Deducting Miles Driven for Charity

NOTE: I wrote this post in 2014, so be aware of its age. The information is still accurate. The charitable mileage deduction is still 14 cents per mile, and Iowa still allows an additional 25-cents-per-mile deduction beyond that (effectively 39 cents a mile).


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.)

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.