Did you know you can deduct your expenses related to volunteer work?
One year when filing my taxes, I used Taxcut rather than one of the free tools I mentioned to get free state tax filing.
I should have taken my own advice. It ended up costing me $30 to do my state forms and then they wanted another $20 to e-file the state taxes.
I don’t know, $50 is too much – don’t you think?
The problem is that once you have already invested three to four hours entering in all the information, it makes it difficult to choose another option . . . .
But anyway, I just wanted to mention as a friendly reminder, you can deduct the mileage you drive to volunteer.
From what I read, volunteers can also deduct:
- Cost of tolls
- Parking fees
- Cab fares
- Bus fares
Keep in mind you can only deduct these if they were related to the charitable service.
Options for Deducting the Expenses
You can take a standard mileage rate for the year, or deduct the direct expenses by keeping track of gas used.
Recordkeeping for the IRS
Several years ago I started a separate calendar on Google Calendar that I mark:
- The date and time I volunteered
- The location of the work
- The total number of miles driven
Then each year when tax time rolls around, I just grab a calculator and flip through the calendar adding up the total miles driven for volunteer work. Using a spreadsheet or notebook would work as well, just make sure you have it documented for the tax man!
For more check out these articles:
Do you take tax deductions for volunteer work?