Tax Tip of the Week: What Volunteer Expenses Can Be Deducted?

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Volunteer-Abroad Most taxpayers who do volunteer work for charitable organizations fail to deduct their costs as charitable gifts on Schedule A of their income tax return. These deductions include:

  • Travel, meals, and entertainment-related volunteer and charitable activities (actual expenses or 14 cents per mile, plus parking and tolls).
  • Telephone calls and office supplies.
  • Convention expenses – including travel to and from the convention.
  • Part of organizational dues (the organization can usually tell you how much).
  • Uniforms and work clothes, including laundry and dry-cleaning expenses. This is only for clothing not usable as ordinary street clothing (Boy Scout uniforms, for example).

The trick, like any deduction, is to get proper documentation. Taking pictures and keeping receipts and logs of your volunteer work would be excellent documentation.

Like any good CPA, I need to add a disclaimer: Unfortunately, it is impossible to offer comprehensive tax info over the Internet, no matter how well researched or written. And remember, I love my readers but having me bookmarked on your computer doesn’t make you a client: before relying on any information given on this site, contact a tax professional to discuss your particular situation.