[Noisebridge-discuss] 2010 taxes

Jared Dunne jareddunne at gmail.com
Thu Jan 13 08:53:12 UTC 2011

I've heard it mentioned before that NB dues are not tax-deductible, so I
decided to look into this more.  I think Jacob's accountant is on to

I found this publication from the IRS regarding "Charitable Contributions":

If you look on Page 4 under "Contributions You Can Deduct":
---Start of Excerpt--
*Membership fees or dues.* You may be able
to deduct membership fees or dues you pay to a
qualified organization. However, you can deduct
only the amount that is more than the value of
the benefits you receive. You cannot deduct
dues, fees, or assessments paid to country
clubs and other social organizations. They are
not qualified organizations.
---End of Excerpt--

Noisebridge's 501(c)(3) status makes them a "qualified organization". So the
question then hinges on quantifying the "value" of membership.  While
noisebridge itself might bring a tremendous value to your life, I believe
there is no montetary value associated with the benefits of being a proper
member.  The only actual benefit of membership of which I know is the right
to participate in the consensus process.  With members receiving no monetary
benefit from their dues, they are able to deduct the entirety of their

Can anyone provide anything definitive that would contradict this?

If you are still fearing the tax man, browse through that publication more.
The more I read it the more confident I became that NB dues and donations
should be 100% deductible given its status.  Specifically I'd recommend
reading the entire section titled "Contributions From Which You Benefit"
which starts on Page 3 of the Publication.


On Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 9:59 PM, Jason Dusek <jason.dusek at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 05:36, Dr. Jesus <j at hug.gs> wrote:
>> On Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 9:27 PM, Jacob Appelbaum <jacob at appelbaum.net>
>> > On 01/12/2011 09:01 PM, Dr. Jesus wrote:
>> > > Who's deducting their membership dues from their taxes?
>> > >  My accountant says as long as I'm not receiving any value
>> > > from my membership then I can deduct the full amount, but
>> > > I don't want to find out the hard way that there's a catch
>> > > I didn't think of.
>> >
>> > I do not believe this to be true unless any membership fees
>> > count.  Membership fees are not a donation.
>> Deductibility seems to hinge on whether value is being
>> obtained in exchange for the dues, not whether they are a
>> donation.  As far as I can tell, my membership dues don't buy
>> me anything I wouldn't get as a non member, so I'm not
>> obtaining any real value and the dues should be deductible.
>  This is complex and we could have a very interesting
>  discussion about it.
>  Recently, I donated to the San Francisco Ballet. I suddenly
>  have the privilege of attending certain recitals (not
>  performances) and may even extend this privilege to a friend.
>  Is this value or not? It is certainly a privilege reserved for
>  only a few people. Whereas, everything at Noisebridge is open
>  to the public.
> --
> Jason Dusek
> Linux User #510144 | http://counter.li.org/
> _______________________________________________
> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
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