Mileage deduction question

While I’m doing some research to answer this question I might find that some of you are in the same boat.

For example :Let’s say you travel 100 miles to do 4 jobs that are within 10 miles of each other. How do you calculate mileage deductions??

Another example: Let’s say you travel that 100 miles, do the 5 jobs, then spend the night say 20 miles away, and then get up and drive back to the city to do another 4 jobs within 10 miles of each other, then drive home another 100.

Can anyone shed any light on this scenario??

Typically I know that mileage begins at the first job and ends at the last. But what are the exceptions for those that have to travel many many miles to do work?? I guess, … are there exceptions for this kind of work and travel??

Thanks for any feedback.

Do you have a qualifying home office? I assume you’re doing most of your business from home, in which case you can usually start mileage from the time you leave… best to just get an accountant though, and they’ll take care of it for you.

Office In Home and Mileage Deductions « PDXCPA – Portland Small Businesses Tax Blog

Do you have a smart phone? There is and application by Intuit that tracts with the gps. You start it when you leave then stop it when you arrive at the first job. Then the same for all jobs that day. The app is called tap2track. You can also just se a pad and write down your start and stop mileage, purpose of trip and date.

In Ohio you don’t need to have a qualifying home office to count mileage from your home, as long as your home is your ‘principle place of business’. Here is a definition from
‘"the term ‘principal place of business’ includes a place of business which is used by the taxpayer for the administrative or management activities of any trade or business of the taxpayer if there is no other fixed location of such trade or business where the taxpayer conducts substantial administrative or management activities of such trade or business.’’

Lodging and food can be a deduction when necessary in the course of work.

I don’t get it…

I have a work vehicle, and a personal vehicle. I deduct all of the miles on my work vehicle for the tax year they were accrued. So let’s say I put on 20,000 miles in 2010, I take a 20,000 mile deduction. Good enough if you ask me.

all good responses! Just remember you have to keep a log book that accounts for all your stops and the nature of the business relationship. You must have odometer readings that verify each stop. You can’t just say you drove 100 miles today. you have to document each stop with an odo reading, the address and the nature of the stop. Otherwise, the IRS can disallow your deduction…and they will put the burden of proof on you

What if you’re doing route work with 15 jobs and 4 stops in a day? I’ve been logging in the farthest stop from my office. No good?

Does the log have to be on the computer? Can it be in a spiral note book?

My accountant always says: Expensive vehicle and low mileage: take the depreciation, and all expenses (Maint., ,GAS, etc).

Cheaper vehicle and driving a lotta miles: take mileage deduction for life. Just remember, you have to pick one method your first year, and then stick with it for the life of the vehicle. You can’t begin taking mileage after the vehicle depreciates out.

Maybe I haven’t been clear on what I’m asking. I know I can take mileage deductions (instead of actual expenses), … but…

Where does the reading start and end??

What are business miles and what are commuting miles in my case??

When I worked for another company our mileage was logged from “first job” to “last job”. This is considered business miles. Driving to the first job and driving home are not considered business miles, but commuting miles (no deduction).

However I work out of town and sometimes drive say 100 miles TO my first job. Then I drive say 15 miles in between the jobs I need to complete there. Then I drive 100 back home. What are considered business miles here and what are commuting miles in this example. It’s kinda fuzzy and not very clear (imagine tax code being complicated).

Here is what I have done based on what I’ve read so far. I have logged the mileage from my home to the first job and all other jobs that day. These are my “business miles” . When I’m done with my last job for the day I stop logging. These are my “commuting miles”. It’s quite a commute I’ll say, but I don’t think I can deduct all of these miles including the miles I drive back home, … … can I?? After all, I’m driving back home, not to another job. I suppose I could stop by the bank (which I do sometimes) on the way home to make them “business miles” but that seems questionable.

So Dormatex, … you just deduct whatever miles you drive regardless of whether they are “business” or “commuting” miles?? That’s what I’m getting at.

I log all my stuff in a notebook and have signed invoices to verify where I have been and when.

Thanks for the feedback, you guys are great. I like the phone idea, … maybe I need to upgrade mine.

Commuting miles are business miles. If I drive to do an estimate, I am not making any money, but I am putting miles on my vehicle. Just write down monthly all of the miles you put on your business vehicle.

But like I said, I have a business vehicle AND a personal vehicle. I deduct 100% of the miles from my biz vehicle because I only use it for business. It doesn’t matter if that buisness is quoting, working, selling, cold calling, researching, power washing, etc…

Has the tax code changed? When I worked for someone else about five years ago it worked like this.

If you were driving from or to your home from the employers office they were commuting miles.

If the boss sent us straight to our first job with our gear from our home they were considered work miles. If we went straight home after our last job they were also work miles.

It was always around whether you stopped in at the office first thing in the morning or last stop of the day.

My understanding is any miles to and from a job is deductable, from the time you leave the house or office till you return or are done for the day. I keep a book that list starting and ending miles with a total for the day. You can use a notebook, phone, computer or what ever method you like. The only time you will need to prove milage is in case of an audit. My tax guy just asks me how many miles for business and we deduct that. I put the notebook in my file for that years taxes and but another for the new year.

In the case you described in the first thread I would write off every single mile. Call the IRS and ask them directly. I keep their number in my phone and call from time to time - 1-800-829-1040. Get the answer from the horses mouth so to speak.