I Can See for Miles and Miles and Miles!

Expecting to take a tax deduction for mileage? Be sure to get your records in order and keep a mileage log in case the IRS questions your deduction. If they select your return for audit, the IRS will expect you to have a mileage log as a record of all mileage you are taking as a tax deduction.

Individuals who itemize are eligible to take a mileage deduction for charity, medical, moving and business related mileage at the standard mileage rate which is adjusted by the IRS annually or when a rate adjustment is needed due to increased costs of operating a vehicle. The standard mileage rates beginning January 1, 2012 are:

  • 55.5 cents per mile for business miles driven (as an employee but not reimbursed by employer)
  • 23 cents per mile for medical purposes (primarily for and essential to medical care)
  • 23 cents per mile for moving purposes (if related to new job at least 50 miles farther from former home)
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

Your mileage record should include the following information for each trip:

  • Date
  • Total Mileage
  • Destination
  • Purpose

To assist you with your record-keeping, click on the link for a sample template for your mileage log.   Mileage Log Template  For those of you who prefer pen and paper, use the template as a guide for your hand written mileage log. Of course, many of you are tied to your cell phones and I am sure “there is an app for that” to use your phone for tracking your mileage. No matter which method you determine works best for you, be sure to keep accurate and complete records if you want to take the mileage deduction. Without a mileage log, the IRS may disallow your deduction if you are audited. Keep track as you go!

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