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Sunday, August 13, 2006
IRS INVADES HOLLYWOOD
HA HA HA !!!
TAXING TIMES FOR SWAG BAGS: (Link will time out tonight) A CRACKDOWN by the Internal Revenue Service could doom the practice of handing out "goodie bags" to celebrities at all of the televised award shows.
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences recently sent out letters to presenters and nominees scheduled to appear on the Aug. 27 Emmy Awards advising them they will be responsible for paying income taxes on the freebies in their "very special Gift Bag," worth between $27,000 and $33,000.
Every celebrity who received the warning was asked to sign and return a letter to the Academy acknowledging, "You are aware of this obligation . . . We will not be able to present a gift bag to any individual for whom we have not received this signed letter in advance."
The Academy hinted it might be forced to turn over a list of its swag-bag recipients to the IRS. It warned in a letter to the TV talent: "We are presently researching the income-tax reporting requirements surrounding gift bags. We will make a determination later this year as to the Television Academy's income-tax reporting obligations to the IRS and state and local tax authorities."
Most stars won't have the time for all the free trips in the bag, including holidays in New Zealand, Hawaii and the Bahamas. And they certainly don't want to be liable for taxes on trips they never took.
"This is the end of the goodie-bag era," predicted one insider. "Who would want their name on a list sent to the IRS?"
8 Sky's the limit on Oscar swag bags this year (2006)
8 Even the losers make out like bandits. "I would like to thank the Academy . . . ": Talk about consolation prizes!