Booster Club Deduction

September 3, 2018
How to tackle deductions for booster club donations

With college football season kicking off soon, you might contribute to a booster club for your alma mater or a favorite in-state school.

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.

Tax laws change for college 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.

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).

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. Schedule an appointment with us if you have questions about itemizing for 2018.

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