Volunteering—More than a Tax Deduction

April 10, 2018

Medical professionals in the D.C. Metro area are well known for their generosity to a wide range of charitable organizations—donating time and talent as well as charitable funding. Volunteering can provide benefits to the donor that enhance many aspects of their professional life and health.

As a donor to qualified charitable organizations, you are entitled to some tax advantages including an itemized deduction for contributions as well as many costs associated with volunteering. Some of the deductible expenses include:

  • Unreimbursed travel expenses
  • Parking fees
  • Auto mileage (at 14¢ per mile)
  • Fees for attending conventions as a delegate of the qualified charity
  • Special clothing or uniforms used for the volunteer activity only

While unreimbursed volunteer expenses can generate tax deductions and reduce your annual income tax bill, pro-bono services that you have performed during the year do not. Also known as in-kind contributions, there is no specific tax deduction for the value of your donated time.

Remember to keep track of your volunteer expenses during the year by keeping good written records of expenses related to your volunteer work. Keep receipts for direct expenses, and maintain an up-to-date mileage log for your vehicle (consider a smartphone app such as TripLog or TrackMyDrive).

There are other benefits when you volunteer that extend to aspects of professional life. A recent article in Medical Economics cites examples of how volunteering even a few hours a month offers its own rewards and benefits, such as:

  • Burnout prevention
  • Sense of renewal
  • Meaningful social connections
  • Positive public relations
  • Community recognition
  • Making the community a better place

If you have questions about the tax advantages of volunteering or would like to discuss your particular situation, contact your Aronson tax advisor at 301.231.6200. Our tax specialists provide valuable guidance in all aspects of federal and state tax matters.