Documentation of Volunteer's Out-Of-Pocket Expenses
Can volunteers' expenses be converted into cash contributions to the church?

Question:
Several of our volunteers are very committed to our children's ministry. At times, instead of asking for a reimbursement for their ministry expenses, they will ask if they can turn their receipts in and count them as a charitable contribution. With the accounting software I use at my church, I can give them a credit under non-cash donations. Is this okay to do?

Answer:
A charitable deduction is allowed for the unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses that are associated with volunteer services performed for a church or other charitable organization. Examples of these expenses include supplies for Sunday school classes, use of a personal vehicle, small equipment, food for the youth group, etc. The expenses are deductible by the volunteer as long as the volunteer maintains detailed records of the expenses and obtains the appropriate receipt in instances where the amount of the expenses exceeds $250.

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Posted: December 8, 2009
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