PDA

View Full Version : Churh mowing; anyone do it for write off?


JayD
01-26-2011, 07:02 PM
Hey guys,

Does anyone on here mow for a church and does not charge for it?

Do you use it as a tax write off?

If so, how do you do it? What do you turn it in as on your taxes?

Do you send an invoice to them and mark it paid, no charge, or what?

...or anything else you might think of that would relate to this.

I mow our church and never charge them and I have their lawn treatments done (pay for it out of my pocket).
I have talked to them about me turning it all in as charity and they can give me a statement for it, but don't know how you all handle it on paper/taxes...

My dictionary states this; Charity = Money or help given to aid the needy; an organization, fund, or institution whose purpose is to aid those in need.

Thanks....

JayD
01-26-2011, 07:05 PM
yes, I know, it's Church mowing....not Churh.....LOL, my bad

ReddensLawnCare
01-26-2011, 07:50 PM
Talk to a CPA..sounds like you can do that, but you will probably need to somehow verify the amount of time it took you (total hours) and maybe you will be able to set the amount of the right off

bohiaa
01-26-2011, 08:02 PM
Yea, We did it for about a year,

It became a PITA, the thought process was that we would gain customers by word of mouth,

Well We did, except it backfired, they had a list of elderly people that attended there Church and STRONGLY recommanded we provide service for them, FOR FREE.

We really got a bad rap outta the deal, and here it is a couple of years later I still get calls, Are you they guys that cut grass for free...........

STIHL GUY
01-26-2011, 08:07 PM
Yea, We did it for about a year,

It became a PITA, the thought process was that we would gain customers by word of mouth,

Well We did, except it backfired, they had a list of elderly people that attended there Church and STRONGLY recommanded we provide service for them, FOR FREE.

We really got a bad rap outta the deal, and here it is a couple of years later I still get calls, Are you they guys that cut grass for free...........

:dizzy::dizzy: that must be a pain trying to do a good thing and having it work against you

TMlawncare
01-26-2011, 08:34 PM
The minister, paster, priest does not work for free. They are usually at the high end of the pay scale. 70k to well over 100k is not uncommon at all even at small churches with less then 400 members. Alway keep that in mind, they don't work for free but they get there housing and a car allowance free. Its a very nice job.

ReddensLawnCare
01-26-2011, 09:03 PM
You sir..are obviously not a mister, pastor, or priest..maybe at some churches it can be a nice job, but for most, the pay isnt that great and that total normally includes the housing allowance in it. They work all the time and are on call 24-7 for the most part. It is a labor of love and worship for them..i know thats off topic but keep that in mind. It might be a PITA, but JayD will receive greater riches for what he is doing one day. Im really not trying to bust your balls TMlawncare, I just wanted to say that

BadRancher
01-26-2011, 09:09 PM
Yes, you just need proof. Just today my church sent me a statement for my tithes for the year. I guess in this case you would need a statement showing the worth of your work and time=money donations.

But like others have said, check with you CPA.

JayD
01-26-2011, 09:24 PM
You sir..are obviously not a mister, pastor, or priest..maybe at some churches it can be a nice job, but for most, the pay isnt that great and that total normally includes the housing allowance in it. They work all the time and are on call 24-7 for the most part. It is a labor of love and worship for them..i know thats off topic but keep that in mind. It might be a PITA, but JayD will receive greater riches for what he is doing one day. Im really not trying to bust your balls TMlawncare, I just wanted to say that

I agree here, our church is small. a 100 or less but trying really hard to grow. Our pastor no longer gets paid, for now anyway. He has not been paid for about 10 months. He went out and got two other jobs, one a waiter at Ruby Tuesday, and one delivering potato chips. ...and yes, l will do it even if I can not use it as a tax write off. I have been doing it for four years now and love helping the church out.

