If you volunteer for an approved non-profit group, your unreimbursed expenses are tax deductible, provided you keep detailed records and all your receipts! So, for example, if you are a foster home for a dog rescue group, you can deduct your expenses in caring for your foster dogs – food, bedding, toys, supplies, and even a portion of your utility bills if you have a room used exclusively for foster dogs. Or perhaps you volunteer to drive rescued kitties to the vet – you can deduct your mileage at the IRS charitable mileage rate, which is currently 14 cents per mile – you’d need to keep a log of each date, miles driven, and specific purpose.
If your expenses are greater than $250 in a year, you’d also want to obtain a letter from your charity, confirming that you are a volunteer or foster home. What’s considered an approved charity? One that is recognized by the IRS with the 501(c)(3) status.
So get out there, volunteer, and claim those expenses during tax time!