When is Mileage a Tax Deduction?
There are only three times when mileage qualifies you for a tax deduction.
Medical Mileage: 20 cents per mile
Miles driven for medical purposes are deductible on Schedule A. The miles you drive to the doctor’s office, pharmacy, and hospital count. However, you only qualify for this deduction if your medical expenses exceed 10% of your income in a given year.
Charitable Mileage: 14 cents per mile
Miles driven for charitable purposes, such as donating goods or while volunteering, are deductible on Schedule A. So if you are volunteering for a non-profit to pick up garbage, the miles you drove to the worksite are deductible.
Business Mileage: 58 cents per mile
Miles driven between worksites, to client meetings, or to pick up supplies are deductible. This does include traveling to/from continuing education and seminars. These are only deductible if you are self-employed or an independent contractor. If you are a W-2 employee these miles are no longer deductible.
Commuting Mileage: NOT DEDUCTIBLE
Commuting from your house to your office is not deductible.
How do I deduct mileage?
If you want to take the mileage deduction, you need to log all of your trips that you want to deduct. You log should include the date, destination, miles, and the reason for the travel. We ask for your total miles, your business miles, and your personal miles for your tax return. You should also write down your odometer on 12/31 or January 1st each year.
There are a variety of apps to keep track of your mileage but most tend to cost between $3 to $10 a month. Unless you are driving more than 20 miles a month, you won’t break even in software costs.