Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Keeping a Record of Subway & Bus Costs

Dear June,

My daughter is a free-lance visual artist in New York City, who spends about $100 a month for a subway pass that entitles her to unlimited trips. The primary use of the pass is to get to work, but it is also used for personal transportation. Is there any way she can deduct part of the expense?


Dear Mom,

Your daughter needs to keep a transportation record for a typical month. Then, for instance, if 62% of her trips were for business she may deduct $62 of every subway pass she purchases. If there is no typical month or it changes then she needs to keep records for, let's say, seasonal months and extrapolate from there, perhaps 6 months at one % and the other 6 months at a different %.

Keep in mind that commuting from home to work is not a business deduction. Going from one work place to another is. So only if she has a legitimate home office is her trip from home to a client deductible.

I assume that since you are writing for your daughter she is young and new to the business / working world. Time for her to learn about taxes. No 21st century woman is allowed tax-ignorance. You might want to suggest that she take a look at my blog and my book, Self-employed Tax Solutions.

Here's a post I know she will find helpful, Designers Dozen: Tax Saving Tips for the Graphic Artist.

-- Another Mom with 4 kids

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