Tax deductibility of Museum admissions?

Discussion in 'Tax' started by R. Vaughn, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. R. Vaughn

    R. Vaughn Guest

    Having recently paid $20 per person for admission on a family
    outing to the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, I'm now wondering
    if the admission cost is tax deductible as a 'charitable
    deduction'? The www.moma.org web site states that the museum
    is a 'not-for-profit' and that *annual memberships* are
    deductible, but does not discuss the tax impact of individual
    admissions of non-members. I scanned the IRS Charitable
    Deductions publication but didn't find an answer.

    Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

    Moderator:
    The Devil made me write this. Tickets to the Chicago Cubs
    (aka the Chicago Chokers) should be tax deductible as
    admission to a cemetery (aka The Wrigley Graveyeard).

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    R. Vaughn, Jan 2, 2006
    #1
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  2. R. Vaughn

    Paul Thomas Guest

    "R. Vaughn" <> wrote

    > Having recently paid $20 per person for admission on a family
    > outing to the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, I'm now wondering
    > if the admission cost is tax deductible as a 'charitable
    > deduction'? The www.moma.org web site states that the museum
    > is a 'not-for-profit' and that *annual memberships* are
    > deductible, but does not discuss the tax impact of individual
    > admissions of non-members. I scanned the IRS Charitable
    > Deductions publication but didn't find an answer.


    Admission to events sponsored in whole or in part by a non-profit
    are generally not tax deductible. Now, the only case where part
    of your admission may be a tax deduction is when the non-profit
    indicates that the ticket is $20, of which $5 is considered a
    charitable contribution.

    Most non-profits don't do that for admission tickets, but for
    things like dinners where out of your $100 "dinner" there is a
    $30 dinner cost and a $70 contribution.

    --
    Paul A. Thomas, CPA
    Athens, Georgia

    << ======================================================= >>
    << The foregoing is intended for educational purposes only >>
    << and does NOT constitute legal OR professional advice. >>
    << >>
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    << Copyright (2005) - All rights reserved. >>
    << ======================================================= >>
     
    Paul Thomas, Jan 2, 2006
    #2
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  3. R. Vaughn

    Phil Marti Guest

    "R. Vaughn" <> wrote:

    > Having recently paid $20 per person for admission on a family
    > outing to the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, I'm now wondering
    > if the admission cost is tax deductible as a 'charitable
    > deduction'?


    If you could have walked in for free and chose to donate $20
    a head, it's a deductible contribution. If they charge you
    $20 admission, you have received $20 in services in exchange
    for your payment, and there's no deduction.

    --
    Phil Marti
    Clarksburg, MD

    << ======================================================= >>
    << The foregoing is intended for educational purposes only >>
    << and does NOT constitute legal OR professional advice. >>
    << >>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org. >>
    << Copyright (2005) - All rights reserved. >>
    << ======================================================= >>
     
    Phil Marti, Jan 2, 2006
    #3
  4. R. Vaughn wrote:

    > Having recently paid $20 per person for admission on a family
    > outing to the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, I'm now wondering
    > if the admission cost is tax deductible as a 'charitable
    > deduction'? The www.moma.org web site states that the museum
    > is a 'not-for-profit' and that *annual memberships* are
    > deductible, but does not discuss the tax impact of individual
    > admissions of non-members. I scanned the IRS Charitable
    > Deductions publication but didn't find an answer.
    >
    > Any ideas? Thanks in advance.


    Membership fees are NOT deductible, neither for members or
    non members. The old adage applies; "You gets what you pays
    for". Value received, in other words.

    > Moderator:
    > The Devil made me write this. Tickets to the Chicago Cubs
    > (aka the Chicago Chokers) should be tax deductible as
    > admission to a cemetery (aka The Wrigley Graveyeard).
    >


    God will get you for that, Dick Adams.

    Happy New ChEAr$,
    Harlan Lunsford, EA n LA
    not a Bud man, but a Cubs FAN!

    << ======================================================= >>
    << The foregoing is intended for educational purposes only >>
    << and does NOT constitute legal OR professional advice. >>
    << >>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org. >>
    << Copyright (2005) - All rights reserved. >>
    << ======================================================= >>
     
    Harlan Lunsford, Jan 2, 2006
    #4
  5. R. Vaughn

    joetaxpayer Guest

    Harlan Lunsford wrote:
    > R. Vaughn wrote:


    >> Having recently paid $20 per person for admission on a family
    >> outing to the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, I'm now wondering
    >> if the admission cost is tax deductible as a 'charitable
    >> deduction'? The www.moma.org web site states that the museum
    >> is a 'not-for-profit' and that *annual memberships* are
    >> deductible, but does not discuss the tax impact of individual
    >> admissions of non-members. I scanned the IRS Charitable
    >> Deductions publication but didn't find an answer.
    >>
    >> Any ideas? Thanks in advance.


    > Membership fees are NOT deductible, neither for members or
    > non members. The old adage applies; "You gets what you pays
    > for". Value received, in other words.


    My understanding has always been that a 'membership' was
    deductible as a donation, and this has been reinforced by
    the acknowledgments I've received stating "no goods or
    services were provided for this gift". Even though
    memberships then allow for unlimited visits to the
    museum/aquarium/etc.

    Purchasing individual tickets are different as there's an
    immediate quid pro quo of the admission to the building. OP
    might have been better off by buying a family membership
    instead of the admissions.

