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Can donating a service (for example, web development, consulting, etc) to a non-profit be used as a tax write off in the US?

Answers

Chris Holtzer
Title: Senior Manager - Strategic Analysis
Company: Sargento
(Senior Manager - Strategic Analysis, Sargento) |

Absolutely!

You will need to work with your certified accountant to make sure it gets on your books properly. Keep in mind you won't typically be able to write off the retail value of the services, but normally just the true cost incurred (Labor + Fringe. etc).

Jeremy Freelove CPA
Title: Supervising Accountant
Company: LACSD
(Supervising Accountant, LACSD) |

I disagree. Publication 526 seems to make a clear statement that you cannot deduct the value of your time or services.

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p526/index.html

Chris Holtzer
Title: Senior Manager - Strategic Analysis
Company: Sargento
(Senior Manager - Strategic Analysis, Sargento) |

I absolutely could be wrong (and you should verify with an accountant in your region), but I believe the "Value" of your services are not deductible, but the "expense" incurred providing them should be. The difference is a perceived number and an actual, verifiable, business expense.

Keep in mind I am speaking from the perspective of the business who is donating an employees time (paying them to do work for a charity). Not the employee donating their time. Again, actual expense has to occur.

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p526/ar02.html#en_US_2013_publink1000229674

Jeremy Freelove CPA
Title: Supervising Accountant
Company: LACSD
(Supervising Accountant, LACSD) |

I did answer it from more of an individual's perspective, but it's a strange concept to consider from a corporation's point of view. A corp already gets to deduct the expense of employee labor so if they decide to writeoff the employee labor as a donation (which will be subject to percentage limitations), they won't get to double-count the labor as an expense at the same time as a donation. Pro bono services are often provided as a marketing and goodwill activity, so why not just writeoff the labor expense as standard labor costs?

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