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Author: lorenzo2 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121181  
Subject: Re: Mileage for charity? Date: 11/7/2002 10:53 AM
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- Are mileage deductions a form of begging for an audit?

No more than any other deduction; if you're entitled to it, then you should take it. And note too that charitable car expenses are counted as a cash deduction - that is, they are lumped together with your (cash or check) contributions to the Red Cross, Goodwill, your church, whatever.

- If not, what do I need to do to document the mileage?

You need reliable written records, and by that the IRS means records made at the time of the expense. (You can't sit down in February and say, "Let's see, I did 175 miles or so back in May, another 75 in August, and I think maybe around 120 in October.") Instead, just keep a little notebook in your glove compartment in which you enter dates, mileage, and the name of the organization on whose bealf you incurred the expense. You can keep track of actual expense (gas/oil/tolls/etc.) but that gets kind of iffy, sorting out charitable use from personal use. It's far easier to just count miles and use the allowed charitable rate, which is 14 cents/mile these days. (I know about all this because my wife does a lot of volunteer work, and she keeps meticulous records of this kind...)

Lorenzo
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