SBD/17/Collegiate Sports

SENDING OUT AN IRS: ATHLETIC DIRECTORS SEEK DONOR DEDUCTION

          A attorney for a group of "major collegiate" Athletic
     Directors wrote the IRS this week "seeking to resolve a
     battle that could have a big impact on college and
     university athletic programs," according to Tom Herman of
     the WALL STREET JOURNAL.  Caplin & Drysdale attorney
     Catherine Livingston, who represents the American Council on
     Education, said that at issue is "whether a taxpayer who
     gives money to an athletic program" can deduct the donation
     as a "charitable contribution" if the donor receives
     "priority rights to buy or lease skybox seats" in return. 
     Verner Liipfert attorney Philip Hochberg, who represents the
     Div. I-A Athletic Directors Association, said that an '88
     law "allows 80% of such contributions to be deductible." 
     But an IRS agent "argued that this provision doesn't apply
     when the donor gets skybox seating, rather than general
     admission."  Hochberg said "millions of dollars" of fund-
     raising "would be in serious trouble if the IRS were to deny
     the 80% charitable contribution deduction to donors who get
     priority for skybox seating."  Herman writes that the IRS
     "hasn't yet replied" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/16).   
  
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