Extreme Makeover uses “innovative scheme” to keep families from paying taxes.

Extreme Makeover uses “innovative scheme” to keep families from paying taxes.
As gifts from show producers, renovations done to a home on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition are taxable, and that could end up costing families who participate hundreds of thousands of dollars. But Variety reports that Endemol “has an innovative scheme to get around at least the initial tax hit. The company leases the property for the purposes of shooting the show for 14 days. Any improvements made during the lease are tax-exempt.” The producers of FOX’s Renovate My Family, Rocket Science Laboratories, “decided to pay families a lump sum to cover tax liabilities. But since the payment itself is also classified as taxable income, they adjust the amount so in the end the families owe zero.” One family featured on that show, the Rosiers, received a 1099 form showing $529,148 in income from the renovations. Variety reports that Rocket Science is “offering $215,000 to cover their tax liabilities.” The company did the same thing with Joe Millionaire 2‘s David Smith, who “won a 70-acre Texas ranch”; Rocket Science “covered the taxes on the $500,000 gift.”

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.