Gasoline

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
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wrigjef
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Gasoline

Postby wrigjef » Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:28 pm

We had some members who drove to a Youth Conference. Do we reimburse for the actual gas (w/receipt) or do we pay a set amount per mile. I think I know the answer but wanted to check with others to be sure.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:54 pm

wrigjef wrote:We had some members who drove to a Youth Conference. Do we reimburse for the actual gas (w/receipt) or do we pay a set amount per mile. I think I know the answer but wanted to check with others to be sure.
To me, if the Handbook guidance for reimbursing expenses is applied to this situation then a receipt is required.

But there is more to this situation than the reimbursement method. Whether to reimburse or not must also be considered. If the youth were driven by their parents then there should be no reimbursement. Leaders driving there should be reimbursed since they were acting in the capacity of their calling.

The next question that arrises is what if no receipt is available because the distance was short enough that no fillup was necessary? I would use the method similar to what the IRS uses - which is to document the starting mileage, the ending mileage, the esitmated or computed mpg of the vehicle, and a receipt for gas at the next fillup to compute the cost of gas used for the trip.
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Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:05 pm

wrigjef wrote:We had some members who drove to a Youth Conference. Do we reimburse for the actual gas (w/receipt) or do we pay a set amount per mile. I think I know the answer but wanted to check with others to be sure.


The relevant Handbook section is 13.2.8, which says: "Members should not ... provide ... long-distance transportation at their own expense."

Of course, the term "long-distance" is subject to interpretation, but as with all issues, the bishop or stake president makes the judgment call.

As for the actual expenses, in addition to what jdlessley said, I would note an additional option for how the IRS figures expenses for charitable work: "If you do not want to deduct your actual expenses, you can use a standard mileage rate of 14 cents a mile to figure your contribution" (IRS Publication 526, page 5). So that would be a reasonable alternative when the expense is not reasonably approximated by fuel expenses with a receipt. There would have to be some sort of documentation showing the mileage traveled.
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gingus
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Postby gingus » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:54 am

what we do is have them fill up before they leave and then have them fill up again. We then pay them for the 2nd fillup. This way it is the actual gas used for the activity, this does not address the IRS reimbursemtn rate of 0.55 mile, but it is as close as we can get for actual cost.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:38 am

Not exactly the same, but when driving a missionary from the MTC to his field of labor (used for undocumented immigrants in the US), the missionary department reimburses a local member at ~$0.55 per mile using either the mileage computed by mapquest or the difference from before and after off the odometer, provided the two are not that different. They will not reimburse for food or lodging.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:37 am

The 55 cents per mile figure is what the IRS uses to approximate all costs of using a car, which includes depreciation, maintenance, etc. The 14 cents per mile figure is what the IRS allows to be deducted for charitable work, and approximates only fuel costs. I'm not necessarily making a judgment as to which one is correct, but we shouldn't confuse the two techniques -- if you typically only pay for fuel, then the 55 cent figure would be outrageously high as a mileage-based approximation.
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