Among the many benefits of volunteering your time, did you know that there are certain tax breaks for volunteer work you may benefit from? While there is no tax deduction allowed for the value of the services you provide, here are four common deductions you can take:
- Travel Expenses:
Out of town travel expenses such as taxi fares, lodging, and meals are deductible as long as there isn’t a large amount of personal pleasure associated with the trip. These also don’t apply if you are helping a charity with lobbying activities.
If you are required to wear a uniform to volunteer, you can deduct its cost as long as it has no other general purpose. For example, an EMT uniform.
If you use your car to perform charitable services, you can either deduce you actual unreimbursed expenses or a flat 14 cents per mile. Parking fees and tolls are also deductible.
The cost of entertaining on behalf of a charity is deductible, though your own portion of the entertainment or meals is not.
It’s important to remember to safeguard your deductions. One way to do so is to get written documentation from the organization about the nature of your volunteering and the need for any related expenses to be paid. For example, this could be a letter explaining why you’re needed out of town. Maintaining receipts and detailed records of time, place, amount and charitable purpose of the expense is also required. If your out-of-pocket expenses are substantial, you could submit a statement of expenses and a copy of receipts to the organization and arrange for them to acknowledge the amount of your contribution in writing.
If you have further questions about tax breaks for volunteer work, please contact us.