Qualified sponsorship payment

Qualified sponsorship payment -
(1) Definition. The term qualified sponsorship payment means any payment by any person engaged in a trade or business with respect to which there is no arrangement or expectation that the person will receive any substantial return benefit. In determining whether a payment is a qualified sponsorship payment, it is irrelevant whether the sponsored activity is related or unrelated to the recipient organization's exempt purpose. It is also irrelevant whether the sponsored activity is temporary or permanent. For purposes of this section, payment means the payment of money, transfer of property, or performance of services.
(2) Substantial return benefit -
(i) In general. For purposes of this section, a substantial return benefit means any benefit other than a use or acknowledgment described in paragraph (c)(2)(iv) of this section, or disregarded benefits described in paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section.
(ii) Certain benefits disregarded. For purposes of paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section, benefits are disregarded if the aggregate fair market value of all the benefits provided to the payor or persons designated by the payor in connection with the payment during the organization's taxable year is not more than 2% of the amount of the payment. If the aggregate fair market value of the benefits exceeds 2% of the amount of the payment, then (except as provided in paragraph (c)(2)(iv) of this section) the entire fair market value of such benefits, not merely the excess amount, is a substantial return benefit. Fair market value is determined as provided in paragraph (d)(1) of this section.
(iii) Benefits defined. For purposes of this section, benefits provided to the payor or persons designated by the payor may include:
(A) Advertising as defined in paragraph (c)(2)(v) of this section.
(B) Exclusive provider arrangements as defined in paragraph (c)(2)(vi)(B) of this section.
(C) Goods, facilities, services or other privileges.
(D) Exclusive or nonexclusive rights to use an intangible asset (e.g., trademark, patent, logo, or designation) of the exempt organization.
(iv) Use or acknowledgment. For purposes of this section, a substantial return benefit does not include the use or acknowledgment of the name or logo (or product lines) of the payor's trade or business in connection with the activities of the exempt organization. Use or acknowledgment does not include advertising as described in paragraph (c)(2)(v) of this section, but may include the following: exclusive sponsorship arrangements; logos and slogans that do not contain qualitative or comparative descriptions of the payor's products, services, facilities or company; a list of the payor's locations, telephone numbers, or Internet address; value-neutral descriptions, including displays or visual depictions, of the payor's product-line or services; and the payor's brand or trade names and product or service listings. Logos or slogans that are an established part of a payor's identity are not considered to contain qualitative or comparative descriptions. Mere display or distribution, whether for free or remuneration, of a payor's product by the payor or the exempt organization to the general public at the sponsored activity is not considered an inducement to purchase, sell or use the payor's product for purposes of this section and, thus, will not affect the determination of whether a payment is a qualified sponsorship payment.
(v) Advertising. For purposes of this section, the term advertising means any message or other programming material which is broadcast or otherwise transmitted, published, displayed or distributed, and which promotes or markets any trade or business, or any service, facility or product. Advertising includes messages containing qualitative or comparative language, price information or other indications of savings or value, an endorsement, or an inducement to purchase, sell, or use any company, service, facility or product. A single message that contains both advertising and an acknowledgment is advertising. This section does not apply to activities conducted by a payor on its own. For example, if a payor purchases broadcast time from a television station to advertise its product during commercial breaks in a sponsored program, the exempt organization's activities are not thereby converted to advertising.
(vi) Exclusivity arrangements -
(A) Exclusive sponsor. An arrangement that acknowledges the payor as the exclusive sponsor of an exempt organization's activity, or the exclusive sponsor representing a particular trade, business or industry, generally does not, by itself, result in a substantial return benefit. For example, if in exchange for a payment, an organization announces that its event is sponsored exclusively by the payor (and does not provide any advertising or other substantial return benefit to the payor), the payor has not received a substantial return benefit.
(B) Exclusive provider. An arrangement that limits the sale, distribution, availability, or use of competing products, services, or facilities in connection with an exempt organization's activity generally results in a substantial return benefit. For example, if in exchange for a payment, the exempt organization agrees to allow only the payor's products to be sold in connection with an activity, the payor has received a substantial return benefit.
