The College Athletic Seating Deduction: Experts Weigh-In

The College Athletic Seating Deduction: Expert Fundraising Opinion

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the U.S. tax reform bill signed into law late last year, repeals a rule that allowed taxpayers to deduct 80 percent of a contribution made for the right to purchase tickets for college and university athletic events.

To get a better understanding of this provision and its implications for colleges and universities,  Brian Flahaven, Senior Director of Advocacy at CASE recently interviewed John Taylor, partner at Alexander Haas.

Note that the following Q&A is not legal or tax guidance/advice.

How did the athletic seating deduction rule work prior to passage of the new law?

John Taylor: Typically donors are not allowed to deduct a charitable contribution when they receive a benefit in return; or, if the benefit is insubstantial (cost of a meal, T-shirt), they must generally subtract the value of the benefit from the amount that can be deducted.

However, the tax code included a rule that allowed donors who made contributions in exchange for the right to purchase tickets or seating at a college or university athletic event to treat 80 percent of the contribution as a charitable contribution. Many colleges and universities have relied on this “80/20” rule to encourage charitable gifts to support athletic programs, scholarships, facilities upgrades/construction and other priorities at their institutions.

Read the rest of the article on the CASE website – https://blog.case.org/2018/01/26/the-college-athletic-seating-deduction-is-out-heres-what-we-know-so-far/