My point was that if the IRS allows it, then why not take advantage of it.we could use all the breaks we can get. I was just asking if guys do it and how to go about it.

gasracer
01-26-2011, 09:34 PM
I would guess you keep records of when you did it and how much you would charge then file it under donations on your taxes.

fireman gus
01-26-2011, 09:46 PM
We do work for several churches and have for many years. I approached the the business administrator at the first church we started and offered to work for free for a charitable contribution receipt. He advised me that it was not worth the trouble. He told me that if I wanted the contribution then take their check, cash it and give to the church I attend.

jnrogers
01-26-2011, 09:52 PM
JD I am curious about this as well. I too have been mowing my church for 4 years but I do charge because we have about 8 or 9 acres and i have help to pay for. I do snow removal for free though when they need it. I have heard you can get a report for donation of services from the church and you can use that to get a tax write off.

JayD
01-26-2011, 09:59 PM
JD I am curious about this as well. I too have been mowing my church for 4 years but I do charge because we have about 8 or 9 acres and i have help to pay for. I do snow removal for free though when they need it. I have heard you can get a report for donation of services from the church and you can use that to get a tax write off.

Yeah, I will have to call my tax lady and try to find out for sure. There have been some really good points on here. If it is going to be a real pain to do it, I wont worry about it. I do it for them either way, but like I said, if the IRS says its OK, then why not use it....

Patriot Services
01-26-2011, 10:14 PM
I deduct the free services I provide for deployed troops. Never had it questioned on my returns. I just ask the family to sign the invoice.
Posted via Mobile Device

TMlawncare
01-26-2011, 10:25 PM
You sir..are obviously not a mister, pastor, or priest..maybe at some churches it can be a nice job, but for most, the pay isnt that great and that total normally includes the housing allowance in it. They work all the time and are on call 24-7 for the most part. It is a labor of love and worship for them..i know thats off topic but keep that in mind. It might be a PITA, but JayD will receive greater riches for what he is doing one day. Im really not trying to bust your balls TMlawncare, I just wanted to say that

Yes I am a Mister. Just trying to help you understand business. We work for 4 different churches. We do not do any of them for free. Discounted yes but free no. I am just saying that churches are very much indeed a business. Have you ever sat in on a board meeting?

Agape
01-26-2011, 11:05 PM
You sir..are obviously not a mister, pastor, or priest..maybe at some churches it can be a nice job, but for most, the pay isnt that great and that total normally includes the housing allowance in it. They work all the time and are on call 24-7 for the most part. It is a labor of love and worship for them..i know thats off topic but keep that in mind. It might be a PITA, but JayD will receive greater riches for what he is doing one day. Im really not trying to bust your balls TMlawncare, I just wanted to say that

Donate a new craftsman rider

RECESSION PROOF MOWING
01-26-2011, 11:17 PM
I mow for next to nothing with the church. And write it off. I charge the church $625 to cover expenses, that's every week total mowing services from April 1 thru November. Nobody complains...and I write it off.

lifetree
01-27-2011, 12:06 AM
The minister, paster, priest does not work for free. They are usually at the high end of the pay scale. 70 k to well over 100 k is not uncommon at all ...

This simply is not correct ... a Catholic priest receives cash compensation of approximately $ 12-15 K per year plus his housing ... that's it !!

:hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead:

BadRancher
01-27-2011, 12:29 AM
This simply is not correct ... a Catholic priest receives cash compensation of approximately $ 12-15 K per year plus his housing ... that's it !!

:hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead:

Very true! A preacher isn't making big dough unless he or she is preaching to a nice size church. You would really be surprised at how many preachers make so little and have to work part time and sometimes fulltime jobs to supplement. With the exception of a priest, most Preachers have a family to support and kids to put through college. This may not be the case at my church, but in rural areas across the U.S. where the congregation makes up 100 or less folks the preacher isn't making much!

twcw5804
01-27-2011, 12:59 AM
Dont forget the thousands of dollars it can save you when buying new equipment like with exmark through bid assist. I checked with my lical exmark dealer last week and if I get a letter stating I mow for a church the top of the line 60" exmark with the 29hp kawi was $8800 plus you get the discount on accessories too.
Posted via Mobile Device

JayD
01-27-2011, 01:14 AM
I mow for next to nothing with the church. And write it off. I charge the church $625 to cover expenses, that's every week total mowing services from April 1 thru November. Nobody complains...and I write it off.

