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HFPA touts Globes’ tax relevance

2008 ceremony cancellation cost org $5.8 mil

With the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. gearing up for Thursday’s announcement of Golden Globe nominations, new tax records show just how important that event is to the org.

The HFPA took a $5.8 million hit from the strike-induced cancellation of January’s Golden Globe telecast, according to recently released tax documents.

To compensate for the loss of telecast income, the nonprofit had to dip into savings to cover its $3.5 million in annual expenses and charitable contributions. The org sold off $2.4 million in securities.

Aside from the lost income, the HFPA told the IRS that the canceled Globes cost the org $239,157, including $3,305 for flowers and gifts; $71,544 for the banquet dinner that didn’t happen; and $58,106 for printing and publicity.

In lieu of the usual red-carpet event, the HFPA, Dick Clark Prods. and NBC pulled together a no-frills half-hour show to announce winners.

In 2007, the HFPA netted $5.8 million from the Globecast, and that amount would probably have increased this year. The org splits the fee NBC pays with Dick Clark Prods., so presumably DCP took a similar loss, though the company had no comment.

This year’s HFPA tax return shows the nonprofit netted $554,981 from “special events,” which is usually how the org reports Globe income, but a spokesman said that sum is late income from prior Globes telecasts.

Besides that half-million dollars, the HFPA had income from dividends and other investments, but the org’s total assets (cash, stocks, bonds and its headquarters on Robertson Boulevard) took a drop from $18.6 million to $15.8 million.

However, despite the reduced income, the HFPA didn’t go on a financial diet.

The org increased by $200,000 the amount it donated to mostly film-related charities to $1.3 million. This included $350,000 to the Film Foundation and $100,000 to the Sundance Institute.

Also increased was the amount members spent on travel expenses, up from $570,356 to $722,547. With just 94 members, that comes to $7,686 each. This money was spent on attending film festivals, news conferences and premieres.

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