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    Thread: Tax Question: Volunteer trip flight purchased with airline miles

    1. 03-26-2012 10:31 PM #1
      Hi guys, I have googled this question and can't seem to find my specific situation.

      Last year I took a volunteer trip and I purchased my flight with airline miles. Can I deduct that from my taxes? I do itemize.

      If I can deduct it, how do I place a $ value on the miles used or on the airline ticket itself?

      TIA

    2. Member robr2's Avatar
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      03-27-2012 01:35 PM #2
      Not a tax specialist.

      From googling "tax deduction for donated airline miles" - the answer is no. The IRS considers the miles a gift from the airline. Since they didn't cost anything, you can't deduct them. The reasoning is that the IRS doesn't tax the value of the trip you get by cashing in points, conversely you can't deduct the value of the trip if you donate it.

    3. 03-27-2012 02:13 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by robr2 View Post
      Not a tax specialist.

      From googling "tax deduction for donated airline miles" - the answer is no. The IRS considers the miles a gift from the airline. Since they didn't cost anything, you can't deduct them. The reasoning is that the IRS doesn't tax the value of the trip you get by cashing in points, conversely you can't deduct the value of the trip if you donate it.
      Unfortunately for me...that makes sense.

      I did have to buy some miles to purchase the ticket so I would imagine that money spent can be claimed.

      Thanks for the info, I did find the same information but thought that it wasn't applicable to me because I actually used the miles to go on the volunteer trip, I didn't donate them to an entity. However, reading the description as you put it, it looks like it does apply.

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