On December 22, 2017, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law. The information in this article predates the tax reform legislation and may not apply to tax returns starting in the 2018 tax year. You may wish to speak to your tax advisor about the latest tax law. This publication is provided for your convenience and does not constitute legal advice. This publication is protected by copyright.
- Standard Mileage Rate Expenses
- Additional Deductible Expenses
- Auto Loan Interest
Business owners often use the standard mileage rate instead of actual expenses when taking a deduction for the business use of their vehicle. The standard mileage rate is determined annually by the IRS by using data from a study conducted by an independent contractor of vehicle operating expenses based on the prior year’s costs. The operating expenses include:
- Vehicle registration fees,
- Insurance, and
- Straight line depreciation (or lease payments).
What business owners using the standard mileage rate frequently overlook is that parking and tolls, as well as state and local property taxes paid for the vehicle and attributable to business use, may be deducted in addition to the standard mileage rate.
Regardless of whether the standard mileage rate or actual expense method is used, a self-employed taxpayer may also deduct the business use portion of interest paid on an auto loan on their Schedule C. However, employees may not deduct interest paid on a consumer car loan.
If you have questions related to taking a tax deduction for the business use of your vehicle, please give this office a call.