Tax Time: Tax Deductions for Volunteer Work

Bob from Christian PF wrote up a good article about taking tax deductions for volunteer work.  I itemized my deductions when I did my taxes this year, but I realized I am missing out on this deduction because I am not tracking my miles driven. This article has motivated me to look into this further, and I think I am going to start tracking miles I drive for volunteering.  Here’s some of what he mentions:

I just wanted to mention as a friendly reminder, you can deduct the mileage you drive to for volunteer work. From what I read, volunteers can also deduct…

  • cost of tolls
  • parking fees
  • cab fares
  • bus fares

if they were related to the charitable service.

Personally, I volunteer at my church.   My understanding is that when I take a trip that is 100% volunteer (giving my time where I wouldn’t have been there anyway), I am eligible for the mileage deduction.  If I volunteer during the normal service time when I would have been there, my understanding is that these miles would not be eligible for the deduction.

What about you?  Do you take this deduction?  If so, how do you track your mileage?  What are some other commonly missed deductions?  Let me know in the comments.

Tax deductions for volunteer work
IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions
Volunteer Mileage tax Deduction

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