New tax bill changes rules for Penn State season ticket holders

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WHTM) – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act saw the largest overhaul of our nation’s tax code in 30 years. Included in the new bill is the elimination of a provision that allowed up to 80 percent of the value of certain college season tickets to be deductible on your taxes.

Unlike professional sports, where you simply buy your season tickets, college season tickets are given as a gift for donating to a college or university. This means major college sports programs had to act fast and alert their donors about the elimination of the tax rule, including Penn State

“We alerted our season ticket holders that they could accelerate their pledge payments,” said Phil Esten, Deputy Director of Athletics, “This has long been discussed. The deductibility of gifts applied to tickets.”

Here’s how it worked: say you donated $1,000 to Penn State and received two season tickets for the 2017 football season. Eighty percent of that donation is considered a gift, with 20 percent being the face value of the season ticket. That 80 percent, or $800, used to be tax deductible, provided you filed with an itemized deduction.

“The impact that I’ve seen on the individual returns so far, and in talking to people is that it won’t make much of a mark,” said Erin Laudenslager, a CPA and Penn State season ticket holder, “I think the majority of people aren’t going to see such a big hit from it.”

That is to say, the returns the majority of season ticket holders have received from that 80 percent is minimal, or totally negligible. If you filed using the standard deduction, this provision was not included in your returns before and will not affect how much you receive now. For the percentage of season ticket donors who made donations for the 2018 and 2019 football seasons in advance at the end of the year in 2017, they can deduct those items in their 2017 taxes.

These changes, like all others in the new tax code, don’t impact your filings in 2017, but it’s important to become aware of all the changes and how they apply to you moving forward. Purchases and other financial decisions you now make may not have the same impact on your taxes as they used to. It’s important to consult a financial adviser or tax expert if you have any questions.

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