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ARTICLES FROM THE ARCHIVES


This is the fourth article in a special six-part series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the National Club


Association. This article from the Dec/Jan 1993 issue of Club Director offers a comprehensive history on one of the most per- vasive impositions on private clubs—the issue of dues deductibility and the reduction in the deductibility of business meals and entertainment. Though we were successful in some of our attempts to maintain the tax deductibility of dues, eventually legislation did pass making dues no longer deductible and retaining only 50 percent deductibility for meals and entertainment.


A HISTORY OF TAXATION


CLUB DUES DEDUCTIBILITY BY HEATHER ANNE KEITH |


Romans continued the tradition with trade and political groups. After the fall of the Roman Empire about 395 A.D., social clubs became extinct and social life revolved around religion. In the early 17th century, social clubs began to


C 26 CLUB DIRECTOR


crop up in England and proliferated in London dur- ing the 18th century. The English “clubs” began meeting in coffeehouses. It wasn’t until the 19th cen- tury that private homes were used solely for the pur- poses of the club.


lubs date back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. The ancient Greeks’ clubs consisted mostly of religious groups, worshipping gods outside of the state religion, and some politi- cal, commercial and athletic groups. The


The club tradition followed the English on the


journey to the New World—America. American clubs, as the English clubs, were formed to bring together people with common interests and leisure time. After the Civil War, political and social clubs began to flourish. Today, it is estimated there are nearly 4,000 “truly private” clubs in the United States, including golf, tennis, athletic, city and yacht clubs. For most of their history, private clubs were


viewed as purely social groups, escaping government and regulatory scrutiny. In the early part of the 20th century, however, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Congress began to eye private clubs as a revenue source. Since that time, repeated attempts have been


SPRING 2011


THE BEST OF CLUB DIRECTOR


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