If you use a vehicle for business travel, moving, to go to medical treatments or to help out a charity, those miles might be deductible.
Use the 2010 rates for applicable travel you can claim on that year's tax return, due by April 18.
The 2011 rates will give you an idea of what next year's deduction amount will be.
Business travel options: The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study by an independent company of the fixed and variable costs of operating a vehicle.
However, you can't claim the standard business mileage rate for a vehicle if you've depreciated the auto or have claimed that vehicle's cost under Section 179 expensing.
And remember, if you can get a larger deduction amount by tracking your actual auto expenses for business purposes, use that method instead of the standard mileage rate.
Medical and moving amounts: The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs as determined by the same study.
Charitable travel calculations: The rate for charitable driving is set by statute. That's why it's been locked in at 14 cents per mile for, well it seems like forever.
In some extreme situations, such as natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, Congress has hiked the per-mile deduction amount for charitable travel. But such changes have been temporary.
Whatever the tax-deductible reason for your driving, in each case keep careful records of your miles. That documentation will allow you to hang onto the deductions in case the IRS ever asks why and where you were going.
- Volunteering is laudable, but not tax deductible
- Travel taxes continue to climb
- Get vacation help from the tax man
- Breaks of my wrist and for medical costs
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