O'Reilly logo

J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2013: For Preparing Your 2012 Tax Return by J.K. Lasser Institute

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

14.4 Unreimbursed Expenses of Volunteer Workers

If you work without pay for an organization listed at 14.1, you may deduct as charitable contributions your unreimbursed expenses in providing the services. This includes commuting expenses to and from its place of operations, and meals and lodging on a trip away from home (20.6) for the organization.

To qualify for the deduction, the expenses must be incurred for a domestic organization that authorizes you to travel. You may not deduct the value of your donated services.

Substantiating expenses under $250.

The IRS does not have a record-keeping regulation that is specific to unreimbursed volunteer expenses under $250. The Tax Court held in a 2011 decision that volunteer expenses of under $250 are subject to the rules for cash gifts of less than $250 (14.14), even though the terms of the cash gift regulation are a bad fit for volunteer expenses. The regulation requires a cash donor (14.14) to have cancelled checks or receipts from the charity, or in lieu of either, other reliable written records showing the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. These requirements were not written with volunteer expenses in mind, as a volunteer’s out-of-pocket expenses (supplies, for example) will generally be paid to third parties rather than to the charity itself. In the case before it, the Tax Court held that a volunteer was in substantial compliance with the IRS rules for expenses of less than $250 because she had records ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required