Financially Speaking

Trudy Hamilton, CVA

Financially Speaking
Winter 2010 Issue

We’ve made it through 2009, and have 2010 stretched out in front of us like a new canvas! Of course, at this time of the year, many thoughts turn to Tax Time! Whether you submit yours on February 1, or April 15, we will all be gathering our information, looking for each and every deduction to help offset our tax burden. An accounting teacher I once had said it was every American’s duty to pay the taxes they owed, but also their duty to avoid as many taxes as possible!

Often, tax deductions for volunteer activities are overlooked. If you have volunteers who drive as part of their duties, that’s a deduction for them. Tolls, parking fees, even bus and cab fares can all be deducted, with appropriate record keeping. Do your volunteers travel away overnight, at their own expense? As long as they are representing your organization, reasonable expenses can be deducted for both meals and lodging.
States also set their own policies around tax deductions and volunteering. In Maine, we have a state law that allows individual towns to offset property taxes for older adults in exchange for services volunteered. The law is written loosely enough so each town can determine the amount, how often an individual can participate, and all the other details that match the program.

One small way to recognize your volunteers might be to arrange for an IRS or AARP volunteer to do their taxes for them, or invite a tax professional to a meeting of your volunteers to provide an overview of tax deductions and volunteer activities.

Please remember, these are only suggestions, and are not meant to act as professional tax advice.


Newsletter - February 2010

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