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Charities on Wheels Want Congress to Help Ease Gas Pain

Are gas prices driving volunteers away? Some charities say yes, and they want Congress to help. US corporate drivers get a tax deduction of 58.5 cents per gallon, while those driving their cars for charity only deduct 14 cents. When charities pay volunteers the corporate rate, the altruistic drivers must declare the reimbursement as taxable income. If all that doesn't sound right to you, 100 charities and four senators agree.

Charities that rely on volunteer drivers, for example to take the elderly to medical appointments or the grocery store, cannot sustain high gas prices. So a group of 100 charities, like the American Red Cross and Catholic Charities, got together and wrote a letter to Congress to ask lawmakers to address the problem. Today, four senators announced their plan to raise the deduction to 70 percent of the corporate rate, and eliminate the tax on reimbursements above that rate. Since a $1,000 charitable donation is tax deductible for $1,000, it seems only fair that those donating their time and gas get a break, too.

Have you changed your charitable participation because of gas prices? Should charities get special consideration?


Join The Conversation
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
wow - i didn't realize that there was such a disparity to what US Corp drivers get vs. charity organizations. if you think about the positive impact that a lot of these organizations have on the people of the US then you would understand that there really is a need to have some aid sent their way. i hope that they are able to get some type of increase in what they get compensated for.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
Is lowering taxes really ever the answer? As Americans we only pay 47 cents per gallon in taxes. The fact that the government turns around and gives that back makes me sick. Anytime we lower this tax it's only going to increase the amount of SUVs on the road. As such, global warming will only occur more rapidly. The fact that religious charities will get this deduction is a violation of the separation of church and state. Only nonreligious charities should qualify for any kind of tax deduction, but I stand by my position that the government should be in charge of charity.
stephley stephley 8 years
I have no idea what all the numbers mean, but I'll defend what Torgleson just said to the death. And if Congress can't figure a middle ground, just flip the numbers, so charities get the greater of the two deductions. I know too many people who drive "corporate" cars.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
If gas is $4 per gallon, if your car gets 20 mpg, it's 20 cents per mile, if you get even 25 mpg, it goes down to 16 cents. I get that there's also wear and tear on the car, but it seems like there should be a middle ground between 14 and 58.5.
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