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Small Business Tax Q&A: January ’17

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in Small Business Tax

Offering vacation home use to charity

Q. I’m donating use of my vacation home for a church raffle. Can I deduct the value? M.T., Albuquerque, N.M.

A. No. Generally, you can’t claim a charitable deduction for a donation of less than your entire interest in the property. And the IRS says that a gift of the right to use your property isn’t a gift of your entire interest. Despite your generosity, the donation is nondeductible. Plus, if you rent out the vacation home when you’re not using it, this one-week period will count as personal use. This might reduce your rental property deductions.

Tip: If a vacation home stay is auctioned off to the highest bidder, the winner’s deduction is limited to the excess above fair market value.

Key points on deducting start-up costs

Q. I’ve started an online business. Can I currently deduct any part of my start-up costs? J.J., Armonk, N.Y.

A. Maybe. For starters, you can currently deduct up to ...(register to read more)

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