The Impact of Tax Reform on Intercollegiate Athletics

As you have likely heard, the proposed Senate and House tax reform bills are currently in committee deliberation to reconcile their differences. The final bill will have widespread implications for exempt organizations, individuals and businesses. Although it hasn’t passed yet, we feel it’s important to inform you on how it will impact your athletic department so that you can take steps now to minimize your tax liability in 2018.

The proposed bill will likely remove the tax deductibility of charitable contributions made for seating at an athletic event in an athletic stadium of a higher education institution (e.g., priority seating contributions or ticket related contributions). While the long-term impact to intercollegiate athletics programs of this change is hard to predict, there may be some opportunities to take in the limited time left in 2017:

  • Encourage ticket holders who make priority seating contributions to make their 2018 season contributions before December 31, 2017.
  • Encourage larger prepaid contributions for not only the 2018 athletic year, but additional future years as well.

Any changes occurring as a result of the tax legislation are likely to go into effect on January 1, 2018. So for 2017, these contributions would still be tax deductible (at 80% of the contribution amount, less any quid pro quo – e.g., goods or services received related to the contribution).

Please contact us with questions regarding how the proposed tax bill will impact your athletic department.

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