Tips For Taxpayers About Charity Travel Expenses
Do you plan to donate your time to charity this year?
If travel is part of your charitable giving, for example, driving your personal auto to collect donations from local business, you may be able to these travel expenses on your tax return and lower your tax bill.
Here are some tax tips you should know if you travel while giving your services to charity.
To deduct your costs, your volunteer work must be for a qualified charity. Most groups must apply to the IRS to become qualified. Churches and governments are generally qualified and do not need to apply to the IRS. Ask the group about its status before you donate. You can also use the “Exempt Organizations Select Check” search tool on IRS.gov to check a group’s status or call the office.
You can’t deduct the value of your services that you give to charity. But you may be able to deduct some out-of-pocket costs you pay to give your services. This can include the cost of travel, but they must be necessary while you are away from home. All out-of-pocket costs must be unreimbursed, directly connected with the services, expenses you had only because of the services you gave, and not personal, living, or family expenses.
Your charity work has to be real and substantial throughout the trip. You can’t deduct expenses if you only have nominal duties or do not have any duties for significant parts of the trip.
You can’t deduct the value of your time or services that you give to charity. This includes income lost while you serve as an unpaid volunteer for a qualified charity.
The types of expenses that you may be able to deduct include air, rail, and bus transportation, car expenses, lodging costs, cost of meals, and taxi or other transportation costs between the airport or station and your hotel.
Some types of travel do not qualify for a tax deduction. For example, you can’t deduct your costs if a significant part of the trip involves recreation or vacation.
Don’t hesitate to call the MMNT office at 860-643-1001 if you have any questions about travel expenses related to charitable work.