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In the Zone: Tax Zone
March 17, 2010    
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Editor's Note
Gail Perry, CPA, Managing Editor For years our national royalty (i.e. Hollywood celebrities) have received generously-filled gift bags when they arrive at the annual Oscar-fest, tens of thousands of dollars worth of goodies to add to the thrill of their glamorous night. As gifts, the contents of these bags are not subject to income tax. However, the IRS has taken the position in recent years that these aren't gifts at all but a form of compensation for the stars who participate in the event. The IRS requires that the companies providing the items also provide 1099 forms, and some of the celebs reject the bags altogether. What do you think? Feel free to add your comments at the bottom of our Oscar article.

Best wishes,
Gail Perry, CPA
Managing Editor
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Oscar swag bags loaded with taxable goodies
Even if you never watch Hollywood’s seemingly endless lineup of awards shows, you’re probably aware that the celebrities who appear on those programs are thanked with gift bags loaded with expensive items.
Senate moves to protect small business from unfair penalties
Small businesses get a break in the form of an extended moratorium on penalties related to tax shelters. Since last summer the Internal Revenue Service, under pressure from Congress, has been extending the moratorium a few months at a time.
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Update: Bad guys plead guilty in two separate cases
Sherry Lynn Vertoch was arrested for posing as an agent of the Internal Revenue Service in order to gain free housing at a California hotel. If convicted, Vertoch could spend up to three years in prison.
COBRA premium subsidy temporarily extended again
On March 2, President Obama signed the Temporary Extension Act of 2010 (the “TEA”) extending the COBRA premium subsidy eligibility period for an additional month, through March 31.
IRS announces qualified disaster treatment for Chile
The Internal Revenue Service this week issued guidance designating the February earthquake in Chile as a qualified disaster for federal tax purposes.
IRS wants new, controversial issues to dissect
The IRS wants business taxpayers, associations, and other interested parties to submit to the Industry Issue Resolution (IIR) Program tax issues for resolution involving a controversy, a dispute, or an unnecessary burden on business taxpayers.
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