Question

If you are required to use your personal vehicle for work, can you claim gas on taxes, or do you just use the standard mileage deduction?

Answer

The gas tax deduction was an allowable business expense for tax years before 2018. Employee business expenses are no longer deductible on an individual tax return. Commuting, driving from home to work and back, has never been deductible.

Who Can Still Deduct Car Expenses on Tax Returns?

There are limited groups who can deduct certain car expenses:

  • Armed Forces reservists
  • Qualifying performing articles
  • Fee-basis state or local government officials

In order to have claimed the deduction, you must keep adequate records that showed the following:

  • Cost of expense
  • Date you used car
  • Business destination
  • Business purpose for expense

Receipts were the most accurate way to prove a valid expense when you claimed gas expenses on your taxes. If you don’t have complete records to prove an expense, you must prove it with:

  • Your own written or oral statement containing specific information
  • Other supporting evidence, like written statements or oral testimony from a third party

More Info on the Standard Mileage Deduction

Instead of actual expenses, you were also allowed to take the standard mileage deduction for business-related miles. Keep the following records for each trip:

  • Date
  • Destination
  • Business purpose
  • Starting and ending odometer readings
  • Total mileage for each business trip

If you chose to use the standard mileage deduction, you could also have deducted business-related parking fees and tolls.

Mileage Reimbursement Rate

Beginning January 1, 2019, the standard mileage reimbursement rates for the use of a car is 58 cents per mile for business miles driven, up from 54.5 cents. This means that an employer can reimburse an employee up to 58 cents per mile for company related mileage.

The mileage rate for other purposes is:

  • 20 cents per mile driven for medical mileage, up from 18 cents
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

More Help on the Gas Tax Deduction

Whether you make an appointment with one of our knowledgeable tax pros or choose one of our online tax filing products, you can count on H&R Block to help you with the gas tax deduction and other matters unique to your own life situation.

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