HOW TO CALCULATE MILEAGE FOR TAXES: All You Need 

how to calculate mileage for taxes
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A business mileage tax deduction is a tax break for small businesses that use miles as their primary business. Other details of the mileage tax include how to calculate mileage taxes in 2022 for self-employed individuals who want the deduction for work, and what really counts as business mileage. Find out all you need to know in this post!! 

How to Calculate Mileage for Taxes

Before we dive into how to calculate mileage taxes, let’s first take a look at what mileage taxes mean. The business mileage deduction tax is typically a tax break for small business owners who are business miles driven. 

This type of deduction rate only applies to those who are self-employed. This means you can claim a business mileage deduction if you use any four-wheeled vehicle for business needs. Although you can not get this deduction if your business revolves around using cars, like a taxi service.

However, you need to know what a mileage deduction tax covers for your business. even before learning how to calculate mileage for taxes. Now, what types of trips can you consider as business miles? They include;

  • Driving to meet clients or customers
  • Going to the bank for a business transaction
  • Driving to the store to pick up office supplies

Other business-related errands you shouldn’t claim for a mileage deduction include:

  • Going to your business location (like, driving from your home to your business location, lunch, etc.)
  • Minor errands can even be run while making business-related runs (like going to the bank, visiting a friend, or grabbing a coffee).

How to Calculate Mileage Taxes in 2022

Like I said above, mileage taxes are a tax break for self-employed and small business owners, especially ones who operate by a mile. However, how to calculate mileage taxes in 2022 is a basic piece of information every self-employed and small business owner should know. When it comes to calculating mileage for taxes, you basically have two types. These two types include the standard mileage rate and the actual expense method.

However, before choosing a business mileage deduction calculation method, especially in 2022, It’s important that you first consider calculating your deduction with both. This way, you will be able to determine which method gets you the greater tax deduction. The one similarity between these two methods is that they both let you deduct parking fees and tolls for qualifying business purposes. However, you still need to calculate the expense of those separately.

Furthermore, regardless of which method you choose to use, it’s important to keep accurate track of the record that basically backs up the mileage deductions for your business. In order to do this effectively, you can keep a log in your vehicle for organized bookkeeping. This is because the more evidence and backup files you possess, the better for your business.

How to Calculate the Standard Mileage Tax Rate in 2022

The standard mileage rate is one of the methods of the mileage tax deduction. This method of mileage rate is easier to use than the actual expense method. This is because if you use this method, you can typically claim a standard amount per mile driven. Follow these simple steps to calculate the standard method of mileage deductions for taxes in 2022. The steps include;

  • Properly check if you can really use the standard mileage rate.
  • Then, get to be familiar with the mileage deduction rates
  • Do a multiplication of the business miles driven by the IRS current rate.

According to the IRS, these are the examples of situations you should avoid in order to use the standard mileage rate. If you do any of the following, then this method is not for you. They include:

  • If you lease your car, you must use the method for the entire lease period.
  • When you buy a car and don’t choose this method in the first year, it’s actually getting more difficult to switch to the actual method.
  • When you operate five or more cars at the same time,
  • If you claim a depreciation deduction for the car using any method other than straight-line
  • People claim the Section 179 deduction on their cars.
  • Claim the special depreciation allowance on the car.
  • Claim actual expenses after 1997 for a car you lease.
  • Are you a rural mail carrier who received a “qualified reimbursement”?
  • Know the mileage deduction rate

Every year, the IRS sets a standard mileage deduction rate. The 2022 standard mileage rate is 58.5 cents per business mile driven.

How to Calculate the Mileage Tax Deductions Using the Actual Expense Method

Firstly, if you want to use the actual expense method, keep track of what it costs to operate your car. This is because a lot of people forget that this is typically the basis for this method. And, from these records you keep, you can typically record what part of the general expenses applies to business use.

Again, note that you won’t be able to use this method if you previously used the standard mileage rate on a leased car. For how to calculate the actual expense method, include the following expenses:

  • Gas
  • Oil
  • Repairs
  • Tires
  • Insurance
  • Registration fees
  • Licenses
  • Depreciation
  • Lease payments

It’s also important that you record exactly what you spent on the above expenses, including the date and a description of the costs. The formula and steps for how to calculate the actual expense method of deductions are below. They include;

  • Find out the exact percentage of your car you use for business purposes. You can get the results by dividing your business miles driven by your total annual miles.
  • Then, lastly, you just need to multiply your business use percentage by your total car expenses.

