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Employees Can Deduct the Mileage Employers Don’t Reimburse

The purpose of the IRS Standard Mileage Rate is not to impose a rate of payment by employer to employee, but to give the employee a guide for his or her deduction at tax time.

The rate offers compensation to the employee either through payment by the employer or as a deduction for business related mileage on a personal vehicle.


Technically, an employer can pay any mileage rate he sees fit (except in California), whether that be over or under the IRS standard. But if he doesn’t meet the IRS standard, the employee can deduct that amount on her taxes.

Calculating the Deductions

A taxpayer can deduct any business miles that were not fully reimbursed at the max IRS rate by the employer. The tax payer must itemize deductions in order to claim the deduction, otherwise the expenses are just a part of the standard deduction.

The standard mileage rate for 2017 is 53.5 cents/mile.

There are three possible scenarios for the employee at the end of the year:

  • An employee can use the whole benefit if a company does not reimburse mileage at all. The taxpayer can deduct .54 of a dollar for every mile driven in his/her personal vehicle for business purposes (this does NOT include the commute to and from work!).
  • If the employer reimburses the whole 53.5 cents per mile, the taxpayer cannot deduct anything.
  • If the employer reimburses less than 53.5 cents per mile, the taxpayer can deduct the difference. For example, let’s say the business reimburses 30 cents/mile, then a taxpayer can deduct .14 of a dollar per mile on his yearly taxes.

Proper Procedure for Claiming the Deduction

An employee cannot just pull some number out of the clouds and call it her mileage deduction. Nor can she make a pretty good guess. Nor can she go to Google Maps and enter her route, multiply it by the number of times she made the drive that year, and write it on her deductions form. The IRS expects precise numbers. But you should know that already…

What you need to do is keep a log of your odometer readings each time you drive for work. This is the document that the IRS will demand if you are audited.

There are a couple of ways you can do this.

  1. Pencil and paper
  2. Smartphone apps

You can get a notebook and a pen and record it the old fashioned way. Or you can download an app onto your smartphone and let it track your mileage automatically. There are a lot of apps out there for this purpose but I found a few popular ones for both iPhone and Android and compiled a post to get you started, Mobile Apps For Tracking Mileage Readings.

Use Expense Sheets to Calculate Mileage

For employees

Even if your employer doesn’t have a Timesheets account, you can still log in as a freelancer for free and keep track of your mileage. Our software doesn’t turn on when it senses your smartphone moving over 25 miles an hour but it does give you a place to record your mileage and odometer readings as well as figure out what you should be getting back in cash based on the rate of your choosing.

For employers

Reimbursing mileage with expense software like Timesheets.com allows employers to use whatever rate they like. The administrator sets the rate, employees enter their miles, and the software calculates the total. At the end of the year, employees can run reports on paid expenses to calculate their expected tax deductions.

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165 Comments

  1. […] A company can reimburse its employees whatever it wants – from zero cents per mile to well over the IRS maximum. There is no law mandating how much or how little to reimburse employees. But this doesn’t mean that the employee gets short changed. Whatever amount an employer does not reimburse, employees can deduct on their taxes. […]

  2. whitney
    whitney November 15, 2012

    what if you are paid a gas allowance then how much do you deduct from the .55 cents in order to receive proper reimbursment for wear and tear on my car… thank you!

    • Timesheets
      Timesheets November 16, 2012

      Whitney,

      Gas allowance is essentially the same thing as mileage. So you’ll need to calculate and keep records of the miles you drive each month. Then multiply that by .55 cents. If the amount your boss gives you is more than the “mileage” you calculated, then you’ll need to claim that as wages on your taxes, if it is less, then you can claim the difference as a mileage deduction. As long as you keep records of both the amount your boss gives you and your mileage, your CPA should be able to figure this out for you at tax time.

  3. Josh
    Josh March 3, 2013

    Hi,

    Good info! Quick question – if I receive partial reimbursement from my employer, I now understand I can deduct the difference between the reimbursement and the federal rate of .555. However, I didn’t do this in tax years 2011, 2010 because I didn’t know I could! I read something else on another site about ” You must use the standard mileage rate the first year your vehicle is used for business purposes.” I looked the IRS regs on this, and it confirmed this statement using an example for “Larry” under the standard mileage rate (http://www.irs.gov/publications/p463/ch04.html#en_US_2011_publink100033935). Does this mean I cannot deduct the difference just because I didn’t know i could in 2010 and 2011?!? I sure hope not…the difference is alot of miles and dollars. My CPA seems to think I can.

