Many individuals who are active volunteers for charities may not be aware that there are tax deductions available for their unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses incurred while acting as a volunteer. These tax deductions are considered to be cash charitable contributions. They include the following:
- Away-from-home travel expenses while performing services for a charity, such as airfare, taxis, hotels, and meals. However, these expenses are not deductible if there is a significant element of personal pleasure associated with the travel, or if your charitable services involve lobbying activities.
- The cost of entertaining others on behalf of a charity, such as expenses incurred while soliciting a contribution from a potential donor.
- Your automobile costs while performing your volunteer services. Either you can deduct your actual car expenses, or you can deduct 14 cents per mile. In either case, you can deduct your parking fees and tolls.
- You can deduct the cost of purchasing and cleaning a uniform used in your volunteer services, as long as the uniform can’t also be used in your regular day-to-day activities.
All contributions of $250 or more must be substantiated by a written acknowledgement from the charitable organization. Therefore, if you will be incurring substantial expenses as a volunteer, make sure that you get a written acknowledgement from the charity as to the nature of your activities.
We can help you maximize your deduction for your volunteer expenses that qualify as charitable contributions. If you have any questions about these rules, please contact Andrew Ross, CPA of Bedard, Kurowicki & Co., CPA’s at (908)782-7900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.