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Longs Peak Council

Boy Scouts of America

What Can You Deduct as a Volunteer?

Since we get a lot of questions about what will be tax deductible to our Council volunteers, here is a quick overview of the subject (though you should always double-check these matters with your own attorney or tax advisor).


The general rule is that you will be allowed a charitable tax deduction for unreimbursed, out-of-pocket expenses directly connected with the performance of services for the local Council. If they are considered personal, living or family expenses, they will not be deductible.


Deductible travel expenses include; air, rail and bus transportation; out-of-pocket car expenses; taxi and shuttle fares between hotel and airport or station; lodging costs; reasonable meal costs. These expenses will only be deductible if, in the words of the IRS, there is "no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation" in the trip. Also, you cannot deduct travel, meals, lodging, or other expenses for a spouse or children.


If you use your car for the benefit of the local Council, you can either deduct actual expenses (such as gas, parking, tolls, etc.), or use a standard mileage rate of 12 cents/mile for reimbursement. You cannot deduct any portion of general repair, maintenance, depreciation, or insurance. Of course, you should keep very good records to substantiate any actual expenses.


If you let the Council use your property, such as space in a building, a boat, a car, or vacation home, you cannot deduct the rental value of that property. However, actual out-of-pocket operating expenses (such as fuel, utilities, etc.) will be deductible Also, you cannot get a deduction for either loaning the Council money without interest, or for the value of contributing personal time or services to the Council.

Most donors will be able to deduct expenses incurred as volunteers to our Council up to 50% of their adjusted gross income. Fortunately, however, the potential for tax deductions has always been less motivation than the opportunity to offer volunteer service to Scouting. The Longs Peak Council has no resource as valuable as the time and efforts of our volunteers!

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Last Updated Sunday, 26-Feb-2006 18:38:26 CST