Based on some other answers you've given, donations of labor for plumbing, electrical, etc. work are not considered revenue for our new 501(c)(3) organization. However, can those individuals claim the value of those donated services on their taxes as charitable donations? And on a related note, is it better to have them donate the materials used and have us pay for their labor, or visa-versa; or does it really matter from a tax standpoint for either us or those who donate how donations are made? ...we are starting a Homeless Services Center.
Donors of services may not deduct the value of the services as charitable contributions. Donors of goods and materials may ordinarily claim a deduction, the amount of which may vary depending on the type of donor and type of goods. If you accept donations of goods and pay for services, the donor will have to record income and pay tax on the amount received for services. To the extent that the donor is subject to tax based on gross income without regard to deductions, which could include FICA obligations, state or local income tax, or a local gross receipts type tax, it may be disadvantageous to attempt to match the compensation with the deduction for materials. Although the income may equal the deduction for federal income tax purposes, the donor could owe one of the other taxes on the income. It is much more appropriate to accept contributions of both goods and services as contributions and acknowledge them with thanks. Playing games is not helpful.
Planned giving sounds complicated, with its CRUTs and CRATs, CLUTs and CLATS, and CGAs. It can be incredibly complicated, but it needn’t be. Keeping it simple may be the best way to start a planned giving program for a charity that hasn’t already put one in place.
This webinar offered a review of major planned giving instruments and a discussion of ones that make the most sense to emphasize in starting a planned giving program. It discussed the advantages of integrating planned giving into an existing development program, targeting the best prospects, getting buy-in from the board that is likely to generate results, and setting a structure to make it all happen.
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