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Watch donating use of vacation home

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in Small Business Tax,Small Business Tax Deduction Strategies

Q I own a vacation home at the beach. If I donate the use of the place to a church — maybe to be used in a raffle — can I deduct the contribution’s value? J.H., Bernardsville, N.J.

A No. If you donate the use of your personal property, such as a vacation home, to a charity at a minimal charge or no charge at all, you can’t claim a charitable deduction. But you can deduct operating expenses, maintenance and repairs relating to the charity’s use of the property. Example: If you hire a cleaning service after the raffle winners have spent a week at the place, the cost is deductible.

Tip: If you rent your vacation home when you’re not using it personally, the charity’s use of the home is considered “personal use” that could affect rental deductions. Consult with your tax pro.

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