Charitable Deductions & Travel

07-16-2014Tax Information

Do you donate your services to charity and travel as part of the service? Some travel expenses may be deductible for income tax purposes.

  1. You can’t deduct your time or the value of your services. (You are a cash basis tax payer, so there was no cash used for your time.)
  2. You may be able to deduct some out-of-pocket costs that are:
    • Unreimbursed
    • Directly connected with the services
    • Expenses you had only because of the services you gave
    • Not personal, living or family expenses
  3. Volunteer work must be for a qualified charity. Most groups other than churches and governments must apply to the IRS to become qualified.
  4. You can’t deduct your costs if a significant part of the trip involves recreation or a vacation.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 your hotel.

For more see Publication 526, Charitable Contributions at