The Financial Costs of Civil Rights Leadership

Martin Luther King Jr. is an American and global civil rights icon. His impact has reverberated for decades and will continue to do so. He is a man that made a difference.

But as a civil rights leader and a family man, he had bills. Something not often talked about. People needed to stay in hotels, lawyers in certain cases had to be paid. His children needed food, clothing and a home to sleep in.

Even today that’s the case for civil rights leaders and organizations. The fight for civil rights cost money. Both for it’s leadership and the overall organization.

So TaxAssurances put together a list of expenses that may show up on a non profit civil rights organization’s 990 tax form or expenses they simply have to pay to move the purpose of their organization forward.

Here is that list:

  • airline tickets
  • cabs/taxis
  • hotels
  • meals
  • conference/convention fees
  • cell phone
  • employee salaries
  • office rent
  • office phone
  • electric bill
  • office supplies
  • office paper
  • office ink
  • subscriptions to publications
  • computer equipment
  • office furniture
  • bail money
  • subcontractor payments/professional contract services
  • attorney’s fees
  • research staff
  • court fees
  • accountant’s fees
  • media training
  • public relations consultant
  • insurance
  • postage and shipping expenses
  • printing, duplication and artwork for flyers and other marketing material
  • donated materials and services
  • misc. expense
  • Oh yeah, and family expenses

So as we celebrate the life of an American treasure, it’s worth noting the real dollar costs that were laid out for his efforts. Efforts on so many levels that were not free.

Artist: Derek Russell
Titled: MLK
Media: oil on board
Size: 12″x16″
Painted in 2013
Commissioned and Collected by GSV Capital
Art Exhibited at the GSV Gallery in Woodside, CA

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You Cannot Deduct Your Commuting Expenses

SONY DSCEvery so often during tax season I get a client that wants to deduct the expense of going back and forth to work on their taxes. They cannot do it. Here is what the IRS says about it:

“You cannot deduct the costs of taking a bus, trolley, subway, or taxi, or of driving a car between your home and your main or regular place of work. These costs are personal commuting expenses. You cannot deduct commuting expenses no matter how far your home is from your regular place of work. You cannot deduct commuting expenses even if you work during the commuting trip.

Example. You sometimes use your cell phone to make business calls while commuting to and from work. Sometimes business associates ride with you to and from work, and you have a business discussion in the car. These activities do not change the trip from personal to business. You cannot deduct your commuting expenses.”

 

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