Volunteer Mileage Reimbursement

Charitable Giving

The Issue

Current law allows charities to reimburse volunteers, on a nontaxable basis only, up to the charitable mileage rate of 14 cents per mile. Alternatively, volunteers are permitted to deduct their “out of pocket” expenses incurred in providing donated services — when those expenses are not reimbursed.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has the authority to regulate volunteer mileage rates for business and medical/moving purposes, but not for charitable activities. The charitable rate can only be adjusted through the legislative process, and has remained unchanged since 1997. Read the IRS notice of mileage rates for 2016.

Previous legislative proposals would have both given the Treasury Department authority to change the volunteer mileage deduction rate and raised the volunteer mileage deduction immediately to the medical/moving rate while ensuring it doesn’t fall below that rate in the future.

Independent Sector is monitoring ongoing Congressional efforts to pass legislation addressing this issue, and supports increasing the mileage reimbursement rate.

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