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Tax Home Alabama: Iron Bowl Seats Could Cost More Under New Tax Bill

Brad Garland, CPA

December 28, 2017

As mentioned earlier, Alabamians may face some challenges in the new tax bill. While I love discussing ways to save for your football tailgating experience during the Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, there is some troublesome news from the new tax bill that may shock football fans and spectators of other college athletics across the state. Starting in 2018, the new tax bill prohibits any deduction for donations for season tickets to college sporting events.

The tax code previously allowed an 80% deduction for payments made for "the right to purchase tickets for seating at an athletic event in an athletic stadium" as a charitable donation. With the new tax bill signed into law on Friday, December 22nd, that ends starting in 2018.

So, without the tax benefit, these donations and seats effectively cost more than in the past. On the surface, it should make sense for Tide Pride, Tigers Unlimited, and other school supporters to make their annual donation before December 31, 2017, so that the donation still follows 2017 tax rules. Waiting until 2018 means that the donation would not be deductible.

However, some school programs, like Auburn, are allowing fans to donate another year in advance. In other words, you can go ahead and donate for the 2019 athletic football season now.

Mid Game Pano @ Auburn, Alabama

East of us, the University of Georgia is even encouraging fans to donate five years in advance. The tax deduction is secured, and the school gets the money now - win-win!

Of course, this doesn't affect just the fans of the Iron Bowl. Whether you cheer for UAH Hockey, Alabama A&M Basketball, or any other college's sports team and attend the games, this may impact you as a donor and fan. Contact the athletic department to find out what they may have in store to alleviate these changes. Some schools are considering retooling the benefits given or pricing structure to offset the less-palatable nature of a non-deductible donation to watch games.

Stay tuned to keep up with these changes and others that affect Alabama taxpayers as a result of the new tax law.

   

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