Is my mileage deductible?

It depends upon the purpose of the trip and your records. The IRS does not allow a deduction for commuting costs but does allow a deduction for business miles driven after you commute to work. Here are a few examples:

  1. You work out of your home office and take call at various hospitals: Mileage to those work sites, in general, would be deductible.
  2. You are employed at one hospital and have a home office to do recordkeeping for your side business: Driving to your main “employer” is not deductible but mileage for the side business and any other driving is deductible.
  3. Instead of flying to a conference, you drive your family and make an adventure of it, circling through several states on the way: The distance to and from the conference is deductible but the extra mileage is not (MapQuest comes in very handy!)

Did you note that I also said it depends upon your records? The IRS requires you to keep “contemporaneous” records of business miles in order for them to be deductible. Do your CPA a favor and keep a calendar or log recording your business trips/schedule during the year! Many deductions have been lost on audit because the auditee couldn’t provide the backup for the travel deduction on his/her tax return.

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