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Iowa allows taxpayers to take an extra itemized deduction for charitable mileage. Here’s how it works.

Background

On federal tax returns, taxpayers who itemize deductions can take a deduction for mileage driven for charitable purposes. The deduction is equal to 14 cents per mile. (Note: this amount is hard-coded into the law by Congress and is not adjusted for inflation each year.)

On the federal return, the mileage is deducted as a “cash contribution” on the Schedule A.

Iowa allows a deduction of 39 cents per mile, so another 25 cents above and beyond the federal amount.

How to Take the Deduction in Iowa

On the Iowa Schedule A, the federal amount at 14-cents per mile goes on Line 14, “Contributions by Cash or Check.” The additional 25-cents per mile deduction goes on Line 27 of Schedule A, “Other deductions,” with a notation of “charitable miles.”

Example:

Joe drives 500 miles for a charity in 2016. On his federal tax return, he’ll take a deduction of $70 (500 x .14) as a cash contribution. On his Iowa tax return, he’ll take a $70 deduction on Line 14 of Schedule A, and then deduct $125 (500 x .25) on Line 27 of Schedule A, effectively giving him a deduction in Iowa equal to 39 cents per mile.

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