Sooooo your saying that you bill them and get paid or what, sorry, I got lost here...

The Captain
01-27-2011, 02:24 AM
I''ve been told you can't claim a deduction unless it is actual cash. If you get a check from the church and then contribute that back to the church, you can deduct that amount, but the income shows up in your bottom line. Depending on your other expenses and dedutions, you may end up paying more in taxes than the deduction is worth. It's not worth the trouble so we just mow it for free.

Craig3
01-27-2011, 02:48 AM
not going to read this whole thread, but I was under the impression that the IRS doesn't value time spent as an expense you can write off, and its not worth doing it to lower your tax burden if you can only deduct a gallon of gas...

LibertyFarmLandscaping
01-27-2011, 03:58 AM
I mow my Church for my regular rate, but I trim hedges, fert and squirt for no charge. However, no one knows this other than the people on the church board. I adjust my tithes on the week I do the free services to offset the cost. I also mow another church for a slightly discounted rate.

Richard Martin
01-27-2011, 04:49 AM
Anyone that is doing free lawn service and then deducting it is asking for trouble at an IRS audit. It is NOT allowed. Please see IRS publication 526.

Value of Time or Services details, You cannot deduct the value of your time or services, including:

∑ Blood donations to the Red Cross or to blood banks, and
∑ The value of income lost while you work as an unpaid volunteer for a qualified organization

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf

JayD
01-27-2011, 09:26 AM
I''ve been told you can't claim a deduction unless it is actual cash. If you get a check from the church and then contribute that back to the church, you can deduct that amount, but the income shows up in your bottom line. Depending on your other expenses and dedutions, you may end up paying more in taxes than the deduction is worth. It's not worth the trouble so we just mow it for free.

I I Captain :itflag::laugh::laugh:, sorry, I had too...No but really, thanks. Yeah I can see that I should just forget about the ideal.

Richard Martin
01-27-2011, 09:44 AM
I deduct the free services I provide for deployed troops. Never had it questioned on my returns. I just ask the family to sign the invoice.

There won't be a problem unless you get audited. Then there will be a problem.

JayD
01-27-2011, 09:47 AM
Anyone that is doing free lawn service and then deducting it is asking for trouble at an IRS audit. It is NOT allowed. Please see IRS publication 526.

Value of Time or Services details, You cannot deduct the value of your time or services, including:

∑ Blood donations to the Red Cross or to blood banks, and
∑ The value of income lost while you work as an unpaid volunteer for a qualified organization

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf

Thank you Richard, for taking the time to look it up and post it. I have seen you do that on here before, good job Thumbs Up

Patriot Services
01-27-2011, 10:43 AM
There won't be a problem unless you get audited. Then there will be a problem.

Allow me to clarify. I run this through my personal taxes not the business. I also donate many items to an animal rescue here. I get receipts and it is allowed like any other charity deduction. I have been audited. The examiner found no problem as the amount was fair market value for the service and material items. This is just one more example of why you need to seperate business and personal affairs.
Posted via Mobile Device

Richard Martin
01-27-2011, 10:50 AM
I get receipts and it is allowed like any other charity deduction. I have been audited. The examiner found no problem as the amount was fair market value for the service and material items.

So you're telling us that the IRS examiner completely ignored his own tax code and allowed a deduction that is clearly not allowed as per the link I posted? You'll note that there is no exclusion from the disallowance "if you have a receipt you can ignore this part" type of deal there. Just so I don't get it wrong can you show us where this is in the IRS tax code. Google digs this type of stuff up real fast.

ReddensLawnCare
01-27-2011, 10:59 AM
Like everything else...rather be safe than sorry

Patriot Services
01-27-2011, 11:08 AM
I'm sorry Richard. I misspoke with the word "services". I was allowed to deduct the full cost of the supplies used (mulch, plants, sod). These families were officially designated as a charity through a foundation for wounded troops. I know it may be oranges and tangerines to the OP but I felt it was relevant to the topic.
Posted via Mobile Device

Richard Martin
01-27-2011, 11:13 AM
I'm sorry Richard. I misspoke with the word "services". I was allowed to deduct the full cost of the supplies used (mulch, plants, sod). These families were officially designated as a charity through a foundation for wounded troops. I know it may be oranges and tangerines to the OP but I felt it was relevant to the topic.


