My husband volunteers for our church. Can we deduct the value of his time?

June 03, 2015 by Dave Du Val, EA
inside of church

Hey Dave,

My husband spends a lot of time designing and printing weekly church service bulletins and other special design and print jobs. Can he deduct the time he works as a volunteer?

Judy

 

Judy

Unfortunately, the Internal Revenue Code (as written and approved by Congress) does not allow this deduction. The value of the time a person spends doing charitable work is not deductible. What is deductible is the documentable, out-of-pocket, unreimbursed expenses incurred for tangible property donated as a result of such work. Thus, for example, the cost of the paper used in the bulletins may be deductible if properly documented and if your husband used paper that he paid for, but not the value of your husband’s time. Should your husband have some expenses relating to this work that are deductible, he should be sure to obtain a letter from the church each January for the prior year acknowledging his donation of the bulletins as well as any other donated items.

In addition, if your husband makes special trips to deliver the bulletins to the church, or incurs other mileage as a result of charitable work, he may be able to deduct the cost for this mileage. In this case he can deduct the actual cost of the gas and oil used, or 14 cents per mile. If he is eligible to deduct these expenses, your husband should keep a log of the charitable use of your vehicle. If he chooses to deduct the actual expenses, he should also keep his receipts for the gas and oil used. And we certainly applaud his spirit of volunteerism!

Deductibly Yours,

Dave

 
 

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