What Is Charitable Mileage?
If you contribute your time to charitable organizations, you might be able to claim a mileage tax deduction. The deduction is meant to alleviate the expenses associated with giving your free time to good causes as an individual or an organization.
What qualifies as charitable mileage
According to the IRS, any mileage incurred with your personal vehicle performing services for charitable organizations is eligible for a charity mileage deduction, so long as you were not already reimbursed by the organization.
If you travel by other means away from home in order to provide charitable services, the following rules apply:
- Travel must be performed for an approved charitable organization
- There should be no significant element of recreation, vacation or personal pleasure attached to your travel
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What is the mileage rate for charitable contributions?
The mileage rate for charity-related driving is $0.14 cents per mile. This rate is set by statute and has been unchanged since 1998.
Instead of using the standard charity mileage rate, you can choose to deduct actual expenses for your miles in service of charitable organizations, specifically gas and oil costs. You can’t deduct other vehicle-related costs for your charity miles such as registration, insurance, tires, maintenance and depreciation.
No matter the deduction method you choose, you will be able to deduct your parking and toll fees.
What travel expenses you can deduct if you travel by other means than your personal vehicle
You can deduct expenses such as air, rail, bus and taxi fares, and lodging and meals costs if you are away for more than a day.
How to deduct charitable mileage
In order to deduct expenses related to charity service, you must keep sufficient and timely records to present to the IRS. These include keeping a logbook of mileage you’ve driven with your personal vehicle, and fuel and oil costs if you deduct actual vehicle expenses. Keep receipts of any other travel expenses you are to deduct. Learn more about charity, medical and moving deductions and rates in our article.
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