A few years ago there was a whole bunch of hoopla when Oprah gave out “free” cars to her studio audience and the people were taxed on them. Last year the first Survivor winner, Richard Hatch, was sentenced to prison for not paying taxes on the $1 million dollars he won. I recently attended a taping of “The View” and was required to fill out a form accepting that if I was given a prize over a certain dollar amount while in the studio audience that I was aware that I would be taxed on it (no such luck, though).
Apple Vacations happily gives away thousands of prizes each year with radio stations, web sites, newspapers, professional sports teams, at special events and with our own promotions on our website. We just gave a trip away on Facebook and plan to do so again when we reach 5,000 followers on Twitter. We strive to provide a winner with the same complete vacation experience and the best customer service we provide to all Apple vacationers. Just because a prize is won does not mean they are substandard service or accommodations – in fact, prizewinners generally stay at 5 and 6 apple resorts.
Typically we give away all-inclusive vacations, so even ALL your meals, drinks and tips are included. The air portion and the hotel portion are considered the taxable prize. There are, however, components of the trip that will require you to reach into your wallet.
- When you travel to a foreign country and return home, there are U.S. and foreign departure taxes and airport fees. Apple Vacations pre-collects these fees; upon booking your prize-winning trip, you will be invoiced for them.
- Most travel suppliers that we work with also have a clause requiring prize winners to have travel protection (a.k.a. insurance), and we invoice the vacationer for the travel protection as well.
- In the Dominican Republic there is a $10.00 tourist card fee upon entry in to the country that must be paid upon arrival at the airport.
- Also, don’t forget Uncle Sam! You will receive a 1099 on the value of the vacation you have won.
Winning an Apple Vacation is meant to be a joyous event and a seamless process. That’s our goal — good luck!
Find out more about our Twitter contest and you could be a winner, too!