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Charitable deduction for airline tickets grounded

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in Small Business Tax

Q. I have nonrefundable airline tickets that I don’t expect to use. Can I deduct the cost if I donate them to charity? S.B., Reston, Va.

Probably not. It’s unlikely that the airline will approve the gift because it generally insists that such tickets are “nontransferable.” The airline may allow you to apply an unused ticket to the value of another trip’s cost to a different destination (after deducting change fees).

But most airlines will require that the new ticket remain in your name, scuttling your charitable intentions. Usually, the tickets expire after one year.

Tip: On the other hand, you may be able to deduct the value of frequent flier miles donated to certain designated charities.

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