[Noisebridge-discuss] 2010 taxes

Sai noisebridge at saizai.com
Fri Jan 14 05:21:59 UTC 2011

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/
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