(d) Allocation of payment -
(1) In general. If there is an arrangement or expectation that the payor will receive a substantial return benefit with respect to any payment, then only the portion, if any, of the payment that exceeds the fair market value of the substantial return benefit is a qualified sponsorship payment. However, if the exempt organization does not establish that the payment exceeds the fair market value of any substantial return benefit, then no portion of the payment constitutes a qualified sponsorship payment.
(i) Treatment of payments other than qualified sponsorship payments. The unrelated business income tax (UBIT) treatment of any payment (or portion thereof) that is not a qualified sponsorship payment is determined by application of sections 512, 513 and 514. For example, payments related to an exempt organization's providing facilities, services, or other privileges to the payor or persons designated by the payor, advertising, exclusive provider arrangements described in paragraph (c)(2)(vi)(B) of this section, a license to use intangible assets of the exempt organization, or other substantial return benefits, are evaluated separately in determining whether the exempt organization realizes unrelated business taxable income.
(ii) Fair market value. The fair market value of any substantial return benefit provided as part of a sponsorship arrangement is the price at which the benefit would be provided between a willing recipient and a willing provider of the benefit, neither being under any compulsion to enter into the arrangement and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts, and without regard to any other aspect of the sponsorship arrangement.
(iii) Valuation date. In general, the fair market value of the substantial return benefit is determined when the benefit is provided. However, if the parties enter into a binding, written sponsorship contract, the fair market value of any substantial return benefit provided pursuant to that contract is determined on the date the parties enter into the sponsorship contract. If the parties make a material change to a sponsorship contract, it is treated as a new sponsorship contract as of the date the material change is effective. A material change includes an extension or renewal of the contract, or a more than incidental change to any amount payable (or other consideration) pursuant to the contract.
(iv) Examples. The following examples illustrate the provisions of this section:
(2) Anti-abuse provision. To the extent necessary to prevent avoidance of the rule stated in paragraphs (d)(1) and (c)(2) of this section, where the exempt organization fails to make a reasonable and good faith valuation of any substantial return benefit, the Commissioner (or the Commissioner's delegate) may determine the portion of a payment allocable to such substantial return benefit and may treat two or more related payments as a single payment.
(e) Special rules -
(1) Written agreements. The existence of a written sponsorship agreement does not, in itself, cause a payment to fail to be a qualified sponsorship payment. The terms of the agreement, not its existence or degree of detail, are relevant to the determination of whether a payment is a qualified sponsorship payment. Similarly, the terms of the agreement and not the title or responsibilities of the individuals negotiating the agreement determine whether a payment (or any portion thereof) made pursuant to the agreement is a qualified sponsorship payment.
(2) Contingent payments. The term qualified sponsorship payment does not include any payment the amount of which is contingent, by contract or otherwise, upon the level of attendance at one or more events, broadcast ratings, or other factors indicating the degree of public exposure to the sponsored activity. The fact that a payment is contingent upon sponsored events or activities actually being conducted does not, by itself, cause the payment to fail to be a qualified sponsorship payment.
(3) Determining public support. Qualified sponsorship payments in the form of money or property (but not services) are treated as contributions received by the exempt organization for purposes of determining public support to the organization under section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) or 509(a)(2). See §§ 1.509(a)-3(f)(1) and 1.170A-9(e)(6)(i). The fact that a payment is a qualified sponsorship payment that is treated as a contribution to the payee organization does not determine whether the payment is deductible by the payor under section 162 or 170.
