Tips on Travel While Giving to Charity

Are you planning to donate your services to charity this summer? Is travel part of the service?  The IRS has published five tax tips you should know about:

1.  You cannot deduct the value of your services that you give to charity. However, you may be able to deduct some out-of-pocket expenses you incur to give your services.  This can include the cost of travel if the following out-of pocket cost guidelines are met:


*directly connected with the services

*expenses you had only because of the services you gave

*not personal, living or family expenses

2. Your volunteer work must be for a qualified charity. Most groups other than churches and governments must apply to the IRS to become qualified. Ask the group about its IRS status before you donate. You can also use the Select Check tool on to check the group’s status.

3. Some types of travel do not qualify for a tax deduction. For example, you can’t deduct your costs if a significant part of the trip involves recreation or a vacation. For more on these rules see Publication 526, Charitable Contributions.

4. You can deduct your travel expenses if your work is real and substantial throughout the trip. You can’t deduct expenses if you only have nominal duties or do not have any duties for significant parts of the trip.

5. Deductible travel expenses may include:

*air, rail and bus transportation

*car expenses

*lodging costs

*cost of meals

*taxi or other transportation costs between the airport or station and hotel

For more see Publication 526, Charitable Contributions. You can get it on or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs has been assisting nonprofits, individuals and businesses with tax and accounting services in the Burlington Vermont Metro area for more than 20 years. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call 802.878.1963 or email [email protected].

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