The only University officials who are authorized to make decisions, representations, or commitments concerning the tax treatment of athletic and other event tickets are the Treasurer and the Controller or their designated representatives (the Payroll Department). Other University officials should refrain from making promises or representations, either orally or in writing. To the extent that any contract of employment contains promises or representations concerning athletic and/or other event tickets, the University will not be under any obligation to honor such promises or representations unless they are approved in advance by the Treasurer or the Controller.
Any agreement that contains a provision for free athletic and other event tickets, the purchase of tickets at a discount, or any other purchase of tickets at less than face value must be shown to and discussed with the Payroll Department for tax implications prior to the execution of the agreement.
The payment or reimbursement request for tickets to athletic or other events purchased with University funds must be accompanied by a written explanation. The memorandum or letter must explain how the use of the tickets is for business purposes (i.e., entertainment or recruiting) and must be approved by the Executive Vice President or Vice President of the area.
Payments for tickets purchased from organizations outside of Georgetown should be requested on an Expense Authorization form (EA) payable to the outside organization. The approved memorandum authorizing the purchase should be attached to the EAas well as the order form or other pricing information. Payments for tickets purchased from Georgetown University organizations must be processed on an Interdepartmental Invoice accompanied by the above-specified documents.
If the department keeps track of the use of athletic and other event tickets that are purchased with University funds, then there is no tax exposure to the purchaser or the department.
If the department does not track the use of the athletic and other event tickets that are purchased with University funds, then the value of the ticket(s) will be treated as compensation to the purchaser (Department Head in the case of a departmental purchase) subject to the appropriate withholding taxes.
Internal Revenue Service regulations require that the following elements be substantiated every time a ticket or set of tickets (athletic or other event) is used (University Gift Policy http://www.georgetown.edu/finaff/ applies to employees when they receive tickets that exceed the $99 threshold for non-University events (i.e. Professional Sporting Events):
- Time and Place of the game or event;
- The number of tickets and the amount of each ticket, or in the case of seasons tickets a pro-rata share of the total season ticket cost per ticket;
- Business Purpose for the entertainment or nature of business benefit derived or expected to be derived as a result of the entertainment and the nature of any business discussion or activity;
- Name and Business Relationship, occupation or other information relating to the person or persons entertained, including name, title or other designation sufficient to establish business relationship to purchaser of tickets.
The substantiation requirements outlined above make it necessary to document the required facts every time a ticket or set of tickets are used. A log for each ticket or group of tickets purchased by a department facilitates the completion of the above information. Use of athletic or other event tickets by employee(s) for non-business related purposes is subject to the same reporting requirements as stated above. A sample reporting form is included as Attachment A to this policy.
Tickets to non-University events with a face value of $100 or more that are given to employees must be reported on the Gift Form http://www.georgetown.edu/finaff/ and be reported to the Payroll office.