Tuesday, November 29, 2011

From One Work Place To Another: It's business mileage.

The questions below about deducting auto expense were sent to me by our fellow indies. Here's a really simple answer to all of them: You may deduct the cost of going from one work location to another. A work location is any place you must be for your work.

Check out my bracketed [notes] to see if you can figure out the answer.

I have retired and moved to central Illinois. However, my previous employer in Chicago wants to hire me as part time (2 days a week) consultant. Is my mileage from my home [not a work location] in central Illinois to the office building in Chicago [is a work location] a tax deductible business mileage expense?

Chillicothe, IL

Answer: No

Hi June,

My name is Rick from Keytesville, MO. I've gotten several answers to my questions today just by reading your blogs.

Being in the clergy I have a difficult time finding someone who really knows about my tax situation. I work for an association of 26 churches. We have an associational office 40 miles away in a larger town and in that office I have an office. [is a work location] I also have an office in my home [is a work location] which I work from so I don't have to drive the 40 miles to town. I work both places about the same amount of time. I also have to drive to my churches [are a work locations] and various other locations for work [obvious work locations]. I understand that when I drive from my home office to my associational office that it considered a commute.[Not a commute unless you are going there solely to get that day's work assignment.] but if I drive from my home office straight to a different work location can I still get reimbursed for that mileage even if the work location is within 5 miles of the associational office. At the end of the day do I get to count my mileage back to my home office [is a work location] as reimbursable. Sometimes I go back to work other times just to go home [is not a work location].


Answer: All driving as described is deductible business mileage expense except the drive home.

Hi June!

I found your site just in time to file my 2008 taxes and have been bragging ever since. My friends continue to love your straightforward advice too!

OK, so I move. A lot. and always have my main office in the home. [is a work location] My current home (and for the last part of 2010 tax year) is a rented room and a separate rented studio/office/shed in the backyard. I rent both from a couple. I pay a set rate for the bedroom, we split utilities for the house that we share, and they just added $200/month for the shed space (which is only used for work). This is currently spelled out in the lease.

I travel frequently for work, and once or twice a week drive to an office for one of my main clients [is a work location]. My question: How should I claim my studio? I would like to be able to deduct miles driven from my office [is a work location] to stores [are work locations if you are buying items for your business], to meet with clients [is a work location] , or to airport to travel for work [is a work location].

Of course, I don't drive from my house to the office (I just walk a few steps).

Asheville, NC
artist - arts administrator
4 years as an indie

Answer: All driving as described is deductible business mileage expense.

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