Social Club Memberships and Dues

At the invitation of the President, University funds may be used to pay individual memberships and dues to clubs organized for business, pleasure, recreation, or other social purposes.  These may include country clubs, golf and athletic clubs, and clubs operated to provide meals under circumstances generally considered to be conducive to business discussions. 

Memberships and dues paid to clubs are taxable income to the employee, except for the portion of the dues that is business related.  Sufficient documentation is critical in supporting the allocation to business use.  For example, if the university pays for local dining club dues for an employee, the employee should record dates on which he/she used the club and, if business use is to be claimed, the following documentation should be maintained:
  • business reason for activity/expenditure, including topics discussed, and
  • name and business relationship of individuals involved
A log sheet is provided here to assist in the employee's recordkeeping of business/personal use of club dues.  

The personal portion of club memberships/dues will be included in W-2 income each calendar year.  The memberships/dues are subject to payroll taxes, both social security and income tax withholding. Also note, personal use of "institutional memberships" (memberships purchased in the university’s name rather than an employee's name) is includable in the income of the employee who benefits from the membership.  

The log should be maintained for the period November through October and forwarded to the Controller’s Office in Montague Village by mid November.  The taxable portion of memberships and dues will be included in the December payroll.  If no log is submitted by the club member, membership and renewal fees will be included in W-2 wages in their entirety.

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