University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart emailed a letter to K Fund donors on Friday advising them that the current U.S. tax proposal being debated in Congress eliminates the tax deductibility of their K Fund donations.
Donations to the K Fund are tied directly to the ability to purchase a number of lower-level ticket packages at Rupp Arena and Kroger Field.
“As you know, Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code currently allows for 80 percent of a donation paid related to seating at an athletic event of an institution of higher learning to be considered a charitable donation,” Barnhart wrote. “The proposed new tax law eliminates the provision allowing individuals to deduct contributions connected to athletics tickets. Should this new legislation become law, future donations attached to tickets would no longer be considered tax-deductible.”
Barnhart says the change could occur as soon as Jan. 1, and advises K Fund donors to make any scheduled payments prior to the end of the 2017 tax year on Dec. 31, including seat and parking donations for the 2018 football season which will be open for renewal on Dec. 19. He also says you can “make a prepayment on your endowment, scholarship or pledges attached to tickets,” before Dec. 31 to guarantee tax deductibility.
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The K Fund is the fundraising arm of the athletics department and provides money for scholarships, facility improvements and support staff.
Barnhart advises donors to consult their tax adviser and provided an email address at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions they may have.
The tax bill in question is being debated in Congress and is expected to come to a vote within the next week.