Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Governor Appoints Turley to Board

Governor Deval Patrick has appointed Attorney Donna M. Turley to the Board of Registration in Veterinary Medicine. She represents the public on a five member board. The other members are veterinarians. The Board of Registration in Veterinary Medicine licenses veterinarians and protects the public by ensuring that veterinarians practice according to the laws of the Commonwealth and established standards and codes of conduct. The Board meets monthly and oversees complaints of professional malpractice and misconduct.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Good News: Animal Rescue Foster Care Expenses Tax Deductible

The tax court has just found in favor of a taxpayer who claimed that certain unreimbursed expenses she incurred fostering feral cats were charitable deduction. The tax payer volunteered with a 501(c)(3) charitable group, foster homes were part of the group's mission, the group could request her services at will, and it indirectly oversaw her work. Her deductions were subject to the substantiation requirements of charitable donations both above and below the $250 cash threshold. The court determined that the taxpayer's records substantially complied with the rules for substantiating cash donations of less than $250, even though the records showed the amounts of the expenses and to whom they were paid, rather than the name of the charitable organization and the amounts donated. These were the correct rules to use because donations of less than $250 were categorized either as cash or as property, and unreimbursed volunteer expenses more closely resembled cash donations according to the court. However, the court determined that the taxpayer could not deduct her expenses that exceeded $250 because she had not obtained contemporaneous acknowledgment from the charity.
The citation is Van Dusen, 136 TC ___, No. 25, Dec. 58,642.

For our clients, this means that if you foster animals for a charitable organization, your costs are charitable contributions if you are not reimbursed for those costs. Remember to keep good records about the cost and the purpose, and if any single cost is $250 or more, have the rescue group acknowledge the non-cash contribution in writing.