choice back on the players; Quick Cash, or Good Cash...

I have no problem with the player getting lucky and getting 60-70% of an items value, as long as the is the negative side of waiting 6 months to get the money. They still have to pay the rent, upkeep equipment, etc in the intervening time. And if something goes sour with the deal, it might liven things up smile.gif I would only use it as a one-off, something to put aside for that time there is a bit of extra play time to fill. I would "reward" them with the item back, with a few extras to fill out the lost value; eg, maybe they find another item (or two) identical to one they were selling, or they managed to stumble across something of equal value. This might even give you another hook (why was he collecting a set of ordinary looking rings?).
Brahm
QUOTE (Cain)
QUOTE
If it is on a legal market the government is going to be watching and they'll be showing up to take their cut. They just do that sort of thing when there is lots of money at stake. Good chance of sliding a few flee market priced sales past them. But a 6 figure sale? Very doubtful.

It happens all the time in the real world. If they're selling legally, then most governments will apply a sales tax or VAT to the buyer, not the seller. In fact, I've yet to see a tax that applies to the seller. Business taxes, yes, but that assumes that the team is using a front business, instead of selling directly on Christies.

What, you don't think you'd have to pay income tax on that as long as you aren't a business? Now I see the disjoint, you don't understand what is taxable income. rotfl.gif
tisoz
QUOTE (Brahm)
What, you don't think you'd have to pay income tax on that as long as you aren't a business? Now I see the disjoint, you don't understand what is taxable income. rotfl.gif

Every time I sell something for a profit, I deduct all the recent (unclaimed) times I've sold something similar for a loss. Kind of like the lottery, save all those losing tickets to offset the income. Funny how the government likes to tax windfall income, but won't let people claim associated losses until they offset such a gain.
Brahm
QUOTE (tisoz @ Mar 7 2006, 12:50 PM)
QUOTE (Brahm @ Mar 7 2006, 08:58 AM)
What, you don't think you'd have to pay income tax on that as long as you aren't a business? Now I see the disjoint, you don't understand what is taxable income. rotfl.gif

Every time I sell something for a profit, I deduct all the recent (unclaimed) times I've sold something similar for a loss. Kind of like the lottery, save all those losing tickets to offset the income. Funny how the government likes to tax windfall income, but won't let people claim associated losses until they offset such a gain.

You mean like IRS agents hanging around the casinos and lotteries taking a cut from the big winners? I'm curious if anyone has ever even tried to declare losing lottery tickets as a loss on their income tax forms? nyahnyah.gif

I'm not sure how it works in the US, but in Canada a while back the courts ruled that you could declare a loss as long as their was a resonable expectation of a profit. I doubt gambling would count there. Of course Canada Customs and Revenue doesn't tax gambling and lottery winnings. They really haven't had the need to because they've got their fingers so far in the backside of the gambling in the country they get their money that way.
tisoz
QUOTE (Brahm)
I'm curious if anyone has ever even tried to declare losing lottery tickets as a loss on their income tax forms? nyahnyah.gif

It wasn't on the tax form because they withold the taxes when you claim the prize. But there was a news story a few years ago where a winner took in all kinds of losing tickets to offset the taxes. Would have worked, the lottery commission said, if he had actually purchased them in trying to win. His problem was buying known losing tickets for pennies on the dollar after winning just to present to offset the tax.
Brahm
QUOTE (tisoz @ Mar 7 2006, 01:59 PM)
QUOTE (Brahm @ Mar 7 2006, 12:01 PM)
I'm curious if anyone has ever even tried to declare losing lottery tickets as a loss on their income tax forms? nyahnyah.gif

It wasn't on the tax form because they withold the taxes when you claim the prize. But there was a news story a few years ago where a winner took in all kinds of losing tickets to offset the taxes. Would have worked, the lottery commission said, if he had actually purchased them in trying to win. His problem was buying known losing tickets for pennies on the dollar after winning just to present to offset the tax.

That's kinda funny. smile.gif

I mean you bought the tickets but don't win. Trying to deduct that from your other income. So declaring a net loss on your lottery 'business'.
tisoz
QUOTE
I mean you bought the tickets but don't win. Trying to deduct that from your other income. So declaring a net loss on your lottery 'business'.

I've heard it tried and denied. Over and over. Losing is entertainment, winning is profit.

I have heard of professional gamblers, full time guys that have no other source of income, getting gambling loss deductions, even having a net loss for the year.
Brahm
QUOTE (tisoz)
I have heard of professional gamblers, full time guys that have no other source of income, getting gambling loss deductions, even having a net loss for the year.

Not having any other significant income would certainly help make the case that it was truely a business.
Cain
QUOTE (Brahm)

What, you don't think you'd have to pay income tax on that as long as you aren't a business?

You're one of the people who find the EZ forms to be too hard, aren't you?

First of all, let me educate you on the concept of a "sales tax". The tax is added to the purchase price of an item, and given to the government. So, the seller doesn't pay any of it out of his pocket.

Second, not all places have income tax. If they're selling in a locale that doesn't have an income tax-- like Seattle-- then they won't be paying an income tax, will they? A complicated enough overseas transaction can also do the same thing, especially if the PC's have safehouses in anoother country, like the NAN. They can then be eligible for the overseas tax credit, which currently is $80,000. Since that's more than what they'd gain indivdually on the sale, they're scot-free.

