An often overlooked charitable deduction is the deduction for mileage driven for charitable purposes.

Taxpayers can take a deduction of 14 cents/mile for mileage driven in giving services to a charitable organization, or taxpayers can take a deduction for the actual cost of gas and oil associated with giving services to a charitable organization. A deduction of 14 cents/mile isn’t huge but it is an extra deduction that’s available.

Iowa taxpayers are allowed to take 39-cents per mile as a deduction.  (Technically, the Iowa deduction is the standard 14-cents per mile as an itemized deduction, and then you can take another 25-cents per mile as an additional deduction.  The net effect is 39-cents per mile.)

Example
You volunteer to answer the phones once a week for a charitable organization.  The organization’s office is 10 miles from your home.  You can claim 20 miles (10 miles each way) as a deduction each week.  If you do this 52 weeks a year, that would be 1,040 miles.  At 14-cents per mile, the charitable mileage deduction would be $146.  If you live in Iowa, your total mileage deduction on your Iowa return would amount to $406.

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