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Travel for Charitable Purposes

Expenses incurred while serving a charitable organization can be counted as an itemized deduction. While there is no deduction for time spent serving the organization, things like mileage and other out of pocket travel costs are deductible. It helps to keep track of these costs in a notebook or on a calendar throughout the year.


For individuals who serve an organization on a more committed basis (i.e. missionary service, teaching, health care or other humanitarian endeavors away from home) the costs associated with your travel to the location and living costs at the location can become charitable contributions. In order to count as a charitable contribution you must be maintaining a home here as well as a living situation at the location you are serving. Additionally, a qualifying charitable organization needs to be involved and a letter should be secured indicating the service that you have provided to them. Finally, all the IRS document substantiation requirements still apply, so keep your receipts for rent, food, utilities and other travel expenses.

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January 8, 2016


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