    Thanks for your help,

    JB

    • Timesheets
      Timesheets March 4, 2013

      JB,

      I think the explanation is a little confusing. I am not sure if they are saying you cannot claim unreimbursed mileage on that car forevermore or if you just can claim previous years. It sounds to me like it is the former but I am not a CPA and do not know all of the tax laws. I would say trust your CPA on this!

      Peggy

  4. Cindilyn
    Cindilyn April 9, 2013

    Hello,
    I started working for a pet business last year in Sept and I am using my vehicle. My employer wants me to keep track of my mileage but she isn’t paying me my mileage, she told me mileage is tax free, she pays per hourly rate, per visit.
    The amount of visits is payed every other week. My employer will minus off the mileage amount which is mulitplied by $.55 that she told me on my visit $ amount to give me a lower pay rate for when she takes taxes out. After the taxes is taken out, my employer will put back the mileage amount she minus off.. I just filed my taxes last week and I didn’t collect mileage reimbusement because it isn’t my business. I enjoy helping her because it will be helping me out in the long run. I know I am putting alot of wear and tear on my vehicle and I am not getting what I should. Was I suppose to collect transportation reimbursement on my taxes? My employer never told me I could or couldn’t collect the transportation portion on my taxes, and I didn’t ask her because I was thinking by her minus the mileage off my visit amounts to give me a lower tax rate is a good deal. It is probably too late now to do anything now.

    • Timesheets
      Timesheets April 12, 2013

      Hi Cindilyn,

      Unreimbursed mileage is an employee business expense. You don’t have to own the business to deduct the mileage. Mileage is tax free in the sense that you can deduct it, but as far as I know mileage is not meant to be subtracted from taxed income. It is claimed as a deduction on your taxes. If this is the way your employer is doing it, then I am guessing that she is essentially paying a part of your paycheck “under the table.” To be absolutely clear on all of this, talk to your CPA.

  5. Sue
    Sue April 12, 2013

    I am paid a monthly rate tax free for using my car and then I have a fuel car on top of that. Can I deduct anything on top of that?

    • Timesheets
      Timesheets April 16, 2013

      Hi Sue, you would have to keep track of your mileage to be sure, which technically you should be doing anyway for audit purposes.

  6. daniel
    daniel May 9, 2013

    I believe I have the same situation as cindilyn, I get paid 30% of the entire amount of revenue my route brings in, then my employer takes the amount of miles for the week x. 555 and subtracts that number from gross pay. I get whatever amount that is tax free and only pay taxes on the remainder. So essentially I’m getting a slight tax break, not actually being reimbursed anything by the company and when tax time rolls around I wont be able to deduct anything. Just another clever way for companies to make you feel like they’re putting more money in your pocket while you’re actually being screwed in the long run. L

    • Troy
      Troy October 15, 2013

      You’re not being screwed in the long run; you’re effectively being given your tax refund up front because you’re not paying tax on the portion of your income that is offset by your mileage.

  7. lynne
    lynne July 24, 2013

    our company wants to have a policy where we only reimburse employees over 100 miles per day. Should they keep track and then write off the rest?

  8. chrissy
    chrissy April 18, 2014

    I am wondering if my employer can deduct mileage that I’m expecting to get off my milage report without notifying me? Recently my employer started deducting mileage from my reports that she has always paid for in the past. She done this without any kind of notice and has never told me that she was doing it.

    • Timesheets
      Timesheets April 21, 2014

      Chrissy, maybe you should ask her about it. Could it be a mistake? Is the mileage payment part of your employment contract (if you have one)? If the arrangement is not in writing and she was just doing this for you, it seems reasonable that she could stop these payments at any time since paying mileage is not mandatory to begin with. However, there may be laws that I am not aware of regarding the matter. It would be worth running it by a lawyer.

  9. Emma
    Emma April 22, 2014

    My partner is getting charged through his employer and also getting taxed for private mileage, which as i understand they can not do both? Also the vehicle is not used out of work hours other than to and from work.

