Involved in voluntary work? You may be able to claim expenses as tax deductions

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Claiming volunteer expenses as a tax deduction


Are you?
  • Involved in voluntary work?
At a glance:
  • Voluntary work expenses in relation to income producing activities may be deductible in certain circumstances.
You should: 
  • Be aware of whether voluntary work expenses can be claimed as a tax deduction.
  • Contact us if you require any clarification or advice.
  1. Currently there is no taxation law specifically addressing whether voluntary work expenses are deductible.
  2. Generally voluntary work is unpaid and any payments made to volunteers may be categorised as being not assessable income. Therefore most expenses incurred in voluntary work are not tax deductible.
  3. The exception to this principle is where the expenses incurred are in relation to the gaining or producing of assessable income. In this instance a taxpayer may be entitled to claiming certain expenses as a tax deduction provided it is not capital, private or domestic in nature.
  4. Some common expenses that may be claimed as a tax deduction include items in relation to:
    • Travel;
    • Uniforms; and
    • Safety equipment.
  5. Expenses will need to be apportioned where there is a private component as only the income-producing portion is an allowable deduction.
  6. In addition, if taxpayers choose to make a donation to the non-profit organisation it may be deductible if the following conditions are met:
    • It is made voluntarily;
    • Nothing is received in return, i.e. a badge or raffle ticket;
    • The receiver is a deductible gift recipient; and
    • Be in the form of money ($2 or more) or certain types of property.
  7. For more information, click here.
  • Not all voluntary work expenses are tax deductible.
This article was published on 17/12/2013 and is current as at that date

This article is not a substitute for independent professional advice. We do not warrant the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information or material in this article. All information is subject to change without notice. We and each party providing material displayed in this article disclaim liability to all persons or organisations in relation to any action(s) taken on the basis of currency or accuracy of the information or material, or any loss or damage suffered in connection with that information or material. You should make your own enquiries before entering into any transaction on the basis of the information or material in this article. Please ensure you contact us to discuss your particular circumstances and how the information provided applies to your situation.

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