If you pay taxes in the United States, keep in mind that STC dues are tax deductible. Please note, however, that dues must be deducted from the tax return filed for the year in which they were paid. In other words:
- Dues paid in 2010 may be deducted only from 2010 tax returns.
- If you paid your 2010 dues in 2010 they may be deducted from your 2010 taxes.
- If you paid your 2011 dues on or before 31 December 2010, these dues may be deducted only from your 2010 return.
- Individuals who chose the extended membership payment play may only deduct any portion of their dues that were actually paid in 2010.
Members who have questions should contact their local IRS office or their accountant.
You can claim dues as a deduction in one of several ways: as a charitable expense, a business expense, or a miscellaneous deduction.
Gold members may not deduct their membership as a charitable contribution since the Gold membership is valued at an amount that exceeds the dues charged for that membership. It may still be deductable as a business expense or miscellaneous deduction as noted below.
All other STC members who pay taxes in the United States can deduct at least a portion of their STC dues if they claim this portion as a charitable donation. IRS publications 526 (rev. 2003) and 17 define this option:
You may be able to deduct membership fees or dues you pay to a qualified organization. However, you can deduct only the amount that is more than the value of the benefits you receive.
As a 501(c)(3) organization, STC is a qualified organization. To determine the amount of charitable contribution you may claim, subtract the cost of tangible benefits you receive from STC from the amount of dues you paid in 2010. STC’s tangible benefits can be estimated at $30 per year: $12 for the Society’s quarterly journal, Technical Communication, and $16 for the magazine, Intercom. STC’s prorated dues system, as well as the different membership categories, might affect the amount of charitable contribution you may claim.
Any portion of your 2010 or 2011 dues paid between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2010 may be claimed as a deduction on your 2010 return. The amount of your dues depends on the membership category you selected.
The charitable contribution is calculated by subtracting the cost of tangible benefits ($28 for all membership categories except Gold) from the cost of dues.
Example: $215 for Basic membership minus $28 in tangible benefits equals a deductable amount of $187.
If you joined STC at some point other than the first of the year (or only paid a portion of your dues in 2011 dues in 2010), you may prorate the tangible benefits amount to include only the months you received/will be receiving these benefits.
Example: If you paid one-half your membership dues for 2011 during 2010, you should subtract $14 in tangible benefits from the amount you are claiming as a charitable deduction.
Employers and self-employed consultants may claim the full amount of dues as a business expense for all STC membership categories, including Gold membership.
Those who do not fall into the categories defined above may claim the full amount of dues as a miscellaneous deduction. (For miscellaneous deductions to affect taxes, the total amount of miscellaneous deductions must exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income.)
Money, Not Time
While dues, contributions, and out-of-pocket expenses may be deducted, personal services may not.
The information provided above is for your convenience only and should not replace the advice of your tax professional. STC may not provide formal tax advice for individuals regarding their personal tax situation.