    I am having no luck finding anything on this , has anyone got any idea?
    Thanks

  10. wanda davison
    wanda davison July 24, 2014

    Do your job have to pay you mileage if you use your car to drive over a 100 miles in a month.

  11. Charles Seaver,
    Charles Seaver, August 5, 2014

    Hoow often are logs audited by the IRS and what’s the greatest problems to be expected?

    • Timesheets
      Timesheets August 5, 2014

      This is a question you should ask your CPA.

  12. Norm
    Norm September 26, 2014

    We are reimbursed at .45/mi. While I realize I “Can” deduct anything that I drive over that amount – If I don’t have enough deductions to get me over the IRS standard deduction rate – I just lose that money, right?

    • Bree
      Bree January 15, 2015

      If your deductions are less than the started deduction rate then you aren’t “losing” any money no matter how you look at it.

  13. Randy
    Randy September 29, 2014

    My employer pays a grossed up vehicle allowance to me every month, around $900 (based on a 3 year depreciation schedule for a $40K vehicle driven approximately 150K miles). I get paid $.30 / mile for every time that I drive. Can I still deduct the difference between the $.30 and IRS rate of around $.55? The $900 payment that I get from my company already has the taxes paid on it. Thanks.

    • Timesheets
      Timesheets October 20, 2014

      Randy,

      If your employer is paying you any more than .56 cents per mile total, then you cannot deduct any more. To be sure, you will need to add up the total monthly miles you drive and do the calculation. If that comes to more than $900, then you should be able to deduct the difference. If it is confusing, ask your tax adviser at tax time.

  14. […] The question that many employers and employees have is whether gas costs are covered in the “mileage rate”. The answer is, yes. So if an employer reimburses mileage, he should not also reimburse for gas or for times when the car is in the shop. Mileage reimbursement is intended to cover all of those expenses. Of course, an employer can reimburse whatever he or she chooses and if this just covers the cost of gas, that is fine. If an employer does not reimburse the full IRS rate, then employees can deduct that portion on their taxes. […]

  15. […] There are some easy apps available to help employees keep track of odometer readings for their mileage records. This is great news because employees have to track their mileage if they are reimbursed by their employers for mileage or if they plan to claim tax deductions for the use of their vehicle for business purposes. […]

  16. Jim
    Jim December 15, 2014

    My work is 5 miles from my house however I typically travel 500+ miles a week to different work sites. My job gives a gas card and tolls. However I would be using the newly purchased vehicle about 90% for work(not including my commute to work) and 10% personal. Am I forced to pay for that car or can I write it off?

    • Peggy
      Peggy December 15, 2014

      Hi Jim, please talk with you tax adviser about this. Business tax write offs for new car purchases is not our specialty.

  17. P bolender
    P bolender January 20, 2015

    Can an employer that pays you a set amount divide your check and put half your pay in route pay mileage on your check with no taxes taken out

    • Peggy
      Peggy January 21, 2015

      I am sorry but I am not entirely clear on your question.

  18. Laury
    Laury January 22, 2015

    We pay for all the fuel for our employees for business use of their vehicle. Do we still give them the full mileage reimbursement allowable by the IRS?

  19. Jon
    Jon January 22, 2015

    I have seen different websites going back and forth about being allowed to claim gas for traveling to work. I drive a little more than 160 miles a day to going back and forth. Would I be able to claim that?

  20. PC
    PC February 18, 2015

    Why would the company I work for try to obscure this information? My employer of over three years now has depended on me and my truck for work-related travel, and they reimburse $ 0.38 per mile driven. However, during this whole time, I was never told that the difference between the $ 0.38 per mile and the standard mileage reimbursement rate would be tax-deductible on my yearly taxes. When I asked HR why I wasn’t told this (or this info is not included in the employee handbook), I was told “We don’t have time to call all 350 employees to tell them what their tax deductions are.” Well maybe I should email every employee in the company a link to this article, and see if there is any backlash?

