Are Golf Tournaments Tax Deductible?

Are golf tournaments tax deductible? That’s a good question and the answer is yes. It depends on the status of your organization and whether it is a non-profit or commercial entity. Some types of events are not considered charity events and do not attract the same tax advantages as other events.

 

Non-profit status is one of the major tax advantages of organizing a golf tournament. However, some events are operated by members of the community and are considered by the Internal Revenue Service to be a business and not a charitable event. Your first step should be to determine if the nature of the event and the revenue generated by the golfing program qualify you for any tax benefits.

 

The status of the golf course itself will establish whether the event is tax deductible or not. If you own or operate a public course, you will need to determine whether the land and fixtures are used exclusively for the purpose of golfing. Some states consider public course buildings on private property and therefore exempt from tax. Those tax-exempt courses are normally maintained by a foundation or charity that receives tax benefits for its use. A portion of the course can be used for recreational purposes, but this depends on the state tax code.

 

Private clubs may not qualify you for tax deductions. There are a number of different club tax statuses. They are classified as non-profit, profit or membership, private club, commercial golfers club and public member club. Some states have additional classifications based on the activity of the club. Non-profit clubs are usually foundations or charities. Profitable clubs are operated by individuals or corporations and membership status is determined by collecting dues or subscriptions.

 

Income is another factor that determines if you are eligible for tax deductions. It is calculated as the income from all sources during the year. This includes salary, tips, income from gambling winnings, interest from loans and dividends received. You do not have to calculate your personal income tax separately because your federal and local taxes will already have been taken into account. However, if you have any investment income or capital gain, it will need to be calculated with your federal and local taxes. For self-employed individuals, who are not married, the mortgage interest on the principal residence is considered income for tax purposes.

 

The next question is how much in taxes you will owe when playing in a tournament? If a set fee is agreed upon between you and the event organizer, you will not be expected to pay out of pocket expenses. However, there may be special fees based on your status. Sometimes, you are asked to contribute a percentage of your winnings to a special prize. Usually, this is determined by the state tax codes.

 

While most states consider professional athletes to be taxable, there are a few exceptions to this rule. In some states, professional football players are considered workers and are required to pay Social Security taxes on their income. Tennis players are considered non-workers but may be able to deduct a portion of their winnings from their federal tax return. Similarly, boxers and wrestlers generally do not have to pay state tax unless they are participating in a state sponsored event.

 

There are many factors that go into the determination of your tax bill when you are playing in a tournament. If you are planning on playing in a tournament for a profit, you should consult a CPA to find out just what your tax obligation will be. In most cases, your accountant will tell you that it is highly unlikely that you will owe any tax at all. He or she will also inform you that it is highly likely that you will be able to claim a tax deduction of some sort on your return. Whether you are playing for profit or just want to help out your family, it is important to know whether you are taxable and whether you can take advantage of a tax deferment or an itemized deduction.