Many people don't realize that on their personal tax returns volunteers can
deduct mileage expenses incurred as part of volunteering. For example, if a volunteer drives 30 miles to volunteer at an art school or drive a patient to chemotherapy, the volunteer can deduct $4.20 on her next tax return. Even fewer people realize that in contrast, if this same person drives 30 miles for her business, she can deduct $17.55!
Clearly we need to help volunteers claim the deductions they can. And in this Blue Avocado Reader OpEd, activist Susan Ellis talks both about how we can change the law, and steps we can take now to supportvolunteerism in an era of high gas prices:
You may know that the IRS just raised the rate for the business-related mileage
deduction to 58.5 cents. But did you know that the charitable driving deduction
remains at only 14 cents a mile? So volunteers, who often use their cars to provide
life-or-death services to people in need, are deriving less tax benefits as their driving expenses rise.
This issue is particularly important since, as the cost of gasoline soars, Americans are trying to drive less. The high cost of driving is already . . .