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Forego salary and take deduction?

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Forego salary and take deduction?

I currently teach Sunday school at a 501(c)(3) organization. In lieu of a paycheck and 1099, I would like the organization to keep my salary as a donation. Would I be allowed to write off the value of my services (the salary I would have received) as a charitable contribution?

No.  But you wouldn’t have to include the salary in your income either.  The value of contributed services is not deductible for federal income tax purposes and a lot of people think they can generate a deduction by taking the salary or fees and making a contribution of the same amount.  That may produce a deduction for federal income tax purposes (if you itemize), but you also have to recognize the income. 

The contribution deduction does not necessarily equal the compensation because many types of taxes, such as FICA and many state income taxes, are based on gross income, without recognition of a charitable contribution deduction. If you take the salary, you may have to pay some of these impositions.   It is better to forego the compensation and contribute the services.  That is tax neutral.

Monday, March 30, 2009

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