What you should know about taxes, benefits & volunteering

This article explains what you should know about taxes and volunteering

What you should know about taxes, benefits & volunteering

1 May is the deadline. By that day, your income tax return must have been submitted. Despite the fact that declaring taxes is a lot easier now than it used to be, the process still raises quite a few questions for many. There is also still some confusion regarding benefits and voluntary allowances. Are you curious about what you can deduct from your taxes this year as a volunteer? Then read on!

Scenario 1 - "I receive a volunteer allowance and want to report this to the tax authorities".

Even among paid volunteers - full-time, part-time or one-off - there is a lack of clarity regarding the rules that apply to declaring activities as a volunteer.

If you meet these 3 conditions below, you will pay no taxes on your activities as a volunteer in 2019, according to the Tax and Customs Administration.

  • You will receive a maximum of €5.00 per hour (or if you are younger than 22: a maximum of €2.75 per hour). For 2018, this is €4.50 per hour and €2.50 per hour if you are younger than 22.
  • You get a maximum of €170 per month. For 2018 this is €150 per month.
  • You receive a maximum of €1,700 per year. For 2018 this is €1,500 per year.
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  • Is B ≤ €5,00?
  • C ≤ €170?
  • And D ≤ €1,700?

Hooray, then you do not have to pay taxes for your volunteer work!

For example, do you only get reimbursed for travel and food costs (and similar expenses)? In that case, you do not have to pay any taxes at all on the volunteer compensation!

Scenario 2 - "I am not receiving a volunteer fee and would like to deduct this from my taxes".

Good news! If you could receive a volunteer fee but decide not to, this is considered a donation to charity.

You can now deduct this donation from your tax return. Be sure, however, that you meet the conditions below:

  • The charity has an ANBI status. Check the official list here: Check ANBI status
  • The charity normally pays a volunteer fee and is able to do so
  • The charity really wants to pay the volunteer compensation to you
  • You have a declaration of the charity stating that you were/are working as a volunteer with them
  • You can decide if you do not want the volunteer fee and that you want to give it to the charity

Scenario 3 - "I receive benefits and do voluntary work".

For you, the same rules apply as for other paid volunteers! See Scenario 1.