Do Business Calls Make Commuting Deductible?

Stephen Fishman
Tax expert and contributor MileIQ

In this Ask The Tax Expert, we tackle a common question: Can I deduct drives if I make business calls during them? Let’s dive into this.

If I take a business call, does that make the drive deductible?

Q. I often have business calls on my cell phone while driving to the office from home or from the office to my house. Does this make commuting deductible?

You can’t deduct drives because you took a business call

A. No, taking a business call while driving does not make commuting deductible. When you drive from home to your regular office, you are commuting. Commuting is never deductible.

The IRS says that commuting is a personal expense that is never deductible. It doesn’t matter how far your home may be from the office.

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Can other things turn my commute into a deductible drive?

It’s very hard to turn a commute into a deductible drive. Listening to business tapes and putting advertisings on your car won’t turn drives into a deductible business trip.

Even if a trip from home to your office or other regular work location has a business purpose—for example, to haul tools or supplies to your office or other work location—it is still considered commuting and is not deductible.

What are the exceptions to the commuting rule?

There are exceptions to the commuting rule that small-business owners should be aware of. Having an office in your home that qualifies as a principal place of business can get around the commuting rule.

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