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Virtual events - what counts as a benefit?

  • 1.  Virtual events - what counts as a benefit?

    Posted 09-11-2020 04:19 PM
    I know this has been discussed and if the benefits are not tangible or are token items, then the event registration fees can be fully tax-deductible. However, how do we consider discount coupons and giveaways? We are having a virtual month long ride/run challenge and the participants receive a virtual swag bag that has discounts from sponsors. We're also looking to have some giveaway prizes during the month to people who are leading in the challenge. Would that make a different in counting the event fee as a full donation?

    Thank you,

    Kelly Hallock
    Director of Advancement Services
    Warren Wilson College

  • 2.  RE: Virtual events - what counts as a benefit?

    Posted 09-11-2020 06:24 PM
    Virtual or not, many of these coupons can represent a tangible benefit.  For example, if a coupon gives you 10% off a night at a local B&B, then the value of the benefit is equal to 10% of that rate.  Regardless of whether you end up using the coupon.

    I'm not certain about the giveaway prizes.  Those you might need to discuss with counsel.  They do not feel like a QPQ but I'd want confirmation.


    John H. Taylor
    John H. Taylor Consulting, LLC
    2604 Sevier St.
    Durham, NC   27705
    919.816.5903 (cell/text)

    Serving the Advancement Community Since 1987

  • 3.  RE: Virtual events - what counts as a benefit?

    Posted 09-14-2020 08:33 AM
    Kelly, the giveaways can run afoul of laws regulating lotteries and games of chance, and the specifics of the setup are relevant for determining whether there's a QPQ gift. My quick take is that a prize for being the in the lead of a race doesn't turn the entry fee into a QPQ gift, but prize winnings are income to the recipient, and at over $600 they trigger w9 and 1099-MISC requirements just like any other income. Your business office might have stricter procedures than that, and might require collecting W9s from payees at lower amounts too.

    Thank you,
    Isaac Shalev
    CRM Expert
    Sage70, Inc.
    (917) 859-0151

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