(f) Examples. The provisions of this section are illustrated by the following examples. The tax treatment of any payment (or portion of a payment) that does not constitute a qualified sponsorship payment is governed by general UBIT principles. In these examples, the recipients of the payments at issue are section 501(c) organizations. The expectations or arrangements of the parties are those specifically indicated in the example. The examples are as follows:
(1) Definition. The term qualified sponsorship payment means any payment by any person engaged in a trade or business with respect to which there is no arrangement or expectation that the person will receive any substantial return benefit. In determining whether a payment is a qualified sponsorship payment, it is irrelevant whether the sponsored activity is related or unrelated to the recipient organization's exempt purpose. It is also irrelevant whether the sponsored activity is temporary or permanent. For purposes of this section, payment means the payment of money, transfer of property, or performance of services.
(2) Substantial return benefit -
(i) In general. For purposes of this section, a substantial return benefit means any benefit other than a use or acknowledgment described in paragraph (c)(2)(iv) of this section, or disregarded benefits described in paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section.
(ii) Certain benefits disregarded. For purposes of paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section, benefits are disregarded if the aggregate fair market value of all the benefits provided to the payor or persons designated by the payor in connection with the payment during the organization's taxable year is not more than 2% of the amount of the payment. If the aggregate fair market value of the benefits exceeds 2% of the amount of the payment, then (except as provided in paragraph (c)(2)(iv) of this section) the entire fair market value of such benefits, not merely the excess amount, is a substantial return benefit. Fair market value is determined as provided in paragraph (d)(1) of this section.
(iii) Benefits defined. For purposes of this section, benefits provided to the payor or persons designated by the payor may include:
(A) Advertising as defined in paragraph (c)(2)(v) of this section.
(B) Exclusive provider arrangements as defined in paragraph (c)(2)(vi)(B) of this section.
(C) Goods, facilities, services or other privileges.
(D) Exclusive or nonexclusive rights to use an intangible asset (e.g., trademark, patent, logo, or designation) of the exempt organization.
(iv) Use or acknowledgment. For purposes of this section, a substantial return benefit does not include the use or acknowledgment of the name or logo (or product lines) of the payor's trade or business in connection with the activities of the exempt organization. Use or acknowledgment does not include advertising as described in paragraph (c)(2)(v) of this section, but may include the following: exclusive sponsorship arrangements; logos and slogans that do not contain qualitative or comparative descriptions of the payor's products, services, facilities or company; a list of the payor's locations, telephone numbers, or Internet address; value-neutral descriptions, including displays or visual depictions, of the payor's product-line or services; and the payor's brand or trade names and product or service listings. Logos or slogans that are an established part of a payor's identity are not considered to contain qualitative or comparative descriptions. Mere display or distribution, whether for free or remuneration, of a payor's product by the payor or the exempt organization to the general public at the sponsored activity is not considered an inducement to purchase, sell or use the payor's product for purposes of this section and, thus, will not affect the determination of whether a payment is a qualified sponsorship payment.
(v) Advertising. For purposes of this section, the term advertising means any message or other programming material which is broadcast or otherwise transmitted, published, displayed or distributed, and which promotes or markets any trade or business, or any service, facility or product. Advertising includes messages containing qualitative or comparative language, price information or other indications of savings or value, an endorsement, or an inducement to purchase, sell, or use any company, service, facility or product. A single message that contains both advertising and an acknowledgment is advertising. This section does not apply to activities conducted by a payor on its own. For example, if a payor purchases broadcast time from a television station to advertise its product during commercial breaks in a sponsored program, the exempt organization's activities are not thereby converted to advertising.
(vi) Exclusivity arrangements -
(A) Exclusive sponsor. An arrangement that acknowledges the payor as the exclusive sponsor of an exempt organization's activity, or the exclusive sponsor representing a particular trade, business or industry, generally does not, by itself, result in a substantial return benefit. For example, if in exchange for a payment, an organization announces that its event is sponsored exclusively by the payor (and does not provide any advertising or other substantial return benefit to the payor), the payor has not received a substantial return benefit.
(B) Exclusive provider. An arrangement that limits the sale, distribution, availability, or use of competing products, services, or facilities in connection with an exempt organization's activity generally results in a substantial return benefit. For example, if in exchange for a payment, the exempt organization agrees to allow only the payor's products to be sold in connection with an activity, the payor has received a substantial return benefit.
