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I am an employee at a not-for-profit.  I was recently told I can keep my job for 2017 if I accept a 30% pay reduction.  I would like to know if there is a legal way for me to suggest my new reduced income also include the yearly 5K donation my family makes to the company so I may at least have the tax deduction.  Meaning, after accepting the salary deduction I would receive the letter for a 5K donation without actually donating the 5K.  Is there a way to posit this to the Board that is legal and right?  I work from home about 65% of the year.  Perhaps the 5K donation letter could be for the use of my home office instead of the company's?  Would appreciate any input on how I might suggest this in the right way.  I'm hurting a great deal about this sudden "You're not worth your current salary" after 10 years of loyalty.  But I love the work and want to stay. Trying to figure out a way to be able to afford to.  Thank you.

No. See IRS Publication 526 "Charitable Donations" which is available

especially on page 9 the IRS writes about "partial interests" under the heading "Partial Interest in Property" which means that donations of use are not deductible. Even if an employee uses exclusive area in his home for the use of the 501(c)(3) organization, the employee does not receive a charitable
deduction. "Example 1. You own a 10-story office building and donate rent-free use of the top floor to a charitable organization. Since you still own the building, you have contributed a partial interest in the property and cannot take a deduction for the contribution."  That comes right from section 1.170A-7(a) of the Income Tax Regulations.

Harvey Mechanic
Attorney at Law

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather more information.

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Harvey Mechanic


DO NOT GIVE ME INFORMATION THAT YOU WANT KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. I am an attorney and I volunteer time to answer general questions about U.S. Federal income tax issues of nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities only. Those questions could be about establishing and maintaining legal requirements for such non-profit organizations in the United States, including Internal Revenue service filings and requirements. I will not be working on this free forum to answer questions about Nonprofit's possible unrelated or for-profit businesses or how to fill out forms. This forum is only for general questions about federal tax law, not as the law applies to your specific situation. If you do not make your question public then I will not be spending much of my donated time on answers that would not benefit the public. If you have other questions, please contact me at I will reply from my email. In any case, do not reveal confidential information to me until after I have contracted with you to provide personal legal services. My responses on this forum are intended to be general statements of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and do not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather extensive information about the situation. To search my previous answers you can do a Google search by "" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.


I have been practicing law and especially the law of nonprofit organizations since 1990 when I was admitted to the New York Bar and I have maintained my status with the Bar since that time.


B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.

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