Which is better - deducting the standard mileage rate or actual expenses?

With the fluctuating cost of gas, it might be a good idea to revisit which tax deduction is the most beneficial - claiming 54.5 cents per mile (2018) or your actual vehicle expenses. Claiming the standard mileage rate is easier. All you have to do is keep track of your business miles and multiply them by the current rate. In addition to the standard mileage rate, you may also deduct the costs for parking and tolls. Plus, if you are self-employed, you can deduct the interest paid on your car loan.

Claiming actual expenses may result in a larger deduction, but requires a bit more diligence in your record keeping. First, keep all receipts for gasoline, oil, repairs, and tires. Also, track any amounts paid for licensing and registration, insurance, garage rental, leasing, parking, tolls, and rentals. Sales tax and luxury tax are not deductible, although the amounts you pay can be added to the cost of your car and recovered through depreciation.

Regardless of what method you choose, the expenses are limited to your business use. Therefore, you must document the total miles and the business miles for the year to calculate the business-use percentage.

Tax Tips Small Business

  • New Rules for Spouses Who Operate a Business Together

    Do you qualify for simplified reporting?

    Spouses who operate a business together have a new option for reporting their business income. In the past, husband and wife joint owners were considered a partnership for reporting purposes. New rules, which took effect in 2007, give spouses the option of reporting their business income as two separate sole proprietorships.

    Read more ...

Small Business Quick Tip

  • Like Kind Exchange

    If you are disposing of property used in your business, you may want to consider a like-kind exchange to defer the taxable gain on the sale.
Friday, 22nd February 2019
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Tax Tips Personal

  • Take Advantage of Tax Savings in a Down Market

    Know when you have a deductible loss

    Just because the stock market lost money, doesn't mean you have a deductible loss. As long as you hold on to an investment, you only have a loss on paper. It's only when you actually sell the investment that you have a transaction to report on your tax return.

    Fortunately, the tax law allows you to offset your capital gains by your capital losses. You can avoid or minimize taxable gain by selling two investments, one at a gain and the other at a loss.

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Personal Quick Tip

  • Roth IRA Contribution

    You can actively participate in your employer's qualified plan and may still be able to contribute to a Roth IRA. A deduction for contributions to a traditional IRA may be limited or nondeductible if you are a participant in a qualified retirement plan.