Question

I have a question about the mileage deduction rules when filing a tax return. Should I use the standard mileage deduction or claim actual auto expenses?

Answer

To determine if you would benefit most from the standard mileage deduction or actual vehicle expenses you will have to review your specific circumstance. choice based on your specific situation.

Standard mileage is available unless:

  • You use more than five vehicles at one time for your business.
  • You claimed actual expenses after 1997 for a vehicle you leased.
  • You claimed actual expenses in the first year you used the vehicle for business.
  • You’re a rural mail carrier who received a qualified reimbursement.
  • You claimed a depreciation deduction other than straight-line depreciation for your vehicle in a prior year.

Both methods require you to keep track of:

  • Your business and personal mileage
  • The business purpose for all business mileage

If you use the actual expense method, you’ll also need to keep track of receipts for your vehicle’s:

  • Gas and oil
  • Maintenance
  • Interest paid
  • Other automobile expenses

Regardless of the method you use, you can claim the business percentage of these:

If you’re self-employed, you can only deduct interest expenses and personal property taxes for your business auto expenses. These expenses aren’t permitted for employee vehicle expenses.

Related Topics

Related Resources

10 Ways Getting Married Affects Your Taxes in 2018

What happens to your taxes after marriage? Learn how marriage can lead to changes in tax filing and returns at H&R Block.

Is TurboTax Live the Best Virtual Tax Prep Option?

Looking for virtual tax help with your online filing? Learn more about your options by comparing TurboTax Live to H&R Block Tax Pro Review and Tax Pro Go.

Is Volunteer Work Tax Deductible? | H&R Block

Spending your time volunteering is a great way to give back. Learn more about the tax benefits for volunteer work when filing your taxes at H&R Block.

Taxes Get Personal: What’s Your Filing Status?

Do you know what your tax filing status is? Learn how to determine and check your tax filing status with H&R Block.