The IRS Loves The Oscars
Whether you’re a fan of the Oscars or not, the IRS sure is.
They get pretty excited every year. That’s because the Oscars swag bag has been a topic of tax discussions for years. This year, more than 50 items with a total value of over $100,000 were handed out to the celebrities who attended the Oscars, and the IRS considers this taxable income. They also intend to get their cut from the celebrities whether they accepted the gift bag or not.
This makes the IRS one of the biggest Oscar winners.
According to Forbes.com, “This year’s bag includes a week-long vacation in Greece, a luxury small-ship adventure to Iceland, the Galapagos, the Amazon, Costa Rica or Panama (valued at up to $20,000 per person), an all-inclusive week-long wellness retreat in San Marcos, California, an annual membership to an exclusive cannabis-friendly social club, private therapy sessions, a set of 15 luxury false eyelashes, and a Yeti cooler filled with Jarritos.”
Another Forbes article listed a “glow-in-the-dark Mister Poop Emoji Plunger” among the 53 items in the swag bag. When an unsuspecting celeb gets hit with their tax bill, they may need that plunger to help get rid of the poopy feelings.
“Still,” as Forbes.com points out, “some celebs re-gift the bags or turn them down. They can take a charitable contribution deduction if they donate the gift bag to a qualified charity. But the fair market value of the gifts must still be reported on their tax returns. That’s where turning goodies down raises odd tax issues.” The make a good point saying that, “If you turn down a bonus from your employer, it’s still income according to the IRS.”
Most taxpayers that my firm helps do not have such luxurious tax problems to deal with.
If you have real IRS issues that need attention, for instance you’ve been afraid to file because you know you’re going to owe and you can’t pay, give me a call. We help people with those and other real life tax issues everyday.