Tax Deductibility of Contributions to Charitable Organizations

oceanearth is a Public Charity as classified by Section 501(c)(3).of the Internal Revenue Code.

As a result, the value of certain contributions that you make to oceanearth, in terms of cash, securities, and other property may be wholly tax-deductible. These contributions may also be subject to limitations resulting from your adjusted gross income. Since 2007, there are new recordkeeping requirements imposed when making cash contributions.

Generally, out-of-pocket expenses incurred when you serve a qualified organization as a volunteer are tax deductible. In order to qualify for tax deduction, the amounts must be unreimbursed, directly connected with the service provided, incurred only because of the services you gave, and not personal living or family expenses.

Also, you can generally claim a charitable contribution deduction for travel expenses ( including transportation, lodging, and meals) necessarily incurred while you are away from home performing services for a charitable organization. However, these expenses qualify only if there is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation involved.

Expenses can be deducted only if you are "on duty" in a genuine and substantial sense throughout the trip. As a result, volunteers who do not take part in the actual day to day work of performing reef monitoring activities would probably not qualify in this sense. It is important for volunteers to realize that oceanearth is responsible to the IRS for substantiation of volunteer activities and only volunteers who actively participate for a significant majority of the project will be substantiated in this regard.

The deductiblity of charitable contributions is complex, and each individual's tax situation will influence the amounts which qualify. This information is intended to be general in nature, not specific to any volunteer's individual situation, and is not a guarantee that your expenses will qualify. Consult your personal tax advisor in this regard.

IRS Publication 526 describes in depth the requirements and limitations for tax deductibility of contributions to charitable organizations. To review this information, download Publication 526 here. You should also check the IRS website at www.irs.gov for updates and revisions to Publication 526 and its associated Forms.

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