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Nail down deduction as charitable volunteer

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in Small Business Tax

Q. I’m helping a nonprofit build a structure, and I’m paying some of the cost. Is this deductible? C.B., Santa Fe, N.M.

A. Yes, if certain requirements are met. Assuming you’re not being reimbursed and the expenses are paid on behalf of a qualified charitable organization, the cost you pay counts toward your annual charitable deduction. This would include, for example, the lumber you buy for the structure, nails, tools and other supplies. Keep receipts of your purchases to back up your claims. Of course, all the usual limits on deductions for charitable contributions still apply.

Tip: Conversely, you can’t deduct the value of any carpentry services you provide.  

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