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In 2011 I purchased an airplane ticket for a February 2012 trip to do volunteer work with an IRS-approved non-profit group and I promise not to have fun while I'm doing it, so the deductibility of the trip will be legit.

Since the trip hadn't yet happened in 2011, can I take the deduction for the plane ticket that year? Or should I wait until the trip actually takes place and take all the deductions for it in 2012?

--fleg
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In 2011 I purchased an airplane ticket for a February 2012 trip to do volunteer work with an IRS-approved non-profit group and I promise not to have fun while I'm doing it, so the deductibility of the trip will be legit.

Since the trip hadn't yet happened in 2011, can I take the deduction for the plane ticket that year? Or should I wait until the trip actually takes place and take all the deductions for it in 2012?


As a cash basis taxpayer, I would take the deduction in 2011. However, should you not take the trip, any money you recover for the ticket will be 2012 income.

Ira
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should you not take the trip, any money you recover for the ticket will be 2012 income.

If the trip doesn't happen, why not amend 2011 to remove the deduction?

--fleg
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If the trip doesn't happen, why not amend 2011 to remove the deduction?

Because whatever Congress, approved by whatever President, is the Mommie, and Mommie said so. See "Recoveries" in Pub 525 for the income side. There's no doubt publication coverage of accounting methods somewhere, but as Ira said, for a cash-basis taxpayer, you take the deduction in the year you paid or charged it.

Phil
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