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Deducting Non-Business Driving For Medical, Charity

Marin Perez

When we talk about tracking your miles, we generally talk about business drives. This could be for the mileage deduction or a mileage reimbursement. But, there are other drives that can provide some savings at tax time. Let's go over deducting non-business driving for medical or charity purposes.    

In order to deduct any non-business driving, you must itemize your personal deductions on your tax return instead of taking the standard deduction. Without this, you won't get a deduction.  

Deducting Non-Business Drives: Driving As A Medical Expense

If you itemize your deduction, you can deduct medical mileage as part of your medical expense deduction. You can include the amount paid for transportation primarily for medical care. This can include trips to the doctor, hospital, pharmacy or dentist – this also can include regular trips to a mentally ill dependent, if it's recommended as a part of the treatment.    

There is a limitation to your medical expense deduction, though. You may deduct your medical expenses only to the extent it exceeds 10% of your annual adjusted gross income. If you're over 65, the threshold is 7.5% of AGI through 2017.    

You can determine your medical mileage tax deduction two ways: using the standard medical mileage rate or the using your actual costs. The current IRS mileage rate allows you to deduct 19 cents per mile related to medical. Whichever method you decide to use, you can always include parking fees and tolls.  


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Driving For Charity

If you itemize your personal deductions, you can also receive tax relief for driving for charity. Along with donations, you can deduct any out-of-pocket expenses that are directly related to the use of your car in giving services to charitable organizations.    

You can choose to deduct the actual costs of operating your vehicle for charity purposes. This includes the gas, oil and other expenses but does not include repairs, maintenance, depreciation or registration fees. You can also use the standard charitable mileage rate of 14 cents per miles. As always, you can also include the costs of parking and tolls related to charity miles.    

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