[Noisebridge-discuss] 2010 taxes

Sai noisebridge at saizai.com
Thu Jan 13 21:39:36 PST 2011


Per the bylaws, the board would need to enact that.

FWIW, with my nonprofit-CEO hat on:

I think other-Ryan is right that the "$1" bit seems weirdly arbitrary.

However, I would point out that currently, to be a member in good
standing, one is *required* to pay membership dues. You can't require
"donations".

So: an alternate approach would be to eliminate membership dues
entirely - make membership a free and purely formal status - and
*only* have "suggested" donation subscriptions. That would also be
easier on the Treasurer, as there wouldn't be a requirement to track
the donation part vs the fees part.

- Sai

On Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 11:31 PM, Ryan Castellucci
<ryan.castellucci at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.
>
> Problem.  Solved.
>
> 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
>>>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Ryan Castellucci http://ryanc.org/
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
>>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
>>>
>>
>
>
>
> --
> Ryan Castellucci http://ryanc.org/
>


More information about the Noisebridge-discuss mailing list