Taxpayers often have questions about deducting mileage on their personal vehicle. There are three types of tax-deductible mileage:

  • Business miles.
  • Medical miles.
  • Charitable miles.

Charitable miles

Let’s say you provide volunteer services to a charity and you drive your personal vehicle. You can claim the mileage as a charitable contribution on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. The mileage rate is 14 cents per mile. This rate is set by statute and does not change from year to year.

Medical miles

Any time you drive your personal vehicle to a medical appointment (doctor, dentist, chiropractor, eye doctor) or to pick up a prescription, that mileage is deductible as a medical expense on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. Your total medical expenses, including mileage, must be greater than 10% of your adjusted gross income (7.5% if you were born before January 2, 1952).

The medical mileage rate is 17 cents per mile for 2017. This rate often changes from year to year based on an annual study of the variable costs of operating an automobile.

Business miles

If you drive your personal vehicle for work and your employer does not reimburse you for the mileage, you can deduct your mileage on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions as an unreimbursed employee expense. In addition to Schedule A, you will need to complete Form 2106, Employee Business Expenses.

If you drive your personal vehicle for your work as a self-employed business owner and you report your business income and expenses on Schedule C, you can deduct your mileage on Schedule C, Profit or Loss From Business.

The business mileage rate for 2017 is 53.5 cents per mile. Like the medical mileage rate, the business mileage rate changes from year to year. The change in the business mileage rate is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile.

Additional information

For all three mileage deductions, you need to keep written records to document your mileage. Your records need to include at least the following information:

  • Date mileage driven.
  • Purpose of the trip including where you drove and, if relevant, who you met with.
  • Number of miles driven.
Judith Ackland has more than 26 years of experience in accountancy and financial planning, including seventeen years as a CFO of a diverse business. She started Crystal Financial in 2010 to help a wide array of individuals, families, and business owners better understand their finances and how good financial management could help them achieve their goals. Judith has an MA in Professional Accountancy from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln as well as a Certified Public Accountant Certificate and a Certified Financial Planner designation.

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