March 05, 2019 | Posted in:

How to Tackle Deductions for Booster Club Donations

In the past, you could claim a limited charitable deduction if your contributions provided you with preferred seating in the stadium or some other comparable benefit. But that’s no longer the case.


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    New tax laws change for charitable contributions

    Previously, the deduction for booster club donations was equal to 80 percent of the payment if you were given the rights to buy tickets on the 50-yard-line or some other desirable location in the sporting venue.

    For example, if you paid $10,000, you could write off $8,000. But the cost of the tickets you actually purchased was nondeductible.

    Under recent tax legislation, the deduction for contributions to a college or university made in return for seating rights at athletic events has been eliminated. And, unlike many of the other tax law changes for individuals, this provision is permanent.

    Nevertheless, you can still deduct donations that support a school if you don’t receive any benefits in exchange, assuming you itemize on your return.

    “Many high school sports have booster clubs and contributions to these would likely be fully deductible since high schools don’t typically sell tickets for specific seats.” — Julie Strohlein, CPA

    Now, if you contribute the same $10,000 to a booster club, you’re not entitled to any preferred seating. Even though you might have to pay more to get the seats that you want, you can write off the entire $10,000 contribution (subject to the usual tax rules for charitable donations).

    “As always, the cost of the tickets themselves is not deductible.” — Julie Strohlein, CPA

    Keep in mind that new tax law provisions essentially double the standard deduction, while reducing certain tax benefits of itemized deductions. As a result, you may no longer itemize deductions during these years.

    “There are some tax planning strategies as to the timing of charitable contributions that may help, such as “bunching” two years’ worth of donations into one calendar year.” — Julie Strohlein, CPA

    Schedule an appointment with your Alloy Silverstein CPA and tax advisor if you have questions about itemizing for 2018.


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