Coaching Expenses

Today TaxMama hears from Mimi in the TaxQuips Forum who tells us. “My husband coaches my son’s Little League and travel basketball team.  Occasionally, he buys equipment for the team’s use and hosts an after-season party, complete with pizza, cake and beverage.  Some of these expenses are not reimbursed by the league.  Are these deductible?  How about gas mileage to check on the fields or going to games and practices?” 

Hi Mimi,

Is this a job? Or is it volunteer work? Is the League a non-profit organization?

 If it’s a job, he can take the deductions as employee business expenses on Form 2106. However, I’ll bet he doesn’t spend enough money to exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income. So that won’t help.

If he is getting paid via 1099, he’s self-employed. I’ve seen some coaches get paid that way. He can claim the deductions on his Schedule C.

 He doesn’t qualify as an educator unless he’s coaching, essentially, full-time.
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So he can’t use the first $250 as adjustments to income on the front page of the tax return.

 If this a non-profit organization, and he is volunteering, he should be able to deduct mileage at 14 cents per mile. And for the out-of-pocket expenses, I suggest that he save the receipts and put together an expense report each quarter – and ask the League to issue him a receipt for his donations to the League.
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They should institute this procedure for all the coaches.  I hope this helps.

 And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about coaching expenses and other tax issues, free.

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