Expenses incurred on behalf of a qualified charity are deductible

You may not deduct the value of your services donated to charity, but you may deduct out-of-pocket costs you incur in the process of donating services.  All out-of pocket costs must be:

  • unreimbursed,
  • directly connected with the services,
  • expenses you had only because of the services you donated, and
  • not personal, living or family expenses.

Your volunteer work must be for a qualified charity. Most groups other than churches and governments must apply to the IRS to become qualified and must have been given exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. You can verify if a charity has attained such exempt status by using the Select Check tool on

Travel expenses on behalf of the qualified charity are deductible; however, you can NOT deduct your travel costs if a significant part of the trip involves recreation or a vacation, or if you only have nominal duties or do not have any duties for significant parts of the trip.

Deductible travel expenses may include:

  • air, rail and bus transportation,
  • car expenses,
  • lodging costs,
  • the cost of meals, and
  • taxi or other transportation costs between the airport or station and your hotel.

For more information on the rules pertinent to deductible expenses incurred for charitable purposes, see Publication 526, Charitable Contributions.

DISCLAIMER: This information is extracted with permission from IRS releases.  We are not responsible for the application of this general information to the specific circumstances of a reader unless we have been engaged as the reader’s tax preparer.

ASSISTANCE:  If you need help in preparing your income tax returns,  Roy & Associates, PC may be able to be of assistance.  Our firm and its predecessor firms have been providing tax services to individuals, small businesses and nonprofit organizations in southwestern Pennsylvania since 1942.  You may make  an appointment with one of our Directors of Audit and Tax Services, all of whom are well-versed in personal income taxation.  See the CONTACTS page above.  Standard rates and terms for service will apply.



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