Maxine Aaronson, Attorney at Law
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Tax Newsletter

  • Eligibility for the Elderly and Disabled Tax Credit
    Certain elderly and/or disabled taxpayers may be entitled to a tax credit when filing their federal income tax return. A tax credit can be deducted from the amount of federal income tax owed, as opposed to a tax deduction, which reduces... Read more.
  • Tax Implications of Life Insurance Proceeds
    A common misconception about life insurance is that it is “tax-free.” While the build up in cash value of a life insurance policy is typically not subject to any income tax, the death benefit payable on the policy may be... Read more.
  • Reasonable Cause for Nonpayment of Income Taxes
    When a taxpayer fails to file a tax return or to pay a tax that is due, the IRS will impose a penalty. However, a taxpayer will be excused from paying the penalty for failure to file or pay if he or she shows that there was reasonable... Read more.
  • Mischaracterization of Divorce Payments as Alimony
    Most divorces involve a division of property between the spouses. If there are children from the marriage, the parent not granted custody usually must pay monthly child support. In addition, one of the spouses may be granted monthly... Read more.
Tax News Links

Volunteer Work and Tax Deductions

You may be able to deduct certain expenses that are related to volunteer services offered to a qualified charitable organization. However, these services should not have been reimbursed or used for personal reasons.

Tax-Deductible Expenses

  • Uniforms – You may deduct the cost of a uniform if it is not suitable for everyday use but must be worn when providing a charitable service.
  • Travel – As long as the travel is not for personal pleasure, you may be able to deduct expenses such as the cost of gas or tickets for transportation.
  • Church deacon supplies – If you are chosen as a candidate for or are an ordained deacon, items such as vestments and books may be tax deductible.
  • Conventions – If you are a chosen representative for a charitable organization and must provide services that require overnight stays, meals and lodging may be deductible.
  • Caring for a foster child – If you are a foster parent, you may be able to deduct money spent for providing for the well-being of a foster child, as long as you are not providing foster care for profit.
  • Assisting underprivileged youth –Your expenses connected with helping certain youths who have been selected by a qualified organization to attend athletic events, movies, or dinners may be deductible.

Non Tax-Deductible Expenses

  • The value of the time of your volunteer services.
  • A contribution that you have made to a non-qualified organization.
  • A contribution or service for which you receive a benefit in return.
  • Your personal expenses that are not directly related to charitable services.

In order to deduct any qualified expenses related to charitable contributions or services, you should retain receipts for the expenses. Also, it would be advisable that you consult a tax attorney to determine what items you may or may not actually be able to deduct.