The producers of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition have avoided tax implications by leasing the contestants’ properties during the renovations. However, the contestants on Fox’s Renovate My Family were not so lucky, as an Illinois family found out when they discovered that their new dream home represented more than half a million dollars in taxable income.
This problem is hardly confined to home reconstruction shows, however. As Vic wrote in an earlier article here on Screen Rant, Survivor winner Richard Hatch ended up in hot water with the IRS for failing to pay taxes on his $1 million prize. And remember the Oprah show where she gave everyone in the audience a new car? Those happy people weren’t smiling when tax time rolled around.
Even in the reality TV world, the old saying is true: Be careful what you wish for. You may get it.