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Oprah -- I'll Pay the Taxes for My Aussie Giveaway

9/17/2010 9:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Oprah Winfrey doesn't want her all-expenses-paid Australian trip giveaway to turn into the tax trap that soured her "Everybody gets a car!" show ... in fact, O is making sure none of her new "guests" pay an extra cent to the IRS.

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TMZ spoke with Larry Edema from Michigan -- who was selected to be in the audience on Monday for Oprah's big giveaway -- and dude tells us Winfrey had a certified public accountant on hand to address the tax issue right after the taping.

Edema says the CPA informed the group that all taxes associated with the trip would be "handled by the Oprah show," so the trip would truly be 100% free.

The CPA also explained that O would cover all sightseeing costs and travel-related expenses -- including passport costs for people who can't afford them. 

091510_oprahIt's a big change from Oprah's 2004 controversy -- when she famously gave away brand new cars, but saddled audience members with as much as $7,000 in gift taxes.

Not pictured above -- Oprah's halo.

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68 COMMENTS

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Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
61.

tessa    

Oprah and staff hand pick the audiences for these big give-aways. There's nothing random about it, just another ego boosting stunt. Let's all scream for Oprah, ain't she grand?

1465 days ago
62.

TJ    

Isn't paying the taxes also a gift that is taxable?

1465 days ago
63.

WTF !!    

Why can't she just come here a do her show without bringing 300 of her hand picked audience/friends...why can't she do the show here and pick 300 Aussies to travel around Australia..it seems fair considering the Australian taxpayer is paying for all of them to come here !!!!

1465 days ago
64.

ahh    

wow losers shes giving a trip she and whoever planned it and that is it, would you ask clinton or anyone gates etc if they done that or will you just like to be a part of the plan crew and that will be ok. There are a bunch of miserable unhappy people worldwide on the net or otherwise and it clearly shows, trust me i know.

1464 days ago
65.

The Tax Guy    

Let me clear it up for you guys. I'm a professional tax preparer and IRS Enrolled Agent. First off, the CPA on Oprah's show would know the true liability of the gift recipients. I suspect that Oprah in fact is "giving" nothing away as this is being underwritten by the Australian government and would likely be considered a non-taxable gift. If Oprah were in fact paying for this trip and giving it to the audience members then they would be liable for the taxes on the fair market value of the trip. Individuals are taxable on economic benefits received, not just cash. If Oprah then paid their tax bill for them, this would also be an economic benefit and itself would be taxable and Oprah would have to send a 1099 form to each audience member. It appears that the first situation is what is happening here and that the Australian tourist office is underwriting this.

1463 days ago
66.

THERESA MORRIS    

I REALLY WATCHING THE OPRAH SHOW. MANY TIME I AM NOT ABLE TO WATCH THE SHOW BECAUSE WITH THE SWITCH OVER TO DIGITAL. ITS VERY DIFFIICULT TO GET THE STATION. I'VE RECENTLY WRITTEN A BOOK AND TRYING TO FIND A PUBLISHING COMPANY. PRESENTLY UNEMPLOYED IS THE REASON II CANNOT GET THE BOOK SUBSCRIPTION. THANKS YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE GIFT COPY. I AM REALLY ENJOYING EVERY ARTICLE IN IT. MUCH SUCCESS TO YOU WITH ALL YOUR FUTURE ADVENTURES. THERESA

1460 days ago
67.

antonio Loloa    

the whole car giveaway she said gm motors wants to give everyone a car. dont hate because your broke and bitter.At least she trying to organise so people recieve free things.

1396 days ago
68.

shaon liggetto    

dear ophra, i need a a fairly new car so i try to find a job. i am a lpn with a aas degree. i am 61 years old and for the first time in my life i had to go to social services and ask for help when i know i am a darn good nurs. when i was younger i took care of both my parents so they would never go to a nursing home. right now my car needs so many repairs which dealers have said it isn't worth it. please help me if you can, i don't want to lose my home and live on the streets. thank you ophra

1231 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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