Volunteer In-Kind Travel Expenses

To deduct unreimbursed expenses for volunteer activities provided to the American Brain Foundation (“ABF”), a volunteer must substantiate the deduction with a written receipt from ABF and have the receipt in hand before filing his/her income tax return. To receive a receipt, the volunteer will need to complete the ABF Volunteer In-Kind Travel Expense Form.

Copies of documentation supporting expenses (e.g., receipts) should be submitted to ABF along with the Volunteer In-Kind Travel Expense Form, and originals should be retained by the volunteer with personal tax records. The volunteer is required to substantiate all charitable deductions to the IRS as needed. The volunteer will need to be prepared to: 1) prove costs with receipts 2) show the connection between the unreimbursed costs and the volunteer work; and 3) substantiate the deduction with a receipt from ABF.

Deductible Expenses

A volunteer may deduct unreimbursed out-of-pocket travel costs incurred while providing volunteer services to ABF only if they are: unreimbursed; directly connected with services provided by the volunteer to ABF; expenses the volunteer had only because of the services provided by the volunteer to ABF; and not personal, living, or family expenses.

Deductible costs donors may incur while volunteering include:

Transportation – Unreimbursed transportation expenses incurred by air, train, rental car or personal auto can be deductible while performing in a volunteer capacity. Personal auto transportation costs are deductible at the current IRS allowable rate (currently actual cost or $.14 per mile).

Meals and Lodging – Reasonable meals and lodging expenses are deductible if travel requires the volunteer to be away from home overnight. If sharing a room with other volunteers only include the value of your share of the expense.

Travel incidentals – Parking, highway toll costs, and baggage fees.

Non-Deductible Expenses

Situations where a volunteer may not deduct expenses as charitable gifts include: Personal Services – A volunteer may not deduct the value of his or her personal services. Personal Pleasure – A volunteer may not deduct travel costs incurred for recreation, vacation or personal pleasure.


The information in these instructions should not be interpreted as, nor will ABF provide, legal and/or tax advice on deductibility of in-kind gifts. Rather, it is meant to provide information to enable volunteers to follow ABF’s process for submitting the Volunteer In- Kind Expense Form. For additional questions regarding process please contact the Executive Director.

For legal and/or tax advice regarding deductibility of in-kind gifts, volunteers should secure the advice of independent legal and/or tax professionals. Additional information regarding deductibility of in-kind gifts is also available in IRS resources, such as the “Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Giving Services” section of Publication 526, available at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf.


Volunteer In-Kind Travel Expense Form