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Celebrities Must Pay Taxes, Too

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OscarsWhen you finally make it big and you receive an invitation to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Awards (the Oscars), pay attention to the gift bags you receive. The Academy will give your name to the IRS to let them know that you’ll owe taxes on the gift [MSN Money].

Responsibility for paying taxes on the latest gifts, handed out in March, falls on the recipients. They will be getting tax forms from the Academy as reminders…

The same goes for the Emmy Awards this weekend. The celebrities’ gift bags may be worth up to $33,000, and the recipients will owe tax to the government. So what’s in these coveted gift baskets?

Charlize Theron at the Oscars

Celebrity gift baskets typically come packed with the latest electronics, designer clothes and jewelry and gift certificates for fancy dinners, four-star hotel stays, spa treatments and cosmetic surgery procedures… Each massive swag bag — packed in a rolling footlocker for ease of transport — includes a couture iPod case worth $395, Stud Monkey jeans that sell for $280 and a VIP stay at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas valued at $8,500.

There are some who protest — not to the taxes, but to the extravagant gifts:

Officials at Sundance — whose annual Park City film festival has become connected with a celebrity gift-house free-for-all — hope new attention from the IRS dissuades celebrities from accepting piles of swag that has nothing to do with their work.

Companies find the benefit of providing items to the celebrities for free with the hopes that they will be seen using or wearing the product. There’s nothing new about this.

Updated January 16, 2010 and originally published August 22, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

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