Nonprofit Resources


Top 3 “No” Responses from our Annual Higher Education Tax Survey

In our recent post, we looked at the three survey questions in our annual higher education tax survey that received the highest percentage of “yes” answers.

There’s a lot to learn from what peer institutions aren’t doing, too. So let’s take a look at the three questions with the most “no” responses.

1. Refunds for Fuel Credits

Survey results: Of our nine survey questions, this one received the most “no” answers. Almost all — 92.77% — of our higher education tax survey respondents said that they have not filed with the federal government to get a “refund” for fuel credits in the past three years.

Why it matters: Some institutions choose not to take advantage of these credits because the refund amount isn’t large enough to warrant the time spent on recordkeeping and filing. Others would rather not file Form 990-T simply to “transmit” Form 4136.

But it’s helpful for you to be aware of these credits and consider whether it might be worthwhile to file for it. Our white paper explains the rules and how to make a claim.

2. Premium Seats Offered to Athletic Boosters

Survey results: 83.83% of our higher education tax survey respondents indicated that they have not historically offered “athletic boosters” the chance to get premium seats at events in exchange for charitable contributions.

Why it matters: Previously, donors could claim 80% of such a payment as a charitable contribution, making this a potentially effective fundraising tactic for institutions. But the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes a denial of this deduction for periods after December 31, 2017.

3. Raffles

Survey results: 78.44% of respondents said their institution had not held any raffles (for fundraising or other purposes) in the past year.

Why it matters: A raffle can be an engaging way to raise funds, but there are several elements you should consider first. The white paper explains what to know before holding a raffle.

Learn more about these topics and see how peer institutions are handling key tax issues when you download your free copy of the 2018 Higher Education Tax Reporting Trends Project!

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