Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Enter Taxman: Or, How Swaggotry Was Curtailed

(image via camcycle)

Sundance used to be a swaggot's dream. $100,000 gift bags, and whatnot (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment). No longer. Uncle Sam wants his cut of that sweet USDA-prime swag ass. If Swag Bags are celebrity doggie bags, then Uncle Sam is fiending for a fix of his dog yummy. And if Old Sammy doesn't get that goddam Milk Bone, he might just gnaw on some anorexicish starlet instead, because he's that kind of pooch. From Stuff

"Robert Redford chafes at the descent of what he calls 'ambush marketers' on the celebrities attending the Sundance Film Festival he founded as a showcase for independent film without all the commercial trappings of Hollywood.
But he may be encouraged by the latest trends in so-called "swag" on the sidelines of this year's event. Celebrity gift baskets, a phenomenon driven by companies' hopes that celebrities will be shown using their products, are becoming lighter and greener and just a bit more discreet.

"Stars at Sundance also have more opportunities to make donations to charity, from underwear for a local women's shelter to phone cards for soldiers.

"And who is playing the leading role in this new version of swag? None other than the tax man.

"Last year, months before the Academy Awards, the Internal Revenue Service launched a swag crackdown, putting Hollywood on notice that the $US100,000 goodie bags for Oscar participants - stuffed with Hawaiian hotel suites and surfing lessons - were not gifts but rather compensation and subject to taxes."

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