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

  • Starting Your Own Business?

    Here are a few quick tips to help you reduce taxes

    Open a separate business checking account. Many small business owners don't realize the complications that can arise from using their personal checking account to pay for business expenses. If business expenses are mixed in with personal expenses, the IRS may disallow them.

    Read more ...

Small Business Quick Tip

  • Business Mileage Rate 2

    The optional standard mileage rate for the business use of an automobile is 54 cents per mile in 2016.
Tuesday, 16th October 2018
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Tax Tips Personal

  • Giving to Charity

    New rules require diligent recordkeeping
    Keeping the receipts from your charitable contributions just became more of a priority. Starting January 2007, you will not be allowed to deduct charitable contributions of any amount unless you have the proof. What does this mean for you? Starting in 2007,

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Personal Quick Tip

  • Organized Appointment

    Go to your tax appointment well organized. Have all your income statements such as W-2s and 1099s separate from your expenses. Make sure you have all the proper social security numbers for dependents, as well as their names as they appear on their social security card. Careful organization will save you time come tax season.