Charitable Travel – How Giving Back Can Reward you at Tax Time
Giving back by volunteering or serving on a non-profit board is a reward in itself. What makes it even better is that the government wants to give you a little break at tax time for your service as well.
Taxpayers are able to deduct reasonable expenses for travel, meals, and entertainment when travelling to perform charitable services. In order for expenses to be deductible, there cannot be a significant amount of personal recreation or vacation, the travel cannot be related to influencing legislation on behalf of a tax exempt organization, and the taxpayer’s service must require them to be away from their permanent residence overnight.
For individuals who travel by car to perform charitable services, there is a standard mileage rate that the government allows. For the 2011 and 2012 tax years, taxpayers are able to deduct 14 cents per mile as well as tolls and parking costs incurred.
Keep written records of your travel and save all receipts related to the deductions you will be claiming. As always, use good judgment when considering the deductibility of expenses. The IRS does consider how necessary the travel was in order to perform the charitable services.
If you have any questions, or require additional information, please contact:
Susan K. Marley, CPA