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What's Inside the $100K Oscars Gift Bag

March 6, 2018 | Brendan Menapace


The gift bag at the Oscars sounds glamorous, but it also comes with a hefty price tag.

Was your invitation to this year’s Academy Awards lost in the mail like ours were? Bummer, right? We had our tuxes ready for Hollywood’s biggest night, but we were mostly excited about those sweet, sweet gift bags that all of the nominees receive.

So, let’s take a look at what we missed out on, and hope that next year we don’t get snubbed.

This year’s gift bag, strategically called the “Everyone Wins Nominee Gift Bag” to avoid legal issues after 2016, was worth at least $100,000.

There are always a few trips, which obviously can’t fit in a gift bag. This year included 12 nights in Tanzania, resort stay in Hawaii, spa visits and trips to Greece.

In terms of physical items nominees receive, here are some of the things that stood out the most to us:

  • Lemonade-flavored moonshine
  • Underarm sweat patches from Dandi Patch
  • Edible jewelry from Chocolatines
  • Jarritos Mexican soda
  • Justice for Vets symbolic coin
  • Happiest Tee’s T-shirts
  • My Magic Mud coconut shell, charcoal and bentonite clay toothpaste
  • Rouge Maple syrup
  • Shop Modern Innovations’ levitating bluetooth speaker
  • Wetsleeve hydration sleeve

(You can check out the full list on ABC News.)

That all sounds great, right? We didn’t even mention some of the high-end jewelry or commissioned art. It sure would be nice to just grab the gift bag and go home, but it’s not quite that simple (or inexpensive).

According to Time, the tax bill attached to the gift bag could be about $50,000. That’s half of what the bag is worth in the first place.

Also, those lucky recipients likely won’t be able to deduct their state income tax on their federal taxes, which they were able to do until this year in California.

So, what’s the best way to reap the benefits and save some cash? There kind of isn’t one.

Time quoted tax lawyer Robert Wood, who said the best way to avoid paying the tax is to refuse to accept the gifts. But that’s no fun!

George Clooney had donated the contents of his gift bag in the past. This allowed him to report the value to the IRS as income, but allowed him to make a deduction equal to the charitable donation’s value.

On second thought, maybe we don’t really want these bags after all. It’s much easier (and cheaper) to get fun, usable promo products at events and local businesses without having to consult an accountant or take out a loan.

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