IRS tips save on charity travel

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The IRS has five tax tips  for those who travel while serving a charity.
Individuals  must volunteer to work for a qualified organization. Ask the charity about its tax-exempt status or visit IRS.gov and use the Select Check tool to see if the group is qualified.
Volunteers may be able to deduct unreimbursed travel expenses paid while serving as a volunteer. They can’t deduct the value of your time or services.
The deduction qualifies only if there is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation or vacation in the travel. However, the deduction will qualify even if you enjoy the trip.
Travel expenses can be deducated if the work is real and substantial throughout the trip. They can’t deduct expenses if the person only has nominal duties or do not have any duties for significant parts of the trip.
Deductible travel expenses may include: air, rail and bus transportation, car expenses, lodging costs, the cost of meals, taxi fares or other transportation costs between the airport or station and your hotel.
To learn more see Publication 526, Charitable Contributions. The booklet is available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).