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6 Tips to Keep in Mind for Taxpayers Traveling for Charity


During the summer, some taxpayers may travel because of their involvement with a qualified charity. These traveling taxpayers may be able to lower their taxes.


Here are 6 tax tips for taxpayers to use when deducting charity-related travel expenses:

- Qualified Charities. For a taxpayer to deduct costs, they must volunteer for a qualified charity. Most groups must apply to the IRS to become qualified. Churches and governments are generally qualified, and do not need to apply to the IRS. A taxpayer should ask the group about its status before they donate. Taxpayers can also use the Select Check tool on IRS.gov to check a groupís status.

- Out-of-Pocket Expenses. A taxpayer may be able to deduct some of their costs including travel. These out-of-pocket expenses must be necessary while the taxpayer is away from home. All costs must be:
> Unreimbursed,
> Directly connected with the services,
> Expenses the taxpayer had only because of the services the taxpayer gave, and
> Not personal, living or family expenses.

- Genuine and Substantial Duty. The charity work the taxpayer is involved with has to be real and substantial throughout the trip. The taxpayer canít deduct expenses if they only have nominal duties or do not have any duties for significant parts of the trip.

- Value of Time or Service. A taxpayer canít deduct the value of their time or services that they give to charity. This includes income lost while the taxpayer serves as an unpaid volunteer for a qualified charity.

- Travel Expenses a Taxpayer Can Deduct. The types of expenses a taxpayer may be able to deduct include:
> Air, rail and bus transportation,
> Car expenses,
> Lodging costs,
> Cost of meals, and
> Taxi or other transportation costs between the airport or station and their hotel.

- Travel Expenses a Taxpayer Canít Deduct. Some types of travel do not qualify for a tax deduction. For example, a taxpayer canít deduct their costs if a significant part of the trip involves recreation or vacation.

For more on these rules, see Publication 526, Charitable Contributions. Get it on IRS.gov/forms at any time.

Avoid scams. Remember that the IRS will never initiate contact using social media or text message. First contact generally comes in the mail. Those wondering if they owe money to the IRS can view their tax account information on IRS.gov to find out.

Feel free to give us a call if you have a question about this particular topic or issue or if you need help or want to get started on tax planning for the rest of 2017!  If you have comments on the information in these articles, as usual feel free to call our offices.
 

Don't hesitate to call us if you need help or want to get started on tax planning for the rest of 2017!  If you have comments or questions on the information in these articles, as usual feel free to call our offices.  Thanks!  Charlie

 

     

     

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Regards, Charles S. Wilson, CPA/CFF, CGMA, CBEC

Certified Public Accountant

Certified Business Exit Consultant

 

 

       
   
       
 
       

       

Charles S. Wilson, CPA/CFF, CGMA | Charles Wilson, LLC | 307 S. Friendswood Dr, Ste B-2
Friendswood, TX 77546 | 281-993-4530 (O) | 866-567-3975 (F) | charlie@wilsonaccounting.net