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Golden Globe Swag Bags: What Are the Tax Implications?


The 81st Golden Globe Awards celebrated the best in film and television productions of 2023. While everyone can’t walk away with the coveted trophy from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the winners and presenters received a pretty special (and pricey) prize for their part in the annual extravaganza. 

According to a press release on the Golden Globes’ website, this year’s gift bags are estimated to be worth over $500,000 and include more than 35 luxurious products and experiences. Robb Report crafted “The Ultimate Gift Box” – and in addition to lavish travel, caviar, and much more, the Robb Report “will make a generous contribution to the Golden Globes® Foundation to support arts, education, journalism, humanitarian projects, and non-profit organizations dedicated to empowering underrepresented communities within the entertainment industry.”

But what are the potential tax ramifications of receiving trips to exotic locations, skincare treatments, or a session with a tattoo artist included in the swag bag? Recipients will need to claim the fair market value of the bags as ordinary income rather than as a gift, according to a 2006 agreement reached by the IRS and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which administers the Golden Globes.

Assuming the celebrity is in the highest tax bracket and a 37% rate applies, this year’s swag bags come with a hefty tax price tag that could be close to $185,000 depending on the exact value of the swag bags. That may have some nominees seeing a red light instead of the red carpet. On the bright side, recipients of the goodie bags are allowed to donate the gifts to charity and receive a tax deduction, but they still have to claim the gifts as income.

While you may not be a Golden Globe nominee, any winning bets you place on nominees, as well as any other gambling, lottery, raffle, and sweepstakes winnings you had during the year are considered taxable income. Whether you had a lucky 2023 or already setting your sights on 2024 winnings, TurboTax will ask you about your winnings and help every step of the way when filing your taxes. 

No matter what moves you made last year, TurboTax will make them count on your taxes. Whether you want to do your taxes yourself or have a TurboTax expert file for you, we’ll make sure you get every dollar you deserve and your biggest possible refund – guaranteed. 

TurboTaxBlogTeam
TurboTaxBlogTeam



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