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 Credit Card

    Use your credit card to buy equipment and supplies that you will need in the upcoming year. Charges on your credit card for deductible business expenses are allowed in the year you make the purchase, not in the year the charge is paid. Pay off your credit card after the beginning of the year and avoid finance charges.
Friday, 17th August 2018
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Tax Tips Personal

  • Overlooked Employee Business Expenses

    Don't miss out on deductions you are allowed to take

    Unreimbursed employee business expenses are allowed as a miscellaneous itemized deduction provided they exceed two percent of your adjusted gross income when combined with all your other miscellaneous expenses.

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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.