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Tax Newsletter

Deducting Expenses for Volunteer Services

You may be able to deduct certain expenses that are related to volunteer services offered to a qualified charitable organization. However, these services should not have been reimbursed or used for personal reasons.

Tax-Deductible Expenses

  • Uniforms – You may deduct the cost of a uniform if it is not suitable for everyday use but must be worn when providing a charitable service.
  • Travel – As long as the travel is not for personal pleasure, you may be able to deduct expenses such as the cost of gas or tickets for transportation.
  • Church deacon supplies – If you are chosen as a candidate for or are an ordained deacon, items such as vestments and books may be tax deductible.
  • Conventions – If you are a chosen representative for a charitable organization and must provide services that require overnight stays, meals and lodging may be deductible.
  • Caring for a foster child – If you are a foster parent, you may be able to deduct money spent for providing for the well-being of a foster child, as long as you are not providing foster care for profit.
  • Assisting underprivileged youth –Your expenses connected with helping certain youths who have been selected by a qualified organization to attend athletic events, movies, or dinners may be deductible.

Non Tax-Deductible Expenses

  • The value of the time of your volunteer services.
  • A contribution that you have made to a non-qualified organization.
  • A contribution or service for which you receive a benefit in return.
  • Your personal expenses that are not directly related to charitable services.

In order to deduct any qualified expenses related to charitable contributions or services, you should retain receipts for the expenses. Also, it would be advisable that you consult a tax attorney to determine what items you may or may not actually be able to deduct.

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