Bea Smith, Director of Member Services & Events As business and community members, our mission should be to improve the quality of life in the community that we serve and live. We should be passionate about giving back to our local community through organizations that make a difference in the lives of our customers, associates, employees and neighbors. There are several ways in which one can invest in such an organization.
As a business or individual, we can invest through memberships, charitable giving and or volunteer work. Whether we host a charitable event, raise money for a program or join an organization and volunteer for their various activities, we are making a difference for everyone in our community. These investments can flow through to our tax return and offer benefits at tax time.
As a business, your investments may be a deductible expense. In general, an expense is deductible if (1) it is related to a trade or business, (2) it is ordinary and necessary, and (3) it is paid or incurred in carrying on a trade or business. There must be a connection between the activities and the expense. The activity must be entered into for the purpose of generating revenue stream and contributing to the business’ profit.
Individuals who invest by contributing to the organization and who itemize their deductions are allowed an income tax deduction for those charitable contributions which are actually paid during the taxable year. For tax purposes, a charitable contribution is a voluntary payment made to a charitable organization without the expectation of a commensurate economic or other benefit.
By investing in a membership in an organization, you have the ability to assist the organization in meeting their mission and goals. You further this investment by volunteering on various committees, serving on the board, and assisting with various programs of the organization.
Besides an income tax benefit, investing in organizations within our community give us an intangible return on the quality of our life. Many of us are well aware of the organizations we chose to invest in and generally invest in organizations that we are most familiar with or that are close to our hearts. By investing in organizations within our community we improve the quality of life here for not only ourselves but for visitors to our community.