Horsing Around

Today TaxMama® hears from Paul in the TaxQuips Forum who wants to be generous. “I am considering allowing the use of my horse barn to a non-profit horse rescue organization. This group has several rescued horses that need care and would like to board the horses on my property. Can I take advantage of this situation as a charitable contribution?”

Ask TaxMama

 Dear Paul, 


No. Not really. 

The barn costs you nothing additional, so there’s nothing, really, to deduct. It’s the same as the use of your labor or services – there’s nothing to deduct.  

However, if the horses are in your barn and you provide feed, supplies, etc. You can deduct the costs of those items as charitable contributions. 

BUT, you must submit an expense report to the charity, showing the costs (with receipts). Have the Charity issue a receipt for those donations. Without that – you won’t get that deduction, either.  

Read the case of the Crazy Cat Lady for more information on how this kind of contribution gets viewed by the Tax Court – and what the Court accepted – and why.  

Regardless of whether you get a deduction or not, this is a good opportunity for you to be involved with your community, to meet interesting new people, and perhaps even to use the opportunity as a training facility for youngsters to learn how to care for horses properly – if you invite local children to help out. There’s a place in Heaven for folks like you.

 And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about charitable contributions and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At www.TaxMama.com.

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