Saturday, January 10, 2015

Rules for Deducting Donated Services

A question that gets asked routinely is if you can take a deduction for services.  For example, if a taxpayer is a professional chef, and cooks at a charitable event, or a web site developer helps a charity set up their website, it is a legitimate question to ask if the time spent can be deducted as a donation.

The short answer is no you cannot

The general reasoning behind the rule is that if you do not report the income, you do not get the charitable deduction.

Charitable deductions are not allowed for contributed services. This includes blood donations, advertising, or broadcasting newspapers or radio. Reg §1.170A-1(g).

The rules apply even if the services involve the production of a final product.

The tax returns for Non-profit organizations recognize donated services, in general the amounts are the same.

So, if you want the charitable deduction, you have to donate a product or cash that has been acquired with income that you have paid tax on in the past.

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