Patron’s Gifts and Athletic Tickets

Subject to Congress changing the law, the cost of tickets to a charitable event is eligible for a contribution deduction to the extent the purchase price exceeds the fair market value of admission and privileges associated with the event.

Tickets to a charitable event are not necessarily deductible simply because they are not used by the taxpayer, even if the donor had no intention of using the tickets upon purchasing them. However, certain unused tickets (e.g., a single theater or symphony ticket by the holder of season tickets) may qualify as charitable contributions if returned for resale to the sponsoring charitable organization. The purchase of raffle, bingo, or lottery tickets is not a charitable contribution.

A special exception exists for sports fans. They can deduct 80% of donations to colleges or universities for the right to buy tickets to an athletic event in the institution’s stadium, regardless of whether the tickets would have been readily available without the payment. However, the amount paid for other benefits (such as the cost of the tickets, the right to use the skybox, guest passes to visit the skybox, and reserved parking privileges) are not deductible as charitable contributions.

Please contact Martini, Iosue & Akpovi by phone at (818) 789-1179 if you have questions or want more information on this tax-saving opportunity.


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