Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 0
OK, here's the relevant part from Pub 526 about that charitable travel to Costa Rica:

Generally you can claim a charitable contribution deduction for travel expenses necessarily incurred while you are away from home performing services for a charitable organization only if there is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation or vacation in the travel.

Just as I thought--if you have fun, it's not deductible. So if I had gone only for the two weeks of tutoring I might have been able to deduct my airfare. But if the family I stayed with took me sightseeing on the weekend between the two weeks, that might have nullified the deduction. As I said, I thought it might be ambiguous.

Reading Pub 526 jogged my memory--I now recall having looked this up five years ago to check on a 2004 trip I took to Guatemala with a different nonprofit to do some interpreting. The daily hours of bouncing along on terrible back roads in a small truck with no suspension and the earthquake one midnight definitely kept the fun level down on that one.

This year I think I'll engage in some sanctioned whaling activities to qualify for a deduction.

--fleg
Print the post  

Announcements

Disclaimer:
In accordance with IRS Circular 230, you cannot use the contents of any post on The Motley Fool's message boards to avoid tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Community Home
Speak Your Mind, Start Your Blog, Rate Your Stocks

Community Team Fools - who are those TMF's?
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.
Advertisement