In some TV games, where participants are usually famous people, the prize money goes to charity organization. In France, donations to such organizations by individuals give right to tax exemptions. Do the producers of such shows ("Fort Boyard", "Qui veut gagner des Millions", "LOL qui rit sort") have a right to the same tax exemption for game earnings, and do they use it ?

In other words, for instance when "LOL qui rit sort" announces 90k€ winnings for various charities, does it cost Amazon 90k€ or less than that due to tax exemptions ?

1 Answer 1


It doesn’t matter who the winnings go to, they’re legitimate business expenses and therefore tax deductible

The prize money for these shows is a tax deductible business expense just like the salaries of the cast and crew, the hire of the studio, or the marketing and advertising expenses. As such they are part of the expenses that are deducted from the revenues to determine the taxable profit.

Whether the winnings are taxable in the hands of the winners depends on local tax law. Some countries treat prizes as taxable income, some treat it as a non taxable windfall, and some make a distinction between professional “gamblers” and amateurs.

For those celebrity episodes, the celebrities are paid a fee for their performance (because it’s their job) and the prize goes straight from the producer to the charity.

  • Is it not less favorable for the company than if it were a gift to a non -profit though ? For individuals, such donations can give a tax deduction up to 66% of the amount, so donating 10k€ would cost only 3.4k€. On the other hand, if it is just subtracted from taxable profit, it costs (10k€-the tax they would pay on 10k€), but that tax amount is way below 66% of the amount.
    – gdelab
    Apr 12, 2023 at 9:01
  • @gdelab specific tax laws may make one more preferable to the other
    – Dale M
    Apr 12, 2023 at 10:00

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