Self-Employed Mileage Deduction

You can say that the self-employed are mostly the beneficiaries of the mileage deductions of taxes. This is because they claim up to a 56-cent deduction per business mile driven. However, in recent times, the government keeps tightening the rules for mileage deductions.

Also, starting in 2022, the tax reform laws will also keep narrowing the mileage tax deduction for moving expenses. This is why you can now only claim this for active-duty military members who are relocating because of new orders. Most people can use a mileage deduction because they are typically designed for it. They include;

  • Business mileage for the self-employed
  • Mileage related to medical appointments
  • Mileage incurred while volunteering for a nonprofit.

All I mentioned above are categories that automatically qualify for mileage deductions as self-employed. After qualification, then, what next? Here are the important details you need to know about the mileage deductions.

Mileage for self-employed workers isn’t subject to any threshold requirements. In other words, all miles are deductible regardless of how much a person drives for work. Now, if a person drives for both business and personal purposes, only miles that are typically driven for business will be deducted as long as it is from their principal place of business.

Self-employed individuals should claim their mileage deduction on the Schedule C tax form, and not on the Schedule A form for itemized deductions. Meanwhile, it’s best as a self-employed business owner to be certain of the type of mileage or actual cost deduction you want to use and stick to it. This is because switching from mileage to actual costs is not the best idea. And also, the calculations for depreciation will definitely need to be factored in.

How to Calculate Mileage for Work 

Our focus in this part of the post is how you can typically calculate mileage for your work. Some companies reimburse their employees for any mileage they drive on the company’s behalf. However, the driver must keep a record detailing the miles driven. Not all miles will qualify for reimbursement, so you’ll need to contact your employer to learn which miles are reimbursed and which are not. 

In order to calculate mileage for work, it might also be necessary to keep all gas receipts because they relate to the business or organization you are working for. You will also need to keep bookkeeping records of all miles driven that fall under the reimbursement guidelines. Remember to also write down the number on your vehicle’s odometer before you start driving. 

Then, when you reach your business task, also note down the new number you see on the odometer. Now, this is where how to calculate mileage taxes for work comes into play. Simply substract the first number from the second number to get the result of the miles driven. Then the next and last thing to do is to multiply the number of miles you have driven by your company’s standard mileage reimbursement rate.

What Counts as Business Mileage?

The IRS is the legal government agency making laws such as what counts as business mileage. They increased the per-mile deduction for business driving from 31 cents to 58 cents. Even if you write off to claim the cost of driving for your business, you are claiming the actual cost of maintenance or you are claiming the repair and fueling of your vehicle. Either way, it goes for you, it’s important to understand what counts as business mileage and what does not count.

Going into examples of what counts as business mileage include; trips from your workplace to job sites; official meetings with customers or clients; and also for business errands. Now, understand that what counts as business mileage includes understanding that anything outside the business purpose can’t count as business mileage. For example, making a journey from your office to meet up for lunch with your new client. In this situation, it’s in the interest of the business, so there is a deduction. Because the meet-up was for business and not pleasure.

If you only have a temporary workplace, then, it’s possible to claim the commute as business miles. Meanwhile, also, If you take any professional trip using a taxi, an Uber, or even a leased car, you can claim the per-mile deduction for that, too.

Conclusion

Finally, this post is for small business owners whose primary business activity is driving miles. It’s also for people who wish to start this type of mile-driven business. Typically, because you need to make a profit, you need to save as much as possible. Tax deductions are one of the many ways to save money if you properly get to know your way around them. In this post, we discussed key points that you need for this topic, including how to calculate mileage taxes, how they work in 2022 for self employed and what typically counts as this type of tax deduction.

FAQs

How can I calculate my mileage?

Calculate

  • Get the miles traveled from the trip odometer, or subtract the original odometer reading from the new one.
  • Divide the miles traveled by the amount of gallons it took to refill the tank. The result will be your car’s average miles per gallon yield for that driving period.

How do you calculate mileage reimbursement?

Calculating mileage reimbursement is relatively simple. To find your reimbursement, multiply the number of business miles driven by the IRS reimbursement rate. So if you drove 1,000 miles and got reimbursed. 56 cents per mile, your reimbursement would be $560 (1,000 miles X $0.56 = $560)

What if I didn't keep track of my mileage?

If you lack such records, you’ll be forced to attempt to prove your business mileage based on your oral testimony and whatever documentation you can provide, such as receipts, emails, and other evidence of your business driving

Do you calculate mileage from home or work?

To calculate commuting miles, find the number of miles that it takes to drive to work each day, then multiply that number by two so that you can account for the drive home. For example, if you live 10 miles from your home, then your daily average commuting miles would be 20 miles

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