No problem. I wouldn't get argumentative about these tax questions but the complete misinformation that floats around out there is unbelievable. We're all here to help each other and I'd rather lose one friend here because they didn't like my answers than see another get burned in an audit.

JeffW0011
01-27-2011, 11:20 AM
Hey guys,

Does anyone on here mow for a church and does not charge for it?

Do you use it as a tax write off?

If so, how do you do it? What do you turn it in as on your taxes?

Do you send an invoice to them and mark it paid, no charge, or what?

...or anything else you might think of that would relate to this.

I mow our church and never charge them and I have their lawn treatments done (pay for it out of my pocket).
I have talked to them about me turning it all in as charity and they can give me a statement for it, but don't know how you all handle it on paper/taxes...

My dictionary states this; Charity = Money or help given to aid the needy; an organization, fund, or institution whose purpose is to aid those in need.

Thanks....

There is definetly a write off here...talk to your accountant/tax guy...

Patriot Services
01-27-2011, 11:21 AM
I can tell you though the audit itself was not that bad. The key was I kept very detailed records right down to photographs. Funny thing that tripped the audit was I had done six times the business over the previous year. That was my first full year after I retired from active duty.
Posted via Mobile Device

JayD
01-27-2011, 11:48 AM
No problem. I wouldn't get argumentative about these tax questions but the complete misinformation that floats around out there is unbelievable. We're all here to help each other and I'd rather lose one friend here because they didn't like my answers than see another get burned in an audit.

.....and I thank you! Thumbs Up

ReddensLawnCare
01-27-2011, 12:04 PM
Congrats on such a successful year patriot! Good luck to you in the 2011 and i hope you grow 6X again!

Patriot Services
01-27-2011, 12:08 PM
Congrats on such a successful year patriot! Good luck to you in the 2011 and i hope you grow 6X again!

Not likely that was back in 2006 when we were all riding the "bubble". But I am always the optimist.
Posted via Mobile Device

bymllc
01-27-2011, 12:27 PM
Hey guys, I mow for my church, and get paid for it, but then i give it back in the offering. Then at the end of the year the church sends out a receipt of my tithing for taxes. I think thats probably the easiest way to write off your work for church...

Patriot Services
01-27-2011, 12:30 PM
Hey guys, I mow for my church, and get paid for it, but then i give it back in the offering. Then at the end of the year the church sends out a receipt of my tithing for taxes. I think thats probably the easiest way to write off your work for church...

Wow, that almost sounds like laundering. WWJD?
Posted via Mobile Device

twcw5804
01-27-2011, 12:34 PM
Wow, that almost sounds like laundering. WWJD?
Posted via Mobile Device

How is that laundering? Does God or the IRS care where he got the money from as long as it was working. Its no different than him giving his wifes paycheck instead. Church is giving him money for a service, it is his choice to give it back to the church in which is a legal write off.

Patriot Services
01-27-2011, 12:44 PM
How is that laundering? Does God or the IRS care where he got the money from as long as it was working. Its no different than him giving his wifes paycheck instead. Church is giving him money for a service, it is his choice to give it back to the church in which is a legal write off.

The IRS has their own dictionary. When money starts and ends in the same place for tax purposes it raises eyebrows.
Posted via Mobile Device

gasracer
01-27-2011, 12:45 PM
That's 2 different situations.
1) He received payment for service( claim on taxes as income)
1) what he gave to the church as a donation under charities.(tax deduction)

Patriot Services
01-27-2011, 12:55 PM
That would make it a wash either way. I don't see a benefit.
Posted via Mobile Device

twcw5804
01-27-2011, 01:18 PM
Think about it. Churches have employees that get paid to work there. It is their religous belief to give back 10% to the church, he may use this to cover his 10% and not pull from any of his other income. If he was making $40k a year and claiming $20k in tithe to the church for 15min of work then maybe your theory works. But this is a common practice especially for people that work in churches, they usually are the first ones to give.