It’s a cruel joke that tax time falls right in the middle of cookie season. That combination is a recipe for disaster, excess stress, and perhaps a bit of wine.
This week, in that quiet lull between the holidays, take 30 minutes for you and start working on your taxes. Seriously. You would be shocked in the amount of mileage you may be missing out on deducting from your Girl Scout volunteer duties.
I’m not a tax professional in any way, but getting myself organized was the simple step that made the difference.
Four years ago, I finally got serious about logging my volunteer miles. And the difference on my tax write-offs was astounding. I literally went from $10.30 in deductible mileage the previous year to $106 that first year, and now as I’ve refined my process I typically see $200-$300 in mileage expenditures that I can claim on my taxes.
How do I do it?
Three things make the difference for my personal tax preparation.
- I live on this old-fashioned thing called a planner. In it I log all the scout activities, stops I make to pick up items, etc. At the end of the year, I have a detailed record of the true mileage I’m using to help support scouting as a volunteer.
- I use ItsDeductible to manage my donations. I’ve used this free online software for years, and it aggregates my mileage donations and other donations so I can easily see what donations I truly made in the previous year.
- I cross-check any bank deposits and debit card purchases against my planner to make sure I didn’t miss any errands in my planner. It’s simple to forget a quick stop during errands to make a troop deposit, so this audit of my time can add up to additional deductible mileage.
What tips help you when preparing your personal volunteer deductions on your taxes?