--(BUSINESS WIRE)--What: This year’s 89th Academy Awards are just around the corner, and so are the luxurious Oscar “swag bags” that are provided to celebrities who are nominated for certain awards. Attention surrounding these swag bags has grown over the years due to the questionable and/or racy nature of some of the gifts, as well as a recent lawsuit against the creators of the lavish bags for trademark infringement. But one thing has remained the same – nothing in life is free, and neither are the Oscar swag bags given what recipients must pay in taxes.
Why: Last year’s Oscar goodie bag was estimated at more than $200,000 of free merchandise and promotions. While the IRS put an end to the Academy issuing gift bags in 2006, the practice has continued by outside vendors who supply Oscar nominees with the bags. While celebrities may be tempted to accept the bags which are known for providing a range of jewelry, spa packages, cosmetic procedures and extravagant trips, they must remember that these gifts come with tax obligations.
Who: Tax expert and movie buff Mark Luscombe, JD, LLM, CPA and Principal Federal Tax Analyst for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, is available for interviews and in-depth information about the tax implications of Oscar swag and other gifting that may be considered taxable income. Among the topics Mark can discuss:
- At what point a “free” gift is considered taxable
- What are the expected taxes celebrities will pay on a $200K goodie bag
- How taxes are impacted if celebrities refused to accept, donate or sell all or part of their swag bags
- What tax planning should be done before the goodie bag is accepted
- Other gifts or arrangements that carry tax implications, such as lottery wins, endorsement deals and Olympic medals
When: Mr. Luscombe is available for phone interviews to provide in-depth background and analysis on the taxes associated with Oscar swag and other gifts.
Contact: To arrange interviews with Mark Luscombe or other federal and state tax experts from Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting on this or any other tax-related topics, please contact: