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  • Tax Deduction

    I have a question for those of you who from time to time donate your services to non-profit organizations and collect tax deductions for that. As I understand it, I cannot write off the value of my or my staff's time while performing "pro bono" service to a non-profit according to the IRS (and my state since services are not taxed). However can I write off the following things;
    - Mileage incurred while performing the service
    - Cost of "this property patrolled by" decals / signage
    - Cost of supplies / equipment purchased and than donated to said non-profit

    If I can deduct mileage how would that work? I mean Colorado is a pretty big state and Northern Colorado is no small acreage, in theory I could travel 50+ miles one way going from one site to another. When I was a volunteer firefighter back in Pa I know I could deduct mileage for each and every trip from work / home to the station and back as well as mileage incurred while using my POV to perform duties for the VFD. I do know that mileage to from home to work and work to home is not deductable for a paid job, so I am just wondering how it would work for a pro bono gig.
    Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. - 1 Corinthians 16:13

    The cleanliness of our hearts, The strength of our limbs, and commitment to our promise.

    My military contract is up and over. However, I never needed to affirm that I would defend the constitution, our freedoms, our way of life from enemies both domestic and foreign. Do not think that since I am no longer in the military, I will not pick up a weapon to defend my family, my home or my country. - Me!

  • #2
    No offense against the opinions of members of the forum but for accurate info why don't you consult an Accountant/Tax Specialist?
    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
    Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by HotelSecurity View Post
      No offense against the opinions of members of the forum but for accurate info why don't you consult an Accountant/Tax Specialist?
      This. Especially since state laws also muck it up with federal policies. This may help him find good links if anyone has any handy on this topic though so it has potential.

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      • #4
        Read this article and at the bottom find the link to another article about the difference between "pro bono" and volunteer services.

        http://womeninbusiness.about.com/od/...Deductions.htm

        Note that "qualified organization" is mentioned but not explained in the article. The non-profit in question must be one that has filed certain papers with the IRS and has met certain criteria to be "qualified" as a legitimate non-profit (usually as a "503c" organization, I believe). Note that MANY so-called non-profits have NOT qualified with the IRS.

        Aside from this information, I agree with the advice to seek counsel from a tax expert in your state. I daresay that a question of this nature could even be answered by someone from a "retail" tax service like H&R Block for a very small fee. And, of course, the IRS has an answer-line for taxpayers. Colorado may have something similar.
        Last edited by SecTrainer; 03-09-2011, 12:03 PM.
        "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

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        • #5
          I provide pro bono services and deduct actual expenses incurred while providing those services. Note this does not include my normal hourly rate, but things like airfare, lodging, rental car and mileage. I set aside a certain amount of hours yearly and try to limit myself to those hours as it can get out of hand if you don't control it.
          Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
          Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

          Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Curtis Baillie View Post
            I provide pro bono services and deduct actual expenses incurred while providing those services. Note this does not include my normal hourly rate, but things like airfare, lodging, rental car and mileage. I set aside a certain amount of hours yearly and try to limit myself to those hours as it can get out of hand if you don't control it.
            I used to do exactly the same thing with regard to direct expenses on pro bono jobs. But lately, I have been asking pro bono clients to reimburse me for all or at least part of my expenses. I have found that sometimes people don't value or appreciate things that they have gotten absolutely free.
            Michael A. Silva
            Silva Consultants

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Silva Consultants View Post
              I used to do exactly the same thing with regard to direct expenses on pro bono jobs. But lately, I have been asking pro bono clients to reimburse me for all or at least part of my expenses. I have found that sometimes people don't value or appreciate things that they have gotten absolutely free.
              Michael, I agree with you and have become more selective in the last two years.

              See you in San Diego.
              Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
              Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

              Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

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