#6 Question: Can I deduct “the time” spent volunteering if I have a specialized skill?
While there are several methods you can be rewarded for what you do for others, claiming a deduction for the time spent volunteering is not one of them. So, even if you do have a special skill, you can’t actually claim the time spent volunteering.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t claim the cost of materials you actually used in a project. For example, let’s suppose you helped to construct a house for those in need and you actually spent $500 on buying boards and nails; you can easily include the costs of materials as part of your charitable donation in order to deduct them.
In addition, you can also deduct the transportation expenses. Just use the standard rate of 14 cents/mile to deduct your transportation costs. Ahh, and remember that donations made directly to individuals don’t count as deductions. So, if you helped your elderly neighbor with food, you can’t deduct the costs of it. The same applies to nonqualified organizations.