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March 06, 2006

Oscar Guests Hit With Taxes

It's a long tradition to offer celebrites very expensive gift-bags when they come to industry functions.

Very expensive. Really top-of-the-shelf stuff. And the gift-bags get more and more extravagant every year.

The IRS has decided it wants its fair share:

Guests who took home gift-packed bags from yesterday's (05MAR06) Academy Awards ceremony may have to pay $30,000 (GBP17,500) in taxes on their new acquisitions. The bags, which included a $7000 (GBP4,000) Victoria's Secret underwear set and a coupon for LASIK surgery, are worth approximately $100,000 (GBP58,000) each. And unfortunately for the celebrities present, the Unites States [IRS] has declared that the bags given to Oscar attendees count as taxable income.

Well of course it's taxable income!

No wonder celebrities don't mind higher tax rates. So much of their life is completely tax-free, rising rates don't impact them as much as one would expect.

Higher taxes are to help "the little people." But paying taxes are apparently aslo for "the little people."

Since the money is just being taken from the little people to give it back to them later (after deducting 50% for paying bureaucrats to shuffle it from one account to another and then cut a check), maybe celebrities would do us all a favor and just leave it where it lays. Their super-comped lifestyle, plus their squads of high-paid tax-avoidance lawyers, squirreling away their money into sheltered trusts and such, means they're not paying into the kitty anyway.

So really, they shouldn't get to have an opinion.

I've said this before, but I'll say it again: There is nothing illegal about overpaying your taxes. The IRS will not throw you in jail if you pay double what is demanded of you.

So Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin and the like can institute a do it yourself tax-hike plan, leading by example, by simply paying taxes at the higher rates they would like to see inflicted on the rest of us.

Go ahead, guys. If you're serious, start paying double or even triple your taxes, and show us all that it's not such a burden. (And pay it on your actual income, not the much-diminished income you declare after failing to include all the gifts and free travel you receive as well as all the money sheltered away in trusts.)

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posted by Ace at 04:05 PM

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