The IRS Says . . .Revenue Ruling 70-393 states that the monies spent to outfit and support a sports team are similar to monies spent on other methods of advertising; accordingly, you may deduct them as business expenses for federal income tax purposes.
Here’s how it looks like in real life. . .
In the Strong case, Strong Construction Co. Inc. advertised its business primarily through either word of mouth or athletic sponsorships. As part of the athletic sponsorships, the corporation paid for the uniforms, logo design, hats, T-shirts, sweatpants, coats, bags, and pants for all players on its sponsored teams (broomball, softball, wrestling, etc.). The court ruled that the expenses were ordinary and necessary business expenses and that Strong could deduct them as advertising or promotion.
In the Bower case, James Bower sponsored the Lafayette Bower Housing Hustlers basketball team, and he was both an assistant coach and a player. As the Hustlers’ sponsor, Bower paid for the team’s travel, lodging, food, promotions, AAU fees, tournament fees, gym rental, and uniforms. The court noted that Bower’s sponsorship increased his commodity brokerage commissions and generated additional clients; accordingly, the court ruled that Bower’s sponsorship expenses were deductible business expenses.
In conclusion, if your business, rather than you personally, sponsors sports teams, you save the self-employment or payroll taxes, depending on how you operate your business. That’s a nice start on keeping more of your hard earned money in your pockets, where it belongs.
We specialize in helping clients clarify their taxes so they keep more of their money. Many small business owners who come to see us in Fort Worth, TX generally do not understand the tax law enough to explain it to a fifth grader.