Is it Ever Possible to Deduct Mileage for Commuting or Non Business Driving?

Generally, whether you drive, fly or take the bus, you can’t deduct the cost of getting to work. Commuting expenses are “personal” and as such are not deductible. However, if you drive your car, truck or van, there are five exceptions to the no deduction rule that you might fit into:

  1. Temporary workplace. Driving to a temporary work site are deductible as long as you have a permanent regular workplace elsewhere. The deduction is 57.5 cents per mile (2015)
  2. Home office. If your business is home-based, driving from home to a job, visit a client, bank or buy supplies is fully deductible. The deduction is worth 57.5 cents per mile (2015)
  3. Going to the doctor or pharmacy. Keep track of your mileage from home and back. In 2015 each mile is worth a 23 cent per mile deduction
  4. The tax code allows a rather ungenerous deduction of 14 cents per mile for charitable service driving—Meals on Wheels, your church and any legit charity will qualify.
  5. Moving.If you change jobs or move your business, you may get a mileage deduction of 23 cents per mile (2015). The rules are a little tricky, but check out IRS Publication 521 “Moving Expenses” to see if you

Sneaky Tip: If you don’t fit into any of the five exceptions above, make a business stop on your way to or from work. Drop into Staples to pick up a printer cartridge or touch bases with a customer or client. Just make a note of the business purpose of your trip, and take a tax deduction!

For more information, see my book, Tax Savvy for Small Business (Nolo) at Amazon.com and visit my website, taxattorneydaily.com.

Frederick W. Daily, J.D, LL. M (tax)
Frederick W. Daily, J.D, LL. M (tax)

Fred Daily is a tax attorney with over four decades of experience in the tax field. He has given tax programs for CPAs, Enrolled Agents and even the IRS. Fred has been quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and has appeared on CBS, NBC, Fox, NPR news features and ABC’s Good Morning America. He is an author of books on taxes and his website, taxattorneydaily.com features a wealth of tax tips for minimizing taxes and dealing with IRS issues.