Is This Deductible My Volunteer Work (1440 x 600 px)

Is This Deductible? My Volunteer Work

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How do you spend your spare time? Many people spend their time giving back to their communities. Whether you volunteer at your child’s school, the animal shelter, or participate in a local clean-up effort, you may be one of the people who find volunteering to be a way to make a difference in the world. It doesn’t matter if you are using your business skills or hammering a nail – whatever you do to help a worthwhile cause may have tax benefits. Continue reading to find out all you need to know.

First, to take a tax deduction for your volunteer work, you must be rendering services to a qualified 501(c)(3) organization that meets the IRS requirements for receiving tax deductible donations. You can search tax exempt organizations using this helpful IRS search tool to see if your charity of choice qualifies. 

As you might guess, the major public charities are qualified organizations, but many lesser known charities qualify as well. It is important to affiliate yourself with a qualified organization if you want a possible tax deduction. If you and your best friend decide to clean up the beach one morning, strictly on your own, there won’t be any tax deductions available to you unless you are volunteering as part of a qualified organization.

So what can you deduct?

Here’s the bad news first. No matter how valuable your time is, you can’t take a deduction for the value of your time. Although walking the dogs at the local shelter is certainly invaluable, it unfortunately isn’t deductible.

But wait! There are a lot of things you can deduct when volunteering that may add up – such as supplies, uniforms, and transportation costs. 

Before you go to the local shelter to walk a dog, do you put dog treats into your pocket that you bought for that purpose? If so, that would be tax deductible. So would the supplies you buy to use to volunteer in your child’s classroom, for example, or the bags you purchase to use at the charity-sponsored community cleanup. If you incur other fundraising expenses, such as hosting a party for the charity, the expenses of that party may be tax deductible. 

Do you wear a uniform while volunteering? The cost of the uniform and the costs to clean it are deductible. However, the uniform must not be for everyday use and you must wear it when volunteering.

Lastly, you may also deduct parking fees and tolls, as well as mileage at 14 cents per mile for 2024. If you decide to use public transportation instead during your volunteering, that’s tax deductible as well.

So go ahead, pick up the phone, and tell your local charity you’d like to volunteer. You’ll feel satisfied making a difference, make lots of new friends, and may even garner a tax deduction.

No matter what moves you made last year, TurboTax will make them count on your taxes. Whether you want to do your taxes yourself or have a TurboTax expert file for you, we’ll make sure you get every dollar you deserve and your biggest possible refund – guaranteed.

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