If you need to travel for your charity cause, you may be able to deduct the travel expenses. Here’s how:

One – See if your charity qualifies

In order for you to deduct your travel costs, you must be volunteering for a qualified charity. Groups need to be qualified by the IRS through the application process. You can ask the group about its status before you decide to donate. You can also head on over to the official IRS website, IRS.gov, to see if your charity is on their approved list. 

Two – Expenses from your pocket

You may be able to deduct some of your costs while traveling. This must be costs related to necessary items while away from home. These costs must be unreimbursed, directly connected with the services, expenses that you had only because you gave to the charity, and non-personal.  

Three – Substantial Duty 

The charity work that you are involved in must be real and substantial throughout the trip to qualify. You cannot deduct expenses if you do not have duties for the significant parts of the trip. 

Four – Value of Time/Service

You cannot deduct the value of your time or services that you give to charity, which would include income lost while you served as an unpaid volunteer. 

Five – What you can and cannot deduct 

You can deduct:

  • Transportation – air, rail, and bus
  • Expenses related to your car
  • Lodging expenses
  • Costs of meals
  • Transportation costs between the airport/station and your hotel, including taxi services 

You cannot deduct: some types of travel that do not qualify, for example, you cannot deduct travel expenses if a large part of your trip includes recreation or vacation. 

Thank you for giving, and we hope this will help you save money while giving it.