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jderke
Level 2

Feeding a marching band (501c3)

My wife and I feed our daughter's High School Marching Band and winter Drum Line which is actually not part of the school but rather a 501c3.   We put in a considerable about of time shopping for food, preparing food, serving food & cleaning up.  We've done it for four years but recently a co-working said I could have been deducting the expense (mileage for shopping, etc.  and any non reimbursed expenses) Is this true?   If yes, is it just base on logging mileage and producing receipts for any expenses?   Do I need anything from the organization saying we were the "Food Parents".   Thank you

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
SusanY1
Employee Tax Expert

Feeding a marching band (501c3)

Yes, it is true that when you itemize deductions, you can include a deduction for miles driven for a qualified charitable organization as well as your non-cash contributions (food, in your case). 

 

You are also correct that a log of the miles and your receipts are the best way to substantiate this deduction.  

 

You cannot deduct the time that you spend on this activity, but you can include the other items as part of your overall charitable deductions.  To do this in TurboTax:

  1. Login to TurboTax at TurboTax.com.
  2. Select the option Take Me Where I Left Off (for some users this may read Take Me to My Return).
  3. In the Deductions & Credits section, navigate to Charitable Donations.
  4. Select the categories for Items and Mileage to enter the information.

You do not need anything from your daughter's band stating that you are the "Food Parents," but you will need to provide the name of the organization as it appears on the 501(c)(3) forms. 

 

 

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4 Replies
tygrtchr
Level 7

Feeding a marching band (501c3)

You are entitled to deduct all expenses--food, mileage, etc.--but not your time to prepare the food, serve it , and clean up. A note from the 501c3 organization would be helpful to go along with your receipts.

 

 

SusanY1
Employee Tax Expert

Feeding a marching band (501c3)

Yes, it is true that when you itemize deductions, you can include a deduction for miles driven for a qualified charitable organization as well as your non-cash contributions (food, in your case). 

 

You are also correct that a log of the miles and your receipts are the best way to substantiate this deduction.  

 

You cannot deduct the time that you spend on this activity, but you can include the other items as part of your overall charitable deductions.  To do this in TurboTax:

  1. Login to TurboTax at TurboTax.com.
  2. Select the option Take Me Where I Left Off (for some users this may read Take Me to My Return).
  3. In the Deductions & Credits section, navigate to Charitable Donations.
  4. Select the categories for Items and Mileage to enter the information.

You do not need anything from your daughter's band stating that you are the "Food Parents," but you will need to provide the name of the organization as it appears on the 501(c)(3) forms. 

 

 

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"
AmeliesUncle
Level 13

Feeding a marching band (501c3)

I think this could be a "gray area" and depends on the circumstances.

Feeding a marching band doesn't necessarily further the purpose of the marching band, which could make it non-deductible.

A further problem is that you have a vested interest in it - it is directly benefiting your daughter.

So *IF* you decide to use the deduction, use caution and you should probably do more research on the matter.

LeonardS
Expert Alumni

Feeding a marching band (501c3)

Yes, you can deduct charitable expenses for items that you donate/provide to a 501(c)(3) organization.

The expense of food purchased and cleaning supplies are deductible.

Your time spent shopping for food, preparing food, serving food & cleaning up is not deductible.

Charitable mileage can be deducted only if there is no personal component to the miles  I.E. a shopping trip for food that included your personal shopping would not be deductible. 

You will need to keep records of your expenses for items that you donated and charitable miles driven to support your deductions.  A letter from the charitable organization to support your donations would further support your deductions.

Charitable deductions are claimed on Schedule A Itemized Deductions.  If you do not itemize your deductions than you can not claim the deduction. The standard deduction for a married couple filing jointly for 2019 is $24,400. 

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