Can I write off pro-bono work I do for nonprofit organizations?
Everybody knows that donations to certified nonprofit organizations are tax deductible. But what about the most precious donation of all: Your pro-bono time?
According to the IRS, if you provide a pro-bono service to a certified nonprofit you cannot write that service off in the amount of your hourly rate. You can write-off any expenses that you incur while providing that service.
Let’s take a look at an example:
If you are a freelance website designer and you offer to build the website for your local church, free of charge. If you typically bill your clients at a rate of $75 per hour and it takes you fifteen hours to build their website. That would normally be $1,125 of income. The IRS will not allow you to deduct that $1,125 as a donation when you file your taxes.
Continuing our example, if you pay $120 for hosting and you pay a copywriter $250 to write the content, you can claim that $370 on your taxes. According to the IRS, the expense occurred must be of direct benefit to the charity.
The IRS has stated on IRS.gov: “Although you cannot deduct the value of your time or services, you can deduct the expenses you incur while donating your services to a qualified organization.”