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Unfortunately, you cannot take a tax deduction for such donations unless the entity to whom you give the money is a tax-exempt organization -- like a 501(c)(3) or a church. This is because it's not a business expense that is tax deductible (unless you can legally justify paying the artists as some form of advertisement or other business expense).
So then the second model I suggested in the question would work? "For example, Dance Apparel donates 25% to Dance Umbrella 501c3, Dance Apparel in conjunction with Dance Umbrella disperse funds to artists, Dance Apparel claims the 25% as a tax deduction?"
Then is this model suitable: "Dance Apparel donates 25% to Dance Umbrella 501c3, Dance Apparel in conjunction with Dance Umbrella disperse funds to artists, Dance Apparel claims the 25% as a tax deduction?"
Sorry, I had to step away one moment. Let me take a look at your replies and I'll respond in a just a few minutes.
Yes, the for profit could donate funds to a 501(c)(3) and take a deduction. The 501(c)(3) could then disperse funds according to its missions and purpose. But you need to be very careful in this area. It would pay dividends for you to speak to a local tax attorney in setting up any 501(c)(3) so you can avoid any issues with control, tax-exempt status, etc.
I don't see any issues with your proposal, but again, you need the assistance of a local tax attorney just to check everything. You don't want to think you've done it correctly and then get hit with a huge tax bill later.
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