Accountant Gregg Wind of Wind & Stern CPAs in Los Angeles has many professional clients for whom time is money. Unfortunately, when they donate their time and want to deduct it at their billable rate, he's forced to break the bad news.
"Lawyers will say, 'I spent a week volunteering at a community center and I provided free legal work. Can't I take a deduction for a charitable contribution?' Unfortunately, we can't write off 'donations' of our time," Wind says.
Still, there is a consolation prize.
"We can write off mileage to and from performing charitable services and the cost of supplies or other items that we may have purchased, such as pads of paper and pens to take to the volunteer event."
But billable hours? Forget it.