PDA

View Full Version : Does anyone mow their church's lawn?


white stone lawn care
05-17-2010, 04:30 PM
I currently mow my church's lawn for free. I was wondering if this is a tax deduction or not. I've talked with two different accountants and one said it's fully deductible(the amount that I would normally charge) and the other said you can't deduct your labor that is donated to a charity. Anyone have any experience with this?

Glenn Lawn Care
05-17-2010, 04:46 PM
i know cemetries are tax free thats it.

hamiltonlawncare
05-17-2010, 04:51 PM
Whitestone

I cut it charge 'em get paid and "tithe" it back get the tax deduction

bohiaa
05-17-2010, 04:53 PM
it gets trickey,

in fact both are right, " from my experance "

No granted were in diffrent parts of the country,

if your doing it as a donation then it's FREE. as you know Churches are non taxable.
all of your fuel and such can NOT be deducted. But come on how much do you really use ?

If in fact your church has " and forgive me I forget what the code is "
then it's a donation that's deductable.
HOWEVER: and this is were it gets tricky, you may deduct your expences. NOT WHAT YOU WOULD REGULARY CHARGE.

If it cost you " Out of pocket" 50.00 that's your deduction. and again I forget what the form # is. but you will get it and they will sgin off on it.

sometimes it's better to ask to put a sgin in the yard and do it for free.
it becomes a PITA.

Best of luck

mark123
05-17-2010, 04:57 PM
Perhaps they can write you a receipt for the value of the service but that's a bit sketchy.

What I do is I charge my church (no sales tax) a little less than it's really worth and then I tithe 10% back to them. That way there is no question as to what I gave and what I charge. I suppose the best plan would be to charge them full price and then write a check for the same amount back to them. No questions and a paper trail.

mark123
05-17-2010, 04:59 PM
... If in fact your church has " and forgive me I forget what the code is "
then it's a donation that's deductable. ...
Are you thinking of "501(c)(3) Non-profit organization"?

Richard Martin
05-17-2010, 06:46 PM
You may give churches items and it's tax deductable. You may give them money and it's tax deductable. You may not give them your own services and then deduct the value of those services. If you have a CPA that isn't aware of this then you need a new CPA.

Frue
05-17-2010, 07:07 PM
yes you can cut your church for free and write it off! just ask for a receipt much like a tithe report. Its like giving to charitable organizations like the cancer fund. I provided a salt application for free to a Church and wrote the application off at the end of the year. Perfectly ligit

jrush
05-17-2010, 07:14 PM
I'm not perfect, and I don't go to confession, so I do the maintenance at the church for free, I'm hoping it pays off in the end.

CincyWolf
05-17-2010, 07:31 PM
If you want to do it for free and also get a deduction, the best approach is to charge them a legitimate rate, get paid and then donate it all back to the church.
1) This is legitimate from a tax standpoint but remember you are just getting the tax bracket donation back, not the full amount you charge them.
2) They are paying for the service and that is best for all parties considered because it keeps things on a professional level vs. a volunteer level.
3) If something happens to you they still have this in their budget. They may come up short on the income side because you aren't donating it all back but at least they have a budget line item for lawn maintenance

Lastly, I've known people that are reluctant to file non-monetary donations to a church or to ask for documentation. They think it is somehow wrong to donate and file it on taxes. Silent auctions, pie auctions, garage sales, etc are all legitimate donations. There is nothing "wrong" with asking for a receipt for those items. It isn't like it hurts the church when you get get to take a contribution credit on your taxes.

cutbetterthanyou
05-17-2010, 08:06 PM
The way my guy explained it is it is not worth doing unless it is truly from your heart. He said as far as taxes go you can not deducted a service you can only deduct money. He said you have to make money before you give it away,and the taxes on the money you make don't out way the deduction. So even if you charge the money, claim it , you will pay tax on that money. Then you give it back at 100% deduction you still payed taxes on what you made so it cost you in the end. Even if the taxes you payed were deductable you at most did it for free,but not really because you have overhead.

CincyWolf
05-17-2010, 10:55 PM
Exactly. It isn't a money maker, it is a donation. Your choices are to just do it as a gift or find a way to legitimately get some tax help out of it from Uncle Sam.

sharpcuts
05-17-2010, 11:46 PM
You may give churches items and it's tax deductable. You may give them money and it's tax deductable. You may not give them your own services and then deduct the value of those services. If you have a CPA that isn't aware of this then you need a new CPA.

Go with this.

white stone lawn care
05-27-2010, 04:00 PM
I just wanted to give everyone an update on my original question. I talked to a cpa the other day and she said, just like some of you, that your services are not tax deductible. You can deduct your expenses such as gas and for me, mileage, but that's about it.