Tax Tip: Don't Deduct Commuting Costs

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While you can claim a deduction for using your car for business, you cannot deduct commuting--that is, driving from your home to your place of business or your first business stop of the day, then from your place of business to the last stop of the day, back home.

Let's take a closer look. If you stop at a vendor or client on your way to the office in the morning, the vendor or client is your first stop of the day and you can deduct the miles from that stop to your office.  Of course there must be a business reason for the stop – not just going to Burger King to pick up coffee for the office.

Travel between different job locations, or from your office to visit clients, is deductible. Let’s say you drive from home to your office and spend the day visiting various clients. You can deduct the miles from your office to your first client, from client to client, and from your last client of the day back to the office.

If you have a second job, you can deduct the miles going directly from your first job to your second job in one day – but not if you stop home first. One of my clients has a normal 9 to 5 day job and also works two nights a week at a store in the mall.  He goes directly from his day job to the store on the two nights. He deducts the miles from his main job to the mall.

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