    • Peggy
      Peggy February 19, 2015

      It is unfortunate that you may have missed out on this tax deduction for the last three years. However, if you hired a tax specialist to do your taxes, he or she would have caught it. That is the benefit of hiring someone to do your taxes. They usually find all sorts of deductions and their cost is paid for in the higher tax return. It really is not your employer’s responsibility to know the tax laws as they are many and complicated. You can always amend previous tax years to receive the benefit now.

  21. Russ
    Russ February 25, 2015

    My employer gives me a gas card to use for business miles. I do keep a log of my business miles and my odometer readings. Is there a percentage of the Fed tax rate I can claim due to the gas card or can I claim the full amount allowed?

    • Peggy
      Peggy February 26, 2015

      Russ,

      What is going on here then is that your employer is paying for gas but not the full mileage reimbursement. As long as you keep track of both the miles driven and the amount he paid, you can figure what is remaining.

      For example, if your employer pays $60 in gas for a 200 mile trip, you could deduct $54 dollars on next year’s taxes. I got this by multiplying 200 miles by .57 and then subtracting the 60 dollars that the employer already paid.

  22. lois
    lois February 26, 2015

    I volunteer my time every day and buy my gas and use my car. I drive between 100 to 200 miles per day and work 2 to 3 days a week. I get paid for mileage allowance do I have to pay taxes on my money I get for use of car and gas. I get a 1099 at end year. Should I even show this on my tax return. I don’t make a salary but I file jointly with my husband. Thank you

    • Peggy
      Peggy February 27, 2015

      Hi Lois,

      We are not tax experts, but if you receive a 1099, I think you would have to report that as income since this company is reporting paying you (even though, I understand, it’s not pay but reimbursement). Please discuss it with a tax specialist. This is an unusual scenario.

  23. Lonestar
    Lonestar March 2, 2015

    My employer cuts me a check for my mileage @.565/mile with cap of $1,350.00. I exceed that cap every month. The reimbursement is not shown on my W2. How do I claim the excess mileage?

  24. Roderick
    Roderick March 2, 2015

    How do you actually go about claiming the difference on the tax form? I’m doing my taxes myself on h&r block.com, but don’t know where to put the remaining .06 cents per mile.

    • Peggy
      Peggy March 3, 2015

      You will need to speak with a tax adviser about that.

  25. shaun
    shaun March 7, 2015

    Hello, can you clarify personal miles vs work miles? Eg., it is my understanding that a routine commute back and forth from the workplace is considered personal miles and therefore cannot be deducted. However, what about situations where your employer requires road travel to points other than your worksite? My employer is telling me that those miles need to be subtracted from my total commute miles before any reimbursement. Thoughts?

  26. Lola
    Lola April 9, 2015

    My employer pays me $150 per check to cover cell phone and mileage. The amount is reported on my W-2 as income. How do I know what portion of that $150 I can allot to cell phone and what portion I should allot to mileage?

    • Peggy
      Peggy April 13, 2015

      Hi Lola,

      How much does your employer say he wants to pay you for your phone bill? Half of it? Some specific portion of it? The mileage you use is a set number that you arrive at by keeping track of your mileage, the phone portion of the reimbursement should be decided on.

  27. doji@hushmail.com
    doji@hushmail.com April 11, 2015

    I am self employed contract 1099 and work for a company to do warranty service work. I travel from my home to residences to do repairs. The company I work for pays only the one way mileage to these locations. Am I allowed to deduct my mileage for the way back?
    Also, if I do any service calls on my own , can I deduct the whole (there and back-round trip) mileage?

    glenn

    • Peggy
      Peggy April 13, 2015

      I think it would be best to talk to a tax adviser about that. The rules may be slightly different as a self-employed individual since all driving for work will likely begin at your house.

  28. Hunter
    Hunter April 16, 2015

    Can you tell me if I can be reimbursed for mileage for cashing a check if they don’t offer direct deposit? I heard this was the case in California

    • Peggy
      Peggy April 16, 2015

      I have never read that in the literature I’ve seen on the topic. That doesn’t mean it’s not true though! Keep hunting for an answer online or ask a tax adviser.

