[Noisebridge-discuss] 2010 taxes
ryan.castellucci at gmail.com
Thu Jan 13 21:31:37 PST 2011
We're hackers. We hack. Let's make 'hack' the system by making
'membership' $1/mo and encourage people to 'donate' $39/mo or $79/mo.
On Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 9:21 PM, Sai <noisebridge at saizai.com> wrote:
> AFAICT, the part about 526 records means that NB would have to make an
> official decision that dues are donations.
> - Sai
> On Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 11:18 PM, Ryan Castellucci
> <ryan.castellucci at gmail.com> wrote:
>> From a CPA I spoke with (since I'm probably itemizing this year) who
>> wishes to remain anonymous:
>> Membership fees paid to a 501(c)(3) are, in general, deductible as
>> charitable contributions. For instance, paying dues to be a member
>> of the local S.P.C.A. is deductible. The portion of the dues that
>> represents the value of any goods or services received in exchange
>> for a payment to a charity, however, is not deductible as a
>> charitable contribution. For instance, if you pay $100 for a
>> membership to KQED but receive a "premium" of a book worth $15, then
>> only the excess $85 is deductible (even though you may perceive some
>> value by getting to continue to get to watch the programming). If
>> you pay a charitable organization $50 to attend an event, the
>> admission of which is worth only $30, then the excess $20 is
>> deductible. So -- what is the "value" of the benefits you receive
>> from Noisebridge? Often, mere attendance at meetings is considered
>> to be of no value. Example here: if I pay $50 to be a member of
>> "Friends of the (insert name of municipality) Library" and there is
>> no change in my rights to use the library's resources, I get a $50 deduction.
>> Having said all of that, you have to have enough itemized deductions
>> (medical, taxes, mortgage interest, charity, etc.) to actually
>> benefit from deducting charitable contributions -- that's because
>> most taxpayers are allowed to deduct a "standard deduction" and there
>> is no benefit from itemizing deductions unless the itemization
>> exceeds the standard deduction. Additionally, there are strict rules
>> about receipts and/or acknowledgments for charitable contributions
>> -- both in terms of having the proof and in terms of what the charity
>> includes on the receipts and/or acknowledgments. Repeat: there are
>> strict rules about receipts and/or acknowledgments for charitable
>> contributions. More information is available in this IRS
>> publication: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf The section
>> entitled "Records to Keep" on pages 17 and 18 (in the 2009 version of
>> that publication) is of particular interest.
>> Since "everything Noisebridge has/does is available to non-members"
>> (except voting/consensus), I see nothing but charitable
>> intent in paying membership dues and would deduct the dues, as long
>> as the record-keeping requirements enumerated in IRS Publication 526 are met.
>> On Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 3:25 PM, rkt88edmo <rkt88edmo at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I do tax work for a living but don't specialize in indivdual taxation
>>> and am not a member but have been to the space.
>>> Since you didn't receive any goods or services from Noisebridge that
>>> aren't available to the general public you do not need to reduce your
>>> charitable donation deduction. I wouldn't bother with assigning shelf
>>> space a dollar value unless "Noisebridge-the-official-legal-entity"
>>> makes a policy to do so or you really feel that it really is of
>>> substantial monetary value.
>>> Given the full membership rate I would encourge anyone who itemizes
>>> their deductions and who will deduct their Noisebridge membership dues
>>> to document the transactions and obtain the tax ID number of
>>> Noisebridge. Even better would be a letter or receipt from
>>> Noisebridge with letterhead stating it is 501(c)3, including the TIN
>>> documenting amount of cash or cash value of property contributed;
>>> which I would hope you could obtain be if you do-ocratically drafted
>>> it yourself and present it to the treasurer via email or at a meeting.
>>> If you did either of those I doubt any CPA would have trouble with
>>> you taking the donation.
>>> I can answer questions offline if you have any.
>>> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
>>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>> Ryan Castellucci http://ryanc.org/
>> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
Ryan Castellucci http://ryanc.org/
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