IRS Rules on Deductible Charitable Contributions, Including Cash, Property, Time, Services, Etc.

What donations can and cannot be deducted on your personal or business taxes?

We get this question quite a bit, "... I have quite a few hours of donated work. How do I account for that as a loss for my business[?]"

The short answer is you cannot. See text below in quotations obtained from the IRS Publication 526.

“Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Giving Services

Although you can't deduct the value of your services given to a qualified organization, you may be able to deduct some amounts you pay in giving services to a qualified organization. The amounts must be:

· Unreimbursed;

· Directly connected with the services;

· Expenses you had only because of the services you gave; and

· Not personal, living, or family expenses.

Value of Time or Services

You can't deduct the value of your time or services, including:

· Blood donations to the American Red Cross or to blood banks, and

· The value of income lost while you work as an unpaid volunteer for a qualified organization.

Personal Expenses

You can't deduct personal, living, or family expenses, such as the following items.

· The cost of meals you eat while you perform services for a qualified organization, unless it is necessary for you to be away from home overnight while performing the services.

· Adoption expenses, including fees paid to an adoption agency and the costs of keeping a child in your home before adoption is final. However, you may be able to claim a tax credit for these expenses. Also, you may be able to exclude from your gross income amounts paid or reimbursed by your employer for your adoption expenses. See Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses, and its instructions, for more information. You also may be able to claim an exemption for the child. See Exemptions for Dependents in Pub. 501 for more information.”

For more information, about Charitable Contributions, please refer to Publication 526, which can be found on this link:

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