Q. I have season tickets to the Boston Symphony. Can I deduct the cost as a charitable donation? J.B., Brookline, Mass.
A. No. Unlike a straight contribution to the symphony, you get no deduction for your payment because you’re receiving a benefit in return (i.e., enjoyment of the concerts).
However, if you can’t attend a particular performance and you hand in your ticket into the box office for the symphony to resell, you’re entitled to a deduction. Reason: You’re no longer receiving a benefit for your ticket.
Tip: To find the value of the contribution, simply divide the series total cost by the number of concert dates.