      • Hunter
        Hunter April 17, 2015

        Thank you

  29. Dark Paphian
    Dark Paphian June 7, 2015

    Rather than paying me outright for my mileage, my employer applies my mileage reimbursement toward my medical benefits deduction reducing that pre-tax deduction; and if there is anything left, I will get the cash. For example, my monthly medical benefits are $300.00 and my monthly mileage total $200.00. The $200 is applied against the $300, making my medical deduction $100, and I receive no actual monetary reimbursement. Is this allowed? I was not informed they would do it this way. I just realized it recently when I questioned a paycheck.

    • Peggy
      Peggy June 8, 2015

      This sounds like an unusual situation. I would talk to an employment lawyer to be sure. It sounds to me like your employer doesn’t pay for medical benefits out of their pockets and that if you didn’t drive at all, you would have to pay the full amount out of your paycheck. Your employer could give you a $200 mileage reimbursement check and then you could give it back to them for insurance. It seems to me this would be a more involved process achieving the same end. But it could be more complicated than that and that’s why it might behoove you to speak to a lawyer.

      • Dark Paphian
        Dark Paphian June 8, 2015

        Thank you for answering my question. I haven’t encountered this before. I will definitely discuss this with my employer. Thank you.

  30. Joy
    Joy July 2, 2015

    I am now using a company gas card, but my car. How do I calculate mileage when I’m not paying the gas?

    I’m not paid a gas allowance. I don’t pay for gas at all. Gas is paid on a gas card. How do I calculate the .55 cents when I don’t have the gas information?

    • Peggy
      Peggy July 2, 2015

      Hi Joy. Who fills up the tank? If you do, you should be able to see the cost and make note of it each time.

  31. Jennifer
    Jennifer July 15, 2015

    Can a person get reimbursed for both standard mileage and auto expenses?

    • Peggy
      Peggy July 16, 2015

      Hi Jennifer,

      Mileage reimbursement includes gas costs and all auto expenses. If you saved your reimbursement with each paycheck, you would be able to put that towards your expenses such as oil changes and repairs.

      • Jennifer
        Jennifer July 16, 2015

        Hi Peggy,

        Thanks for the response…I should have giving more detail. Say I have an expense account with my employer where I’m reimbursed for gas, maintanance, ins., and lease payments. Can I on top of that also submit mileage reimbursement too for payment back monthly? I thought you can only use one or the other and not both.

        • Peggy
          Peggy July 16, 2015

          I apologize for not understanding but the expense account may just be an unusual scenario. If I understand you correctly, your employer reimburses the auto expenses in an expense account in an itemized way. So here is your gas money, your oil change, your lease payment, your new tires, etc. You are wondering if you could also ask your employer for a “mileage reimbursement.” Well, what you are receiving in your auto expense account is the mileage reimbursement.

          Now, there is a chance that he or she over or underpays you and you can find out by doing a simple calculation.

          Keep track of your mileage (which you should be doing anyway) and then multiply it by the current IRS rate (57 cents presently). So if you drove 362 miles in the month, then your reimbursement would be $206.34. Now, compare that to the amount given to you in your expense account. Is it more is less than that reimbursement amount? If it is more, you will need to claim that as income on your taxes. If it is less, it would make sense to request that from your employer. However, for the most accurate numbers, you would want to do this for several months and see how it averages out. I would guess that some months the expense account will be over and some it would be under which, at the end of the year, might even out.

          I hope this answers your question!

  32. Ed walters
    Ed walters August 13, 2015

    My second job reimburses me 31 cents a mile for travel between jobs I bought a new car this year that was better on gas mileage since my old car was not good on fuel economy I understand that I can deduct the difference of the 31 cents and the government rate of 56 cents but my question is since I purchased my car this year and paid it off can I use any of the car purchase as a deduction in any way?

    • Peggy
      Peggy August 28, 2015

      Hi Ed,

      I have not heard of using a car purchase as a mileage deduction. When you’re ready to do your taxes, run it by a tax specialist.

  33. Jimmy Sanders
    Jimmy Sanders August 17, 2015

    If I am a traveling consultant and required to drive back/forth 80 miles a day, could I claim from my company’s mileage reimbursement and use that money towards an AirBNB or apartment rental (so I won’t have to drive back and forth)?

    • Peggy
      Peggy August 28, 2015

      I am not sure I am understanding you correctly. You want to use the reimbursement that your employer gives you for a rental apartment so that you don’t have to actually make the drive? I think you would want to work that out with your employer. As long as the cost is the same, it may not matter to them one way or the other.

