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I am the director of a non-profit organization, and I donate my time. I have a home office where I do the majority of my work and I was wondering if I could write it off.

 
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Level 15

I am the director of a non-profit organization, and I donate my time. I have a home office where I do the majority of my work and I was wondering if I could write it off.

If you are not receiving a salary, there is no procedure in the tax law to claim a "home office" charity donation.  You also can't claim a deduction for the use of any property that own and continue to own.  You can claim a deduction for any supplies that you buy that are used for charity purposes (ink, paper, stamps, etc.)  But you can't claim for the use of a printer, or the use of furniture, unless the charity actually takes permanent ownership of the donated property.

For donations of goods like office supplies, you would need a letter from the organization acknowledging the donation (but usually not providing a specific value), combined with your receipts (which do prove the value).  Since you are the director, you would want to get the letter signed by someone else in authority who can attest to the donation, so that it does not look like self-dealing to the IRS.

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
**If a post answers your question, choose it by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer".**

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Level 15

I am the director of a non-profit organization, and I donate my time. I have a home office where I do the majority of my work and I was wondering if I could write it off.

If you are not receiving a salary, there is no procedure in the tax law to claim a "home office" charity donation.  You also can't claim a deduction for the use of any property that own and continue to own.  You can claim a deduction for any supplies that you buy that are used for charity purposes (ink, paper, stamps, etc.)  But you can't claim for the use of a printer, or the use of furniture, unless the charity actually takes permanent ownership of the donated property.

For donations of goods like office supplies, you would need a letter from the organization acknowledging the donation (but usually not providing a specific value), combined with your receipts (which do prove the value).  Since you are the director, you would want to get the letter signed by someone else in authority who can attest to the donation, so that it does not look like self-dealing to the IRS.

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
**If a post answers your question, choose it by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer".**

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Level 7

I am the director of a non-profit organization, and I donate my time. I have a home office where I do the majority of my work and I was wondering if I could write it off.

I would think this would qualify as out-of-pocket costs, *IF* the "non-profit organization" is a qualified charitable organization ("non-profit" does not necessarily mean donations to it are deductible) AND the home office is used EXCLUSIVELY for that work.
<a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p526/ar02.html#en_US_2014_publink1000229674">https://www.irs.gov/pu...>

 @Opus 17 :  What do you think?
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Level 15

I am the director of a non-profit organization, and I donate my time. I have a home office where I do the majority of my work and I was wondering if I could write it off.

But what are the out of pocket costs?  You can't deduct personal expenses, so at best you would have to follow the exclusivity rule for the home office deduction and set aside a space, room or part of a room, that is used only for the charity work.  And then you can use the square footage to figure out the electric, gas and so on that are attributed to that space.

But then you're going to run up against the no partial interest rule.  You can't deduct a partial interest in property -- for example, you own a lakeside home and donate its use for a week for a leadership conference.  You can't deduct the donation, even if it would have a fair market value as a rental.  Or you buy a computer to do your charity work -- its not a deductible donation unless the charity gets full rights and title to the computer, meaning they could take it from your home any time they wanted to, and if you stop working for the charity, the charity keeps the computer.  If you keep it, it's only a donation of a partial interest and not deductible.  So I can't see how you could even take a deduction for  mortgage payment or property taxes even using the square foot method, since that amounts to a partial interest in the home.  At best, you could deduct gas and electric, since that's used up.  

Thinking more about that, what if you have a freezer you use exclusively to store food for a charity food bank, and you have a separate electric meter; then I think you could deduct the out of pocket cost of the electricity.  Here, that might be a possibility (if you follow the exclusivity rules), but I think it would be a stretch, since there is nothing like a home office provision relating to charity donations.

[Edited to add] At best, you might be able to donate expenses that are "used up" since the charity gets the full use of the expense.  Other than office supplies and similar things, that might include gas and electricity, but I can't see it including carpet, furniture, mortgage or other household expenses that are otherwise included in a home office deduction, and certainly not depreciation.
*Answers are correct to the best of my ability but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
**If a post answers your question, choose it by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer".**
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Level 7

I am the director of a non-profit organization, and I donate my time. I have a home office where I do the majority of my work and I was wondering if I could write it off.

You aren't donating the office itself, so the partial interest rules would not apply.  They are "out-of-pocket" expenses in giving services.  For example, you can deduct charitable mileage, even though the vehicle is not used exclusively for charity (the partial interest rules would not apply the vehicle because you are not donating the vehicle itself).
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Level 15

I am the director of a non-profit organization, and I donate my time. I have a home office where I do the majority of my work and I was wondering if I could write it off.

Note for use of a car:
"Car expenses.   You can deduct as a charitable contribution any unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses, such as the cost of gas and oil, directly related to the use of your car in giving services to a charitable organization. You cannot deduct general repair and maintenance expenses, depreciation, registration fees, or the costs of tires or insurance."

Also note that current case law states that if you donate your house to a volunteer fire department for training in a controlled burn, you can not take a tax deduction, partly because you got a benefit (free demolition) but also because, since you take the house back to rebuild, it is a loan of a partial interest, rather than a gift of a whole interest in the property.

Electricity and heating/cooling for a home office might be an out of pocket expense, if you follow the exclusivity rules so you can properly allocate the charity expense separate from personal expenses.  But I am sticking with my original answer--if you can't deduct a week's use of the entire home, I don't see how can you deduct the continuous use of a small portion of the home.
*Answers are correct to the best of my ability but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
**If a post answers your question, choose it by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer".**
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Level 7

I am the director of a non-profit organization, and I donate my time. I have a home office where I do the majority of my work and I was wondering if I could write it off.

I haven't been able to find anything on this.  I still think it is deductible, but not positive.  Maybe I'll post it on TaxProTalk to see what they have to say.  In the meantime, I guess we'll need to 'agree to disagree'.   🙂