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cinwitz
New Member

My husband and son are WW2 reenactors. Can we deduct their costs? Where on the form do I put it?

 
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Opus 17
Level 15

My husband and son are WW2 reenactors. Can we deduct their costs? Where on the form do I put it?

In some cases, reenactor groups may be registered as non-profit educational organizations.  The first step is to check the IRS web site to see if the organization is registered as an exempt organization,  https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/exempt-organizations-select-check

If the organization is tax-exempt, you may be able to deduct some expenses.

You can certainly deduct cash donated to the organization, and you can deduct mileage that you drive to charity events at the standard charity mileage rate of 14 cents per mile.

You can't deduct uniforms or gear that they buy, unless they donate those items to the organization so that the organization owns them permanently and can keep and use them even if your family members stopped attending events.  If your son and father retain ownership of their uniforms etc. then they can't claim those expenses as charity donations.

Expenses for long trips are complicated.  You can generally take a tax deduction for out of pocket expenses for trips you make to support a charity, including meals and lodging, but "only if there is no significant element of per­sonal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel."  For example, if you go to Disneyworld for a week and while you are there, spend one day working on a Habitat for Humanity house in Orlando, you can't deduct any of the expenses.  (On the other hand, if you go to Orlando to work for Habitat for a week, and spend one day at Disney, you can deduct most of your general trip expenses except for the day at Disney.)  

The IRS also says "The deduction for travel expenses won't be denied simply because you enjoy providing services to the charitable organization. Even if you enjoy the trip, you can take a charitable contribution deduction for your travel expenses if you are on duty in a genuine and substantial sense throughout the trip."

So regarding travel to attend a reenactment event, I don't know how the IRS would parse out the difference between personal/vacation travel and charitable service.  Unlike a mission trip or religious leadership conference, it seems to me that a reenactment event blends personal pleasure and charitable service in a way that would be very difficult to separate.  You would be deducting these expenses at your own risk.  Most taxpayers aren't audited but if you are, you have to be prepared to show that your deductions were within the rules.

See this for more https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf

 

 

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*

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10 Replies
xmasbaby0
Level 15

My husband and son are WW2 reenactors. Can we deduct their costs? Where on the form do I put it?

Do they get paid for it?
**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
cinwitz
New Member

My husband and son are WW2 reenactors. Can we deduct their costs? Where on the form do I put it?

no
xmasbaby0
Level 15

My husband and son are WW2 reenactors. Can we deduct their costs? Where on the form do I put it?

Then no.  They have a hobby that they spend money on.  Their expenses for their hobby is not deductible.
**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
cinwitz
New Member

My husband and son are WW2 reenactors. Can we deduct their costs? Where on the form do I put it?

why are civil war reeactors expenses and not ww2.  it is a non profit organization
xmasbaby0
Level 15

My husband and son are WW2 reenactors. Can we deduct their costs? Where on the form do I put it?

Explain "non-profit."  Non-profit does not mean it is a qualified charity.
**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
xmasbaby0
Level 15

My husband and son are WW2 reenactors. Can we deduct their costs? Where on the form do I put it?

See if their organization is on the IRS list:<a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/exempt-organizations-select-check">https://www.irs.gov/cha...>
**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
cinwitz
New Member

My husband and son are WW2 reenactors. Can we deduct their costs? Where on the form do I put it?

The Living History Association is a 501(c)(3) organization.  It is educational in the fact that they depict actual events in the way they happened. the uniforms have to be specific as well as everything they use. Once they are at an event, they cannot leave until the event is over.
Opus 17
Level 15

My husband and son are WW2 reenactors. Can we deduct their costs? Where on the form do I put it?

It doesn't matter if the uniforms have to be "specific."  You can't take a tax deduction for donating a "partial interest" in property.  That means you can't take a deduction for allowing a charity to use an item of property, or borrow an item of property, or sharing an item of property.  You can only deduct the donation of an item if you donate *full ownership* to the charity -- full ownership means the charity can keep the uniforms, assign them to different reenactors, sell them or even destroy them, all without permission of your husband or son.

If your husband and son moved away so it was no longer practical to be in the group and let the group keep the uniforms when they left, it would be a donation at that time (but only the fair market value, not what it cost them over the years to create and maintain).

But as long as they own their own uniforms and gear, you can't claim a deduction for donating the use of the uniforms at events.

Travel and other expenses have to be in accordance with the rules in publication 526 as linked below.
*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
cinwitz
New Member

My husband and son are WW2 reenactors. Can we deduct their costs? Where on the form do I put it?

The publication explains what I need to know.  Thank you for your help!
Opus 17
Level 15

My husband and son are WW2 reenactors. Can we deduct their costs? Where on the form do I put it?

In some cases, reenactor groups may be registered as non-profit educational organizations.  The first step is to check the IRS web site to see if the organization is registered as an exempt organization,  https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/exempt-organizations-select-check

If the organization is tax-exempt, you may be able to deduct some expenses.

You can certainly deduct cash donated to the organization, and you can deduct mileage that you drive to charity events at the standard charity mileage rate of 14 cents per mile.

You can't deduct uniforms or gear that they buy, unless they donate those items to the organization so that the organization owns them permanently and can keep and use them even if your family members stopped attending events.  If your son and father retain ownership of their uniforms etc. then they can't claim those expenses as charity donations.

Expenses for long trips are complicated.  You can generally take a tax deduction for out of pocket expenses for trips you make to support a charity, including meals and lodging, but "only if there is no significant element of per­sonal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel."  For example, if you go to Disneyworld for a week and while you are there, spend one day working on a Habitat for Humanity house in Orlando, you can't deduct any of the expenses.  (On the other hand, if you go to Orlando to work for Habitat for a week, and spend one day at Disney, you can deduct most of your general trip expenses except for the day at Disney.)  

The IRS also says "The deduction for travel expenses won't be denied simply because you enjoy providing services to the charitable organization. Even if you enjoy the trip, you can take a charitable contribution deduction for your travel expenses if you are on duty in a genuine and substantial sense throughout the trip."

So regarding travel to attend a reenactment event, I don't know how the IRS would parse out the difference between personal/vacation travel and charitable service.  Unlike a mission trip or religious leadership conference, it seems to me that a reenactment event blends personal pleasure and charitable service in a way that would be very difficult to separate.  You would be deducting these expenses at your own risk.  Most taxpayers aren't audited but if you are, you have to be prepared to show that your deductions were within the rules.

See this for more https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf

 

 

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*

View solution in original post

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