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Can a usher deduct commuting expenses for times assigned to

Customer Question

Nekea is an usher at her church; can she deduct commuting expenses for the times that she is assigned to usher on Sunday?

Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Sandi Hargrove, SkyHawks replied 11 years ago.

Her transportation expense will be a cash charitable contribution.

Customer: replied 11 years ago.

Can you tell me why this would be a cash contribution. And give me a reference in the I.R.C.

Expert:  Tammy F. replied 11 years ago.

Publication 526, page 5 details this for you:

PUB 526

Customer: replied 11 years ago.

According to Publication 526 You cannot deduct time for services, but you can deduct the actual travel cost of gas, oil, that are directly related to the services or you can deduct .14 cent per mile, plus parking fees and tolls, but you cannot deduct general repair etc. This is how I understand this, am I correct? Is there a reference to this in the Internal Revenue Code?

Expert:  Tammy F. replied 11 years ago.

That is correct. If you provide a service you can deduct the cost of supplies but not an hourly rate or fee for the service.

For example - A boarding kennel wants to donate their services and house my rescue dogs. They can deduct the cost of food, water, etc that they provide for the dogs but not the service. A veterinarian could deduct suture material, anesthesia and other expenses if they give my rescue group free spays and neuters but they could not deduct their time or a fee for their services.

Because Nekea is expected to be an usher at the church and her services are requested by the church, she can keep track of her mileage and use them at .14 cents per mile on her taxes.

The question to ask yourself is Would Nekea still drive to the church at this time even if she was NOT an usher. If the answer is no, it's deductible. If it is yes, it's not.

Understand?

Customer: replied 11 years ago.

I do understand. Can you give me a reference in the Internal Revenue Code?

Expert:  Tammy F. replied 11 years ago.

Publication 526 as listed above is the publication that details it all for you.

Tammy F., Not an active Expert
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9168
Experience: Not an active Expert
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Expert:  Tammy F. replied 11 years ago.

IRC 6700 and IRC 6701 are the internal revenue code pages that you need to look at for follow up information.

You can take a look at it here:

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/eotopicm99.pdf

Customer: replied 11 years ago.

I looked at the IRC 6700 & 6701 it does not contain any information on Charitable Services, it only contains the penalties etc. Is there any other code that might have the specifics of the Charitable Services and Expenses?

Expert:  Sandi Hargrove, SkyHawks replied 11 years ago.

Go to www.irs.gov and review Pages 4-6 of Pub 526 for the verification you need. The expense of the transportation @.14 per mile is a deduction if you are traveling to perform services for the church. Add to this amount any tolls or parking fee paid. This is reported as a CASH contribution since you paid cash "out of pocket" for the expense and it is not in the form of property donated.

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