When someone gives to a general fund for a missions trip it is tax deductible giving. If someone gives to a specific person for a missions trip, is it tax deductible giving? Can someone going on a missions trip write off the expense of the trip as tax deductible giving?
First, let's review some material that I included in an October 17, 2009, posting. IRS Publication 526 addresses "Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Giving Services" and travel costs. The Publication offers several principles:
"Although you cannot deduct the value of your services given to a qualified organization, you may be able to deduct some amounts you pay in giving services to a qualified organization. The amounts must be 1) unreimbursed, 2) directly connected with the services, 3) expenses you had only because of the services you gave, and 4) not personal, living, or family expenses."
Car expenses can be deducted at 14 cents per mile (2010 rate) for documented charitable miles. Regar…