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The “no smile” rule

Volunteers may deduct out-of-pocket expenses, as I wrote about here. The charity should provide the volunteer with a description of the contributed services and state whether there has been any transfer from the charity of goods or services back to the donor. In addition to out-of-pocket expenses, mileage is deductible at the IRS rate. Also, expenses like tolls and parking can be deductible.

If a volunteer travels, say to attend a meeting or conference sponsored by the charity, then there is a deduction only if there is “no significant amount of personal pleasure” in the meeting. This has become known as the “no smile” rule. To be deductible, the principal purpose of the meeting must be to further charitable goals.

Gordon Fischer Law Firm, P.C. is dedicated to promoting and maximizing charitable giving in Iowa. Gordon can be reached by phone at 515-371-6077; by email at gordon@gordonfischerlawfirm.com; and through his website at www.gordonfischerlawfirm.com.

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