Tax Tips: Commuting Isn't Deductible

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You can’t claim a business travel deduction for commuting — driving from home to your place of business, or your first business stop of the day, and from your place of business, or your last business stop of the day, back home.

You can deduct travel between different job locations. You go from home to your office, from your office to Clients A, B and C, back to the office and then home. You can deduct the miles from when you leave your office to go to Client A to when you return to the office from Client C. If you do not go back to the office before returning home you cannot deduct the miles from Client C to your home.

If you make a stop at a vendor or client before going to your office in the morning then the vendor or client is your first business stop of the day. You can deduct the miles from that stop to the office. I am not talking about stopping at Dunkin Donuts on the way in to work to pick up coffee for the office.

You can also deduct driving directly from one job to another in one day. John has a regular day job and works two nights a week at a store in the mall. He goes directly from his office to the store on the two nights. He does not go home between jobs. He can deduct the miles from the office to the mall.

New Jersey tax pro Robert D. Flach has been preparing 1040s for individuals since 1972.

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