Can Volunteers Take a Charitable Deduction for Donating Their Time?

Let's assume you volunteer 6 hours a week in the office of a qualified organization. The receptionist is paid $10 an hour for the same work. It only makes sense that the value of your time is at least $60.00 and a charitable deduction would be available. Unfortunately, the IRS says "No". You cannot deduct the value of your time or services. However, certain out-of-pocket expenses incurred while volunteering services to a qualified organization may be deductible.

For example, deductible expenses must be unreimbursed, directly connected with the services the volunteer provided to the organization, and incurred only because of the services the volunteer provided. They cannot be personal, family, or living expenses. So, you could deduct the costs of gas and oil that are directly related to getting to and from the place where you volunteer. If you do not want to figure your actual costs, you can deduct 14 cents for each mile.

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