Volunteer expenses and possible deductions


Out-of-pocket expenses for volunteer work:

Taxpayers may be able to deduct some amounts paid in providing services to a qualified organization. There can be NO element of personal pleasure or enjoyment derived from the volunteer activity.

To be deductible, the amounts must be:


Directly connected with the services;

Expenses incurred only because of the services given; and d.Not personal, living, or family expenses.

2. Car expenses are deductible at the greater of $ .14 per mile (no change for 2009), or actual cost of gas and oil that are directly related to the use in giving the service. Add parking fees and tolls to either method.

3. Travel expenses necessarily incurred while away from home performing services for a qualified organization are deductible only if:

a. Taxpayer is “on duty in a genuine and substantial sense throughout the trip”; and

b. “No significant element of personal pleasure, recreation or vacation” is received by the taxpayer.

4. Applies whether paid directly (by the taxpayer) or indirectly (paid by the taxpayer to the charitable organization, which then pays the travel expenses). Deductible travel expenses include:

Air, rail and bus transportation;

Out-of-pocket expenses for your car;

Taxi and other costs of local transportation;

Lodging and meal costs.

Rodney W Wicklund and Associates 2011