When using your vehicle for self employed purposes, you may be able to deduct the expenses associated with your vehicle. You can use either the actual or standard methods to deduct vehicle expenses.
The standard method requires you to total all your business miles and multiply them by the standard rate of 58 cents per mile (the 2019 rate). The standard rate is the IRS’ rate that averages all of the costs of operating a vehicle, except parking fees and personal property taxes. The standard method is a simpler way of deducting the business use of your vehicle, and only requires you to keep a log to show you used your vehicle for what purpose.
The actual method requires you to add up all the money spent on the operation of your vehicle. The total is then applied to the percentage of the vehicle’s business use. These expenses can include: lease payments, auto insurance, gasoline, maintenance (oil changes, tire rotations, etc.), new tires, registration fees and depreciation. Business purposes can include: client meetings, travel to secondary works sites and errands. Commutes, traveling from your home to work, are not considered a business purpose.
Every scenario is different. Therefore, this general advice cannot be applied directly to your situation and is not intended to be tax advice. If you have concerns about vehicle deductions, it is best practice to consult with a tax professional.
Jake Wisdom can be contacted at [email protected]