    JOE

    << ======================================================= >>
    << The foregoing is intended for educational purposes only >>
    << and does NOT constitute legal OR professional advice. >>
    << >>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org. >>
    << Copyright (2005) - All rights reserved. >>
    << ======================================================= >>
     
    joetaxpayer, Jan 3, 2006
    #5
  6. joetaxpayer <> wrote:
    > Harlan Lunsford wrote:


    >> Membership fees are NOT deductible, neither for members or
    >> non members. The old adage applies; "You gets what you pays
    >> for". Value received, in other words.


    > My understanding has always been that a 'membership' was
    > deductible as a donation, and this has been reinforced by
    > the acknowledgments I've received stating "no goods or
    > services were provided for this gift". Even though
    > memberships then allow for unlimited visits to the
    > museum/aquarium/etc.


    It depends on if you receive anything of value for your
    membership. If you do (e.g. the ability to visit a museum
    without charge when non- members pay an admission price),
    then it's not deductible.

    Stu

    << ======================================================= >>
    << The foregoing is intended for educational purposes only >>
    << and does NOT constitute legal OR professional advice. >>
    << >>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org. >>
    << Copyright (2005) - All rights reserved. >>
    << ======================================================= >>
     
    Stuart A. Bronstein, Jan 3, 2006
    #6
  7. "Phil Marti" <> wrote:
    > "R. Vaughn" <> wrote:


    >> Having recently paid $20 per person for admission on a family
    >> outing to the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, I'm now wondering
    >> if the admission cost is tax deductible as a 'charitable
    >> deduction'?


    > If you could have walked in for free and chose to donate $20
    > a head, it's a deductible contribution. If they charge you
    > $20 admission, you have received $20 in services in exchange
    > for your payment, and there's no deduction.


    So museums which seem to *charge* a fixed admission price
    actually print on the ticket "suggested donation," So, in
    that case I assume the payment could be taken as a
    charitable deduction.

    --
    Vic Roberts
    Replace xxx with vdr in e-mail address.

    << ======================================================= >>
    << The foregoing is intended for educational purposes only >>
    << and does NOT constitute legal OR professional advice. >>
    << >>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org. >>
    << Copyright (2005) - All rights reserved. >>
    << ======================================================= >>
     
    Victor Roberts, Jan 4, 2006
    #7
  8. "Stuart A. Bronstein" <> wrote:
    > joetaxpayer <> wrote:
    >> Harlan Lunsford wrote:


    >>> Membership fees are NOT deductible, neither for members or
    >>> non members. The old adage applies; "You gets what you pays
    >>> for". Value received, in other words.


    >> My understanding has always been that a 'membership' was
    >> deductible as a donation, and this has been reinforced by
    >> the acknowledgments I've received stating "no goods or
    >> services were provided for this gift". Even though
    >> memberships then allow for unlimited visits to the
    >> museum/aquarium/etc.


    > It depends on if you receive anything of value for your
    > membership. If you do (e.g. the ability to visit a museum
    > without charge when non- members pay an admission price),
    > then it's not deductible.


    See for example:

    http://evenue.amnh.org/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/SEGetEventList?groupCode=MBR&linkID=msh

    The American Museum of Natural History states that becoming
    a member gives you unlimited complementary admissions and
    that the full membership fee, less an amount designated for
    the magazine, is tax deductible. Now I know that the fact
    that they say this does not make it legal, but considering
    their visibility you would think that the IRS would take
    notice if this were incorrect.

    The AMNH is one of those that lists their admission fees as
    "suggested", which may explain the tax deductibility of
    their membership fee, yet I never saw anyone in the ticket
    line pay an less than the "suggested" amount.

    --
    Vic Roberts
    Replace xxx with vdr in e-mail address.

    << ======================================================= >>
    << The foregoing is intended for educational purposes only >>
    << and does NOT constitute legal OR professional advice. >>
    << >>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org. >>
    << Copyright (2005) - All rights reserved. >>
    << ======================================================= >>
     
    Victor Roberts, Jan 4, 2006
    #8
  9. R. Vaughn

    Phil Marti Guest

    "Victor Roberts" <> wrote:

    > So museums which seem to *charge* a fixed admission price
    > actually print on the ticket "suggested donation," So, in
    > that case I assume the payment could be taken as a
    > charitable deduction.


    What do you do, call Miss Cleo and ask what the suggested
    donation is? I can't figure out any other way of knowing.
    Oh, maybe it's a sign at the cashier, whom you have to see
    to get a ticket.

    There's an easy way to see if it's a donation or an admission
    charge. Tell the ticket dispenser you'll not be making a
    donation. Enjoy your visit, then send them a donation later.

    --
    Phil Marti
    Clarksburg, MD

    << ======================================================= >>
    << The foregoing is intended for educational purposes only >>
    << and does NOT constitute legal OR professional advice. >>
    << >>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org. >>
    << Copyright (2005) - All rights reserved. >>
    << ======================================================= >>
     
    Phil Marti, Jan 4, 2006
    #9
  10. Victor Roberts <> wrote:

    > So museums which seem to *charge* a fixed admission price
    > actually print on the ticket "suggested donation," So, in
    > that case I assume the payment could be taken as a
    > charitable deduction.


    So Form wins out over Substance?

    __
    Art Kamlet ArtKamlet @ AOL.com Columbus OH K2PZH

    << ======================================================= >>
    << The foregoing is intended for educational purposes only >>
    << and does NOT constitute legal OR professional advice. >>
    << >>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org. >>
    << Copyright (2005) - All rights reserved. >>
    << ======================================================= >>
     
    Arthur Kamlet, Jan 5, 2006
    #10
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