The U.S. Tax Court ruled on June 26, 2017, that the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League could deduct the full cost of meals before the team’s 41-plus away games in the regular season and playoffs. The decision provides a clear path for professional sports teams — and potentially other employers in similar situations — to realize additional tax savings.
In 1975, a mere 42 years ago, Congress enacted Section 301 of the Tax Reduction Act of 1975 authorizing a tax-credit driven employee stock ownership plan known as a TRASOP – Tax Reduction Act Stock Ownership Plan. An employer that adopted a TRASOP could claim an extended investment tax credit against its federal income taxes equal to an amount it contributed to an employee stock ownership plan in stock, or cash that was used to purchase its stock. The plan had to abide by special, strict vesting and distribution rules. Thus, the TRASOP credit was designed to encourage the purchase of qualified property — mainly equipment and machinery — while at the same time providing a benefit to employees.