TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, July 2, 2004

Madonna: Even Worse at Taxes Than Singing?

Friday, July 2, 2004

The New York Post reports that Madonna, a devout follower of Kabbalah, is donating blocks of the best seats on her current concert tour to local Kabbalah centers so that her co-religionists can come and see her gratis, filling the front rows with like-minded folowers wearing red string bracelets. But the Boston Kabbalah center is scalping the tickets and promising that buyers can deduct the cost of the tickets:

Madonna VIP Tickets $300-600 — Tax Deductible . . . VIP tickets, best seats in the house. If you have been wanting to see this show, then this is THE WAY . . . All monies go to a non-profit foundation, and your donation is tax deductible. Enjoy the show with the best seats in the house, and get a tax write-off!
(Thanks to Tax Prof Jeff Kahn (Santa Clara) for the tip.)

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It appears that Madonna is declaring that the tickets themselves, and having to watch her perform, have no actual value to the donors; thus not requiring any reduction in the deductible portion of the payment. For many people, this is probably true, in which case, they will pay for the tickets and not even show up.

Posted by: Kerry Kerstetter | Jul 2, 2004 10:32:40 AM

That argument won't work, though. Valuation is objective, not subjective. Perhaps somebody is feeding her bad advice (remember the car donation valuation flap?). Or perhaps she heard I am working on a "Celebrities in Tax Trouble" publication (someday) and wants to be in it?

Posted by: Jim Maule | Jul 2, 2004 10:38:37 AM

great find that is typical. For example, Robin Williams was performing in a very small club for only 25$ and all proceeds were going to a local charity.

So tickets went on sale and sold out immediately and the scalpers came out to sell them for 5-10 times the think they donating their earning to the charity? Ha, fat chance.

Posted by: Reputable car donation charities | Sep 23, 2004 3:25:51 PM