Third, if you've ever read the tax laws on capital gains, you'd realize that the net gain is calculated based on the Fair Market Value at the time it was obtained. If the PC's claim the jewelry was an inheritance or a gift, they can have it appraised at 350,000, sell it for 349,999, and claim a tax rebate. Don't believe me? Look it up at the IRS site and see for yourself. It's not taxable if you're smart about it, which the players apparently are.

So, next time, try doing a little bit of research on tax laws before you go shooting yourself in the foot, mmkay?
Brahm
QUOTE (Cain @ Mar 8 2006, 04:58 AM)
QUOTE (Brahm)

What, you don't think you'd have to pay income tax on that as long as you aren't a business?

You're one of the people who find the EZ forms to be too hard, aren't you?

First of all, let me educate you on the concept of a "sales tax". The tax is added to the purchase price of an item, and given to the government. So, the seller doesn't pay any of it out of his pocket.

FMV

Well I didn't include a sales tax in my figure. However I believe the point that others were raising about the sales tax is that the buyer paying it would tend to drive down the price they are willing to pay to the seller. But thanks for the education. wink.gif

QUOTE
Second, not all places have income tax. If they're selling in a locale that doesn't have an income tax-- like Seattle-- then they won't be paying an income tax, will they? A complicated enough overseas transaction can also do the same thing, especially if the PC's have safehouses in anoother country, like the NAN. They can then be eligible for the overseas tax credit, which currently is $80,000. Since that's more than what they'd gain indivdually on the sale, they're scot-free.


Tax credit? You mean this one?

http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/intern...d=97060,00.html

You should read that through. The gist of it is that it gives you relief from your US taxes for having paid your taxes somewhere else. But you had to have paid somewhere else!

EDIT If the runners are not LA residents then something like this is likely to apply. http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/intern...d=96414,00.html


Now onto transfering wealth.

http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/intern...=154207,00.html

Usually transfers out are not free. Although historically there have been loopholes most of these have closed in the US (but not before most of the really rich old-money families got their stash out of Dodge). Right now the schemes for transfering wealth to outside the country generally involve giving the wealth away, and if the intent is to transfer to outside the country but retain the wealth that is infact tax evasion.

Even then the transfer could require settling of the taxes due first. Which brings us to your biggested misconception.

QUOTE
Third, if you've ever read the tax laws on capital gains, you'd realize that the net gain is calculated based on the Fair Market Value at the time it was obtained. If the PC's claim the jewelry was an inheritance or a gift, they can have it appraised at 350,000, sell it for 349,999, and claim a tax rebate. Don't believe me? Look it up at the IRS site and see for yourself.


Indeed you would be assessed capital gains based on the difference between the FMV of when you aquired the jewels and when they were sold. Of course given that the jewels are unlikely to appreciate a significant amount between aquiring them and selling them this is likely near nil. Which is a bad thing because if anything capital gains rates are going to be lower than income rates.

However they are still on the tax hook for income of the difference between their [provable]expenses and FMV as that effectively the definition of their income from the salvaging.

Declaring your expenses does raise some other issues, as someone that tries to stay low profile starts giving a detailed reporting of their operation to The Man. wink.gif

QUOTE
So, next time, try doing a little bit of research on tax laws before you go shooting yourself in the foot, mmkay?


rotfl.gif rotfl.gif dead.gif
Bira
If their salvage operation was legal in the first place, I'd allow the characters to sell the loot at close to market value, provided they are willing to wait a few months for the money to come in. If they want to pocket the money earlier, they'll get less, but that's because they're rushing the legal sale, not selling it on the black market.

The way I see it, the group already paid the "cost" of that money by going through the "adventure" of salvaging the jewels in the first place. And, in the context of the game, stuff such as government taxes and fees for auction houses and whatnot are nothing more than niggling details. I'd say taxes are part of your lifestyle costs if you have a SIN, and the auction/escrow fees are part of what reduces the profit from selling the jewels to less than 350.000. Getting 75% of that (or 50% + negotiation successes) in six months sounds perfectly reasonable.
Brahm
Niggling details? You mean like players niggling on the detail of selling it legally instead of on the blackmarket? Niggles go both ways. biggrin.gif
Cain
QUOTE
You should read that through. The gist of it is that it gives you relief from your US taxes for having paid your taxes somewhere else. But you had to have paid somewhere else!

I have, but apparently you haven't. If the money has been taxed via a sales tax, then it counts against the limit.
QUOTE
Indeed you would be assessed capital gains based on the difference between the FMV of when you aquired the jewels and when they were sold. Of course given that the jewels are unlikely to appreciate a significant amount between aquiring them and selling them this is likely near nil. Which is a bad thing because if anything capital gains rates are going to be lower than income rates.

However they are still on the tax hook for income of the difference between their [provable]expenses and FMV as that effectively the definition of their income from the salvaging.

Not really. It works something like this:
1. One PC claims the jewelry as salvage. This does not count as income, since he hasn't sold it or gained anything from it yet.
2. The PC "gives" it to the rest of the party, who then has it appraised. Since it was obtained as a gift, the FMV is automatically equal to the appraised price. First PC is off the hook tax-wise, and the rest of the team still hasn't earned any money.
3. The team has the jewelry sold for less than the appraised value. They can now claim a tax break, and still take in a lot of money.
4. Each member of the team converts a portion of their take into certified cred, which is then given to the first PC. Certified cred is untraceable, and so it never shows up on your taxes unless you declare it.

So, if you've actually read the tax codes, or anything pertinent to the discussion, it's perfectly clear and easy.
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