Remember Karen H. Klein, the upstate New York school bus monitor driven to tears from a barrage of mean spirited insults and taunts from a group of middle school kids? The Internet community at large hasn't forgotten, and continues to donate to what was originally intended to be a $5,000 fund to send Ms. Klein on a "vacation of a lifetime," but quickly ballooned into what will likely end up a tax free retirement fund worth at least $650,000.
The online fundraising effort has raised over $646,000 to date, far surpassing the original goal with 26 days still remaining. Additional donations are now trickling in at a far slower pace, but it doesn't matter, Ms. Klein has more than enough to retire as a bus monitor, where she was making $15,000 and change annually. Wondering what she'll do with the money?
According to People.com , Ms. Klein plans to invest some of the money and donate a portion to charity, as well as to family members, some of which have kids with autism and Down syndrome. She'll have plenty to do both if the money ends up being exempt from taxes.'
"As a general rule, there are no income tax implications to the recipient/donee of a cash gift," tax lawyer Joanne Clark, Esq., told Mashable in an email . "If she invests that cash, she would be responsible for income taxes on any income derived from it."
At least three of the children who taunted Ms. Klein in the video have written letters of apology to the school bus monitor, as have some of the parents.