“If she is active in promoting the sponsors, is it possible to deduct the mileage, and perhaps hotel costs, when travelling to races? “----->The IRS permits two methods to document the expenses incurred while using a car for business purposes . If a person elects to record the actual costs she pays for gas and oil, the IRS mandates that her records reflect the amounts she paid. The IRS does not allow a taxpayer to deduct the cost of repairs, tires, titles or insurance. If a person chooses to use the IRS’ standard mileage rate, which is currently 51 cents per mile as of 2011, the IRS requires an accurate record of the number of miles driven for travelling for races. She, UNLESS she is reimbursed by the Corp) can deduct mileage between training, but not from her main home to the place of practice or training and back. In 2011 the IRS is allowing you to deduct 51 cents per mile as a business vehicle expenses. I'm not saying you can deduct 51 cents per mile on her tax return for all the driving to/from her events. UNLESS she receives a 1099 from the corp( I guess she is neither an EE of the Corp nor a self employer ) or files Sch C/Sch SE., she needs to itemize her deductions on Sch A of 1040. If she doesn’t itemize her deductions on Sch A, then, she can’t deduct the expenses.
“She does not get paid or win prize money, and the sponsorships are more along the lines of store discounts and equipment and free products for promoting the sponsors. It'd be nice to be able to recover some of the travel costs.”---> Companies donate money for many different things. Amateur athletes, professional sporting events, research projects, travel, and education are just a few examples. This is not a loan, that your daughter has to pay back. It is, basically, free money, that companies donate in return for a little publicity and good will; for example, a "qualified amateur sports organization" that otherwise satisfies the requirements of IRC 501(c)(3) will qualify as exempt regardless of whether it provides athletic facilities or equipment and regardless of whether its membership is local or regional in nature.