(d) Allocation of payment -
(1) In general. If there is an arrangement or expectation that the payor will receive a substantial return benefit with respect to any payment, then only the portion, if any, of the payment that exceeds the fair market value of the substantial return benefit is a qualified sponsorship payment. However, if the exempt organization does not establish that the payment exceeds the fair market value of any substantial return benefit, then no portion of the payment constitutes a qualified sponsorship payment.
(i) Treatment of payments other than qualified sponsorship payments. The unrelated business income tax (UBIT) treatment of any payment (or portion thereof) that is not a qualified sponsorship payment is determined by application of sections 512, 513 and 514. For example, payments related to an exempt organization's providing facilities, services, or other privileges to the payor or persons designated by the payor, advertising, exclusive provider arrangements described in paragraph (c)(2)(vi)(B) of this section, a license to use intangible assets of the exempt organization, or other substantial return benefits, are evaluated separately in determining whether the exempt organization realizes unrelated business taxable income.
(ii) Fair market value. The fair market value of any substantial return benefit provided as part of a sponsorship arrangement is the price at which the benefit would be provided between a willing recipient and a willing provider of the benefit, neither being under any compulsion to enter into the arrangement and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts, and without regard to any other aspect of the sponsorship arrangement.
(iii) Valuation date. In general, the fair market value of the substantial return benefit is determined when the benefit is provided. However, if the parties enter into a binding, written sponsorship contract, the fair market value of any substantial return benefit provided pursuant to that contract is determined on the date the parties enter into the sponsorship contract. If the parties make a material change to a sponsorship contract, it is treated as a new sponsorship contract as of the date the material change is effective. A material change includes an extension or renewal of the contract, or a more than incidental change to any amount payable (or other consideration) pursuant to the contract.
(iv) Examples. The following examples illustrate the provisions of this section:
(2) Anti-abuse provision. To the extent necessary to prevent avoidance of the rule stated in paragraphs (d)(1) and (c)(2) of this section, where the exempt organization fails to make a reasonable and good faith valuation of any substantial return benefit, the Commissioner (or the Commissioner's delegate) may determine the portion of a payment allocable to such substantial return benefit and may treat two or more related payments as a single payment.
(e) Special rules -
(1) Written agreements. The existence of a written sponsorship agreement does not, in itself, cause a payment to fail to be a qualified sponsorship payment. The terms of the agreement, not its existence or degree of detail, are relevant to the determination of whether a payment is a qualified sponsorship payment. Similarly, the terms of the agreement and not the title or responsibilities of the individuals negotiating the agreement determine whether a payment (or any portion thereof) made pursuant to the agreement is a qualified sponsorship payment.
(2) Contingent payments. The term qualified sponsorship payment does not include any payment the amount of which is contingent, by contract or otherwise, upon the level of attendance at one or more events, broadcast ratings, or other factors indicating the degree of public exposure to the sponsored activity. The fact that a payment is contingent upon sponsored events or activities actually being conducted does not, by itself, cause the payment to fail to be a qualified sponsorship payment.
(3) Determining public support. Qualified sponsorship payments in the form of money or property (but not services) are treated as contributions received by the exempt organization for purposes of determining public support to the organization under section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) or 509(a)(2). See §§ 1.509(a)-3(f)(1) and 1.170A-9(e)(6)(i). The fact that a payment is a qualified sponsorship payment that is treated as a contribution to the payee organization does not determine whether the payment is deductible by the payor under section 162 or 170.
(f) Examples. The provisions of this section are illustrated by the following examples. The tax treatment of any payment (or portion of a payment) that does not constitute a qualified sponsorship payment is governed by general UBIT principles. In these examples, the recipients of the payments at issue are section 501(c) organizations. The expectations or arrangements of the parties are those specifically indicated in the example. The examples are as follows:

Source

26 CFR § 1.513-4


Scoping language

None
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