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Gotta get to work.... Here is some information on Deducting your Car and Transportation Expenses

Car Expenses.

If you use your car for business purposes, you ordinarily can deduct car expenses. You generally can use one of the two following methods to figure your deductible expenses.

  • Standard mileage rate.
  • Actual car expenses.

If you use actual expenses to figure your deduction for a car you lease, there are rules that affect the amount of your lease payments you can deduct. 

Standard Mileage Rate

You may be able to use the standard mileage rate to figure the deductible costs of operating your car for business purposes. For 2017, the standard mileage rate for the cost of operating your car for business use is 53.5 cents (0.535) per mile.

If you use the standard mileage rate for a year, you can’t deduct your actual car expenses for that year. You can’t deduct depreciation, lease payments, maintenance and repairs, gasoline (including gasoline taxes), oil, insurance, or vehicle registration fees.

MUST MAINTAIN A MILEAGE LOG

Transportation Expenses 

Transportation expenses include the ordinary and necessary costs of all of the following.

  • Getting from one workplace to another in the course of your business or profession when you are traveling within the city or general area that is your tax home. Tax home is defined in chapter 1.
  • Visiting clients or customers.
  • Going to a business meeting away from your regular workplace.
  • Getting from your home to a temporary workplace when you have one or more regular places of work. These temporary workplaces can be either within the area of your tax home or outside that area.

Transportation expenses don’t include expenses you have while traveling away from home overnight. 

Daily transportation expenses you incur while traveling from home to one or more regular places of business are generally nondeductible commuting expenses. However, there may be exceptions to this general rule. You can deduct daily transportation expenses incurred going between your residence and a temporary work station outside the metropolitan area where you live. Also, daily transportation expenses can be deducted if (1) you have one or more regular work locations away from your residence; or (2) your residence is your principal place of business and you incur expenses going between the residence and another work location in the same trade or business, regardless of whether the work is temporary or permanent and regardless of the distance.

Temporary work location.

If you have one or more regular work locations away from your home and you commute to a temporary work location in the same trade or business, you can deduct the expenses of the daily round-trip transportation between your home and the temporary location, regardless of distance.

If your employment at a work location is realistically expected to last (and does in fact last) for 1 year or less, the employment is temporary unless there are facts and circumstances that would indicate otherwise.

If your employment at a work location is realistically expected to last for more than 1 year or if there is no realistic expectation that the employment will last for 1 year or less, the employment isn’t temporary, regardless of whether it actually lasts for more than 1 year.

If employment at a work location initially is realistically expected to last for 1 year or less, but at some later date the employment is realistically expected to last more than 1 year, that employment will be treated as temporary (unless there are facts and circumstances that would indicate otherwise) until your expectation changes. It won’t be treated as temporary after the date you determine it will last more than 1 year.

No regular place of work. 

If you have no regular place of work but ordinarily work in the metropolitan area where you live, you can deduct daily transportation costs between home and a temporary work site outside that metropolitan area.

Generally, a metropolitan area includes the area within the city limits and the suburbs that are considered part of that metropolitan area.

You can’t deduct daily transportation costs between your home and temporary work sites within your metropolitan area. These are nondeductible commuting expenses.

Two places of work.

If you work at two places in one day, whether or not for the same employer, you can deduct the expense of getting from one workplace to the other. However, if for some personal reason you don’t go directly from one location to the other, you can’t deduct more than the amount it would have cost you to go directly from the first location to the second.

Transportation expenses you have in going between home and a part-time job on a day off from your main job are commuting expenses. You can’t deduct them.

Parking fees.

Fees you pay to park your car at your place of business are nondeductible commuting expenses. You can, however, deduct business-related parking fees when visiting a customer or client.

Advertising display on car.

Putting display material that advertises your business on your car doesn’t change the use of your car from personal use to business use. If you use this car for commuting or other personal uses, you still can’t deduct your expenses for those uses.

Car pools.

You can’t deduct the cost of using your car in a nonprofit car pool. Don’t include payments you receive from the passengers in your income. These payments are considered reimbursements of your expenses. However, if you operate a car pool for a profit, you must include payments from passengers in your income. You can then deduct your car expenses (using the rules in this publication).

Hauling tools or instruments.

Hauling tools or instruments in your car while commuting to and from work doesn’t make your car expenses deductible. However, you can deduct any additional costs you have for hauling tools or instruments (such as for renting a trailer you tow with your car).

Union members' trips from a union hall.

If you get your work assignments at a union hall and then go to your place of work, the costs of getting from the union hall to your place of work are nondeductible commuting expenses. Although you need the union to get your work assignments, you are employed where you work, not where the union hall is located.

Office in the home.

If you have an office in your home that qualifies as a principal place of business, you can deduct your daily transportation costs between your home and another work location in the same trade or business. (See Pub. 587, Business Use of Your Home, for information on determining if your home office qualifies as a principal place of business.)

For a lot more information click here:

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p463#en_US_2017_publink100033913

steve@stevesimsea.com