Tax Deductible Service Program Fees

"I was curious, so I prepared my individual taxes this year both with the Global Volunteers charitable deduction and without, and I realized that deducting the program fee, airfare, travel insurance and visa would net me almost $1,500 more than without that deduction. I always heard about the value of the tax deduction, but I really didn't think seriously about it until I analyzed it this way myself. I'm looking forward to using the refund for my next service program this year. It's like recycled money!"
~Esther Schak, Encore Volunteer

If you are a U.S. tax-payer, your out-of-pocket savings for volunteer service programs. Your service program fees, air fare, visa, and related travel expenses are tax deductible if you adhere to our program itinerary, because you perform the work of Global Volunteers, a 501C-3 tax-exempt organization. (See IRS Form 526) When combining federal and state income tax savings, the average volunteer will save about 33 percent of the total cost of the service program. Discounts can save you up to $800 on an international service program fee.

Note about Cuba Service Program tax-deductibility: The one-week Cuba Service Program, including program fee, airfare and visa is tax-deductible, provided you serve Sunday through Friday and depart Cuba no later than the second Sunday. The two-week Cuba Service Program is partially tax-deductible. Approximately 25% of the program, and your airfare, is likely not tax-deductible. Please consult with your tax advisor for tax-deductibility advice.

We strictly adhere to IRS requirements that you work, on average, eight hours per day, five days out of seven to ensure you can claim this tax benefit. The service program time eligible is from the time you arrive in and depart from the host country, assuming a direct route and reasonable travel time. Daily travel time to/from the work site and your lodging isn't included in the eight-hour requirement. However, you can include reasonable preparation and planning time. For instance, when your work project includes teaching, we expect that you will prepare one hour for every hour of teaching.

Regardless of your volunteer work projects, we recommend you keep a personal journal detailing the hours you work for tax purposes. Please note that additional travel or vacation either before or after the service program may disqualify all or part of your service program fee, air fare, etc., from this tax deduction.

A “working vacation” you’ll never forget.
Come join us. A Global Volunteers volunteer vacation is not just an opportunity to travel and immerse yourself in a foreign culture. It’s an opportunity to use your unique skills and interests to help provide children with a horizon they wouldn’t otherwise have. You’ll do real work on this vacation. Good work that will change your worldview. Even your life.

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