Charitable giving is one of the most common tax deductions for individuals. But some business owners may not know that they can use these same deductions to lower their taxable corporate income. The IRS offers significant tax savings for employers who take advantage of charitable deductions during the tax year, including these five tax write-offs.
1. Make a cash contribution to charity.
If your business is a C corporation, you can donate up to 10 percent of your annual taxable income to a qualified charity and write off a deduction for the total. If you operate a sole proprietorship or a different type of corporation, you can write off your share of the company's contributions up to 50 percent of your annual adjusted gross income. Note: If you make a one-time cash donation of $250 or more, you will have to get a written letter of acknowledgement from the charity in order to support your deduction.
2. Donate some of your product inventory.
If you've already donated the maximum cash deduction amount you could donate more by including some of your available inventory. Donations of food or school books receive extra deduction credit, as do contributions for the sick, the young and the scientific community. If you donate any other goods your deduction will be limited to the fair market value of the items.
3. Organize a volunteer effort with your employees.
Consider enlisting some of your employees to get involved in a local charitable endeavor such as a food drive, a community outreach program or a construction effort for disadvantaged families. You and your workers will get a good feeling from helping others and you can deduct the necessary expenses your business incurs during the effort.
4. Sign up to sponsor a local team or organization.
Use your typical advertising budget to sponsor a local sports team such as a youth baseball or soccer squad. You might also consider sponsoring a community event or gathering. The increased visibility will be good for your business and you'll qualify to write off the expenses as advertising.
5. Give by using Internet search engines.
A lesser known way to make charitable donations is to use a charity-supported search engine such as GoodSearch, which makes contributions for each query you make. Since you're not making the donation yourself, you can't write it off but you might get access to exclusive coupons that you can use for your business.
You can take advantage of charitable contributions to help both your individual and your corporate tax liability. Using these five tax deductions for charitable donations can give you a tax break and a good feeling from knowing you're helping others in need.
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