If you want to deduct travel costs, the charity you volunteer for must be qualified, meaning they applied to the IRS to be qualified. You can verify the status before you chose to donate. How? The IRS actually has a tool to check the status – click here to use it.
You may actually be able to deduct some of your costs while traveling! The costs must be unreimbursed, connected with the charitable services, and definitely not personal expenses.
If you are going to deduct expenses, the work must be REAL and substantial throughout the whole trip. If your duties are only nominal or not for are large sum of the trip, you cannot deduct expenses.
You cannot deduct the VALUE of your time given to charity – this would also include income lost while you were volunteering.
If you are looking to renew your passport for travel this summer, your taxes can actually affect that application process! If you are delinquent in owing $52,000 or more of federal taxes, you will not be issued a passport. They may even issue for your current valid passport to be revoked. To resolve the IRS debts, you can set up a payment plan and pay in full. Of course, the IRS will always notify you by mail if you are subject for the delinquent debt.
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