The details of this article are for information purposes only. USA Boxing does not give tax advice. Please consult your personal tax advisor with any questions. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of USA Boxing.
It's Tax Time
Maximize your refund by itemizing!
About 15 years ago I decided to try a new tax person because we weren’t receiving much of a tax refund. Since we were new clients and in order to maximize our refund he asked us a lot of questions and that was the beginning of starting to itemize our boxing expenses. On the state level besides being USAB Officials, my husband serves as President of the LBC Board and I serve as Secretary and co registrar. We don’t have a boxing club so with both our volunteer roles the expenses can add up.
I started thinking about what my tax person had said and thought about all the different expenses we incur with Boxing. Depending how active you are in Boxing or if both you and your spouse are active the expenses do add up quickly. Each expense might not seem like much individually, but at the end of the year you will be amazed at how much you have spent on volunteering for the sport we love. By itemizing your expenses for Form 1040, Page 2, Line 40 (From Schedule A) on your federal taxes, you are able to claim mileage, gas, meals, lodging, uniforms, postage, media, tolls, parking, registrations, travel visas, and transportation.
In the beginning I started out saving my receipts but then as time went by it went by the wayside so I had to come up with a system for me to keep track of expenses for both me and Angel and also how to have proof even though I didn’t have an actual receipt because the IRS says you need to be able show details - who, what, when, where and why. It’s always better if you have a receipt but if you don’t you need to have evidence to support the deduction. It took me a few years to figure out a method and this is the process that works for me:
I use our LBC calendar, it lists the all the shows in our state, clinics, meetings, and national tournaments. The date, time and location are all listed.
I use a credit/debit card for 99.9% of everything I do with boxing because it is tracked. I use my personal card, I don’t have a specific card just for boxing
I have my officials passbook which documents everywhere I am at and also matches the LBC Calendar
At the end of the year, I gather my credit card statements for each month and I just go down the line and highlight the expenses and tally them up by category. If I am missing a statement I just print one out. The statement usually details the transaction amount, location of where the transaction is made i.e. city, gas station, restaurant, airport etc. The dates on your credit card statement will correspond with the dates on the boxing calendar and your passbook.
If you use an I Pass you can print out the report which lists the location of the tolls you passed through with the time and amount charged to get to your destination
If you have to check your bags at the airport, pay with your credit card. The dates will match the dates on the LBC calendar. Your passbook is signed and will verify that you attended the event
For mileage I use MapQuest. It tells you how many miles to your destination. If I don’t have the venue address I will just MapQuest it to the city. Again your passbook will verify that you attended the event.
Uniforms – Officials can claim the white Official shirts that their USA Boxing patch is sewn on or if you purchase an Officials shirt from a tournament you can claim that too. Referees can claim their boxing shoes
Mileage – sometimes you ride with someone to the event so you can’t claim the mileage but maybe you paid for gas, (the transaction would be listed on your credit card statement) and you can use that.
Think about your expenses, you might have some different ones, if you are not sure about an expense ask your tax person. If you can do this monthly that is great but if you’re like me and wait until the end of the year, it will take you about 3 hours of preparation. This might seem like a lot of work at first but give it a try - you work hard and owe it to yourself to maximize your return – believe me, it will be worth it!
That being said I have to give a big shout out to my tax person Karl Meyer for teaching me how to put more money in my pocket each year – if I am happy, he is happy!
Wisconsin - LBC #20