  34. RKD
    RKD September 3, 2015

    I am a trainer/consultant and I travel to numerous locations in the state to provide training and support. I can file for reimbursement from my employer for mileage. I rarely have lodging expense. My spouse and I file jointly and our total incomes varies between the 100,000 and 200,000 range. We withhold additional taxes throughout the year. The process of filing for reimbursement from my company is annoying in that they require I cost compare if it is cheaper to require me to rent a vehicle or pay me to use my personal vehicle. Small compact cars create back problems for me. Rather than run the risk of owing more additional taxes at the end of the year, I prefer not to file for mileage reimbursement from my employer and have the option of using the mileage deduction when we file our end of the year taxes. I keep accurate records of mileage. Am I correct in assuming this is acceptable with the IRS?

  35. Mary
    Mary September 13, 2015

    Hi,
    I have had an in home tutoring business for years. I have also taken a mileage deduction for year. Now, I have a salaried job in another county, and then drive to tutoring. My day job, in the other county, is more than 50 miles away. Can I take the 50 miles or do I need to start the mileage when I leave the day job and go to the self employed job?
    Thanks
    Mary

    • Peggy
      Peggy September 14, 2015

      Hi Mary. Since you cannot deduct mileage to and from the place of employment, you wouldn’t be able to deduct the 50 miles you drive to your new job.

  36. Laci
    Laci September 18, 2015

    My employer is wanting to pay for fuel for an employee in his personal van and then also reimburse for mileage. I understand the mileage rate when fuel is not reimbursed. I do not understand what amount to pay if fuel is already paid. Can you please help.
    No Fuel = $0.575/mile W/Fuel Paid = $ ?

    • Peggy
      Peggy September 24, 2015

      Hi Laci. You would want to figure the mileage reimbursement after the fuel is figured. So if the employee saves gas receipts, add that up, figure your mileage reimbursement, and then subtract the gas.

      Mileage reimbursement: (miles)x($.575)-(fuel paid)

  37. mike
    mike September 30, 2015

    I am a salaried employee. My job pays me a $700/mo. car allowance, which is taxed. It does not state that any specific portion of the car allowance should be used for mileage. They reimburse me for gas, insofar as I submit gas receipts along with my other travel expenses each pay period for reimbursement. I do keep track of miles driven for work vs. personal.

    Do I understand it correctly that I should take the miles driven per month, add them all up and multiply by the .565 mileage rate, and if that total exceeds $700/mo. then I can deduct the overage?

    Or is there a different formula I should be using in this scenario?

  38. Greg L
    Greg L October 4, 2015

    I think there is a fundamental misconception here – or I may be wrong..

    IRS Publication 463 (pages 31 and 32) provides the following guidance:

    If your company ….allowance is less than or equal to the federal rate, but your ACTUAL EXPENSES are more than your company allowance, then, you can complete Form 2106 and deduct the excess amount on Schedule A. The key requirement is whether or not your actual expenses were more than your company allowance. In the event of an audit, you must be able to prove to the IRS the total amount of your actual expenses and reimbursements for the year.

    Also, please note, even if you do have excess expenses, you must meet the 2% AGI (adjusted gross income) threshold to get the deduction. In the simplest of scenarios, all other requirements for itemizing being met, this means that if your AGI for the year was $50,000, then your EXCESS expenses would need to be more than $1,000 to claim this deduction and only those excess expenses above $1,000 would be deductible.

    • Peggy
      Peggy October 5, 2015

      Thanks for your input. There is a difference between tracking actual expenses and using the federal rate. As I understand it, employees are open to using either method. This is all described on page 31 of the publication you noted. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p463.pdf

      Here is what the IRS has to say about an employee using the Federal rate and the employer either doesn’t reimburse or reimburses less than the Federal rate.

      Allowance less than or equal to the fed-
      eral rate.

      If your allowance is less than or
      equal to the federal rate, the allowance will not
      be included in box 1 of your Form W-2. You do
      not need to report the related expenses or the
      allowance on your return if your expenses are
      equal to or less than the allowance.
      However, if your actual expenses are more
      than your allowance, you can complete Form
      2106 and