Nolan Introduces the Volunteer Driver Tax Appreciation Act to Address 14 Cent Reimbursement Rate for Charitable Drivers
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan has introduced legislation to boost the IRS federal reimbursement rates for charitable drivers from 14 cents to 54.5 cents per mile, equalizing the charitable rate with the rate allowed for business travel. The measure has already been endorsed by the Minnesota Transportation Alliance, and the Seven County Senior Federation based in Mora.
Nolan stated, “The fourteen cent per mile reimbursement rate for charitable drivers is simply too low. It’s unfair, it discourages charity, and it doesn’t nearly reflect the true cost volunteers incur when they use their vehicles to help non-driving friends and neighbors get from place to place. As a result, many volunteer drivers are simply unable to continue their charitable and much needed work.”
Nolan further explained that without volunteer drivers many organizations like the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) in the 8th Congressional District would not be able to fulfill necessary obligations to our veterans, seniors, low-income residents, disabled, or those on Medical Assistance. The 8th District lawmaker pointed out that if these citizens were forced to take a taxi it would cost more than 3 times what it costs for the volunteers to transport them, which is simply not affordable for those who live on fixed incomes.
Historically, the reimbursement rate has not been an issue. But in December of 2017, the IRS announced the change: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/standard-mileage-rates-for-2018-up-from-rates-for-2017
Nolan added that most volunteer drivers are retired individuals or military Veterans who likely have a pension. They can drive for the volunteer service providers because they don’t need to report the reimbursement for miles.
“Many rural residents who aren’t able to drive depend a great deal on the volunteers in each community in order to get to their appointments. There is little to no access to taxis or public transportation in places like northern Minnesota. Placing the financial burden on the volunteer drivers reduces the number of drivers and the number of people who can be served. Fixing that situation is what this bill is all about,” Nolan stated.