Small Business Tips

How Sales People Can Deduct Mileage on Taxes

Stephen Fishman
Tax expert and contributor MileIQ

In this installment of Ask the Tax Expert, we cover how sales people can deduct mileage on taxes. See which trips are covered and how to write off your drives for sales.  

What Drives Can Sales People Deduct?

Q. I'm in sales and drive a lot. Many times I travel to my office then drive to a customer's place of business to make sales calls. Other times, I go straight from my home to see the customer.    

Are my miles from home to the office deductible? Are my miles from home to a customer's office deductible? Also, are my miles from my last client back to home deductible.    

A. If you have a tax deductible home office that you use for your work, you can deduct driving from home to your other office. If you don't have a home office, you can't deduct these trips because they would be nondeductible personal commuting.    

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You also drive from home to customers' offices. Again, if you have a tax deductible home office, these trips are all deductible. Yet, even if you lack a home office, they may still be deductible. You can deduct travel between your home and a temporary work location for the same business.    

A temporary work location is any place where you realistically expect to work less than one year. Such a location can be inside or outside of the metropolitan area where you live.    

Yet, if the location is inside your metropolitan area, this exception applies only where you have an outside office or other regular work location away from your home, which you appear to have.    

Finally, you can deduct driving from your last sales call back to your home if you have a home office. Otherwise, such trips are nondeductible commuting unless the temporary work location rule applies.  

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