Tuesday, October 18, 2016
ARE YOU A VOLUNTEER?
Do you volunteer your services for, or serve on the Board of Directors of, a church or charity?
As a volunteer, while the value of your time, however important, is not deductible, if you itemize you can deduct as a charitable deduction on Schedule A out-of-pocket expenses incurred while performing your volunteer service, as well as travel and transportation expenses related to your service.
To be deductible the expenses must be -
· directly connected with the services you are providing,
· incurred only because of the services you gave, and
· not personal, living, or family expenses.
Here are some examples of deductible volunteer expenses –
• The cost and cleaning of uniforms that are not suitable for everyday use and that you must wear while performing donated services for a charitable organization, such as the uniform of a Scout Master.
• The ingredients of baked goods - cookies, cakes, etc, - made for a fund-raising event.
• The cost of hosting a party or fundraiser for the organization.
• Postage and copying charges for sending mailings to members or potential members, or to contributors or potential contributors.
• The cost of travel, including reasonable amounts for meals and lodging, If you are selected to attend a regional or national conference or convention as our representative.
If you use your car for local travel in the course of performing your volunteer duties the easiest way to claim a deduction is to use the standard mileage rate of 14 cents a mile. Unlike the standard mileage rates for business, medical, and moving, which are set by the IRS each year, this amount is set by Congress and has not changed since 1998. You can instead elect to deduct the actual cost of gas and oil directly related to volunteer travel.
Charitable travel includes –
• Round-trip travel to attend committee and Board meetings.
• Transporting sports-team and youth club members to games and events, or organization members and clients, such as the disabled or the elderly, to appointments.
• Delivering food and other services to shut-ins.
• Shopping for food or other items for a soup kitchen or for organization members and clients, such as the disabled or the elderly.
• Visiting businesses to solicit or pick up donations.
You must have adequate records to prove the amount of the expenses. We can provide you with an acknowledgment that contains a description of the services you provided and a statement that we did not give you any goods and services or other reimbursement for the expenses incurred.
If you use your car to perform volunteer services your records must show the name of our organization, the date each time you used your car for a charitable purpose, where you drive, the nature of the service provided, and the miles you drove. A mileage log, similar to one used for business driving, should be kept.
The above discussion of deductible volunteer expenses is taken from my VOLUNTEER TAX GUIDE. I also have a CONTRIBUTOR TAX GUIDE. These guides are available free of charge to qualified tax-exempt non-profit organizations, including a qualifying church, to reprint and distribute free to volunteers, members, and contributors of the organization. The organization cannot use guides cannot be sold to anyone or distributed to the general public.
All I ask is that the organization that prints and distributes my guides that it sends me a signed letter on official organization stationery telling me so.
To request your free printable copy of these reports, sent as a word document email attachment, send an email to email@example.com with VOLUNTEER TAX GUIDE in the subject line.