Minnesota recently passed legislation to help address two major issues facing volunteer driver programs. First, some auto insurance carriers were increasing volunteer driver insurance rates, treating them like cab, Uber, or Lyft drivers. Secondly, some volunteers ended up paying income tax on mileage reimbursement received over the IRS-set rate of 14 cents per mile. The new legislation:
- Clarifies the definition of a volunteer driver as “an individual who transports persons or goods on behalf of a nonprofit entity or governmental unit in a private passenger vehicle and receives no compensation for services provided other than the reimbursement of actual expenses.” This helps differentiate a volunteer driver from a cab, Uber or Lyft driver.
- Helps volunteer drivers who must report mileage reimbursement on their tax returns, by allowing a subtraction for reimbursement received over 14 cents per mile. This change was especially important for larger charitable programs that reimburse their drivers for LOTS and LOTS of miles.