Friday, April 10, 2009

From One Wedding To Another: Deductible mileage

Hi June,

I've found your book, Self-employed Tax Solutions, very helpful in preparing my tax return this year. I have a question I can't seem to figure out from reading your section on Auto Expenses.

I've been an indie wedding photographer for almost 10 years. I've never kept a record of my travel to and from weddings until last year, I put all my weddings and appointments with clients in my computer's calendar. Although I did not write down my mileage at the beginning of the year or the end, since it is easy to use Google maps to tally up the mileage to and from weddings, can I just add them up, multiply by the mileage rate, and deduct them?

Also, since I work at home, is it considered traveling to another work site to do the wedding, and therefore only the first half is deductible, not the coming home?

Thank you so much,
Oakland, CA

Hello Sharon,

To tally work mileage, you may use any method that works for you. A calendar and Google maps is perfect. And also remember all your errands, too.

All mileage going to and from any work location is business transportation. That includes going to and from your home office to a wedding for a shoot; from one wedding to another; from home office to the photo supply store and back.



Tamara R. said...

Sorry to post an irrelevant comment, June. Just wanted you to know your blog was named in the Top 100 Blogs for Freelancers. Congratulations!

June Walker said...

Hi Tamara,

Well thank you so much. Perfect timing, I noted this honor on a grant that I applied for just today!!

I also noted it on my blog. Hope other indies will use the useful list of resources.


rickbordeaux said...

I work from home (family room) but do not claim a deduction for a home office. Can I still claim the mileage to and from a client's home when conducting business with them?

Glad I found your site,

June Walker said...

Hello Rick,

I will not give you the answer I usuually give ... because I am doing additional research on this.

In looking for substantiation of my opinion I've, so far, been reading tax regs, researched with my tax service, and spent 45 minutes on the phone with the IRS.

IRS doesn't know the answer. IRS will research and get back to me in 15 days. The most recent time I did this with the IRS the answer I was sent told me to "check with my tax adviser." So let's not get our hopes too high awaiting a definitive response .

I will keep you and other indies up-to-date on what I learn from my research.

-- June

June Walker said...

Rick --

Still nothing definitive from the IRS.

Were you my client, if you worked from home and would deduct home office but for some trivial but disallowing reason, I would allow the mileage deduction because you would be going from one work place to another.

Example of a trivial reason: It's your home office but because it's the only route to the basement bathroom and is used by the kids when in the playroom at the other end of the basement, no home office deduction would be allowed.

Remember -- this is only my opinion. I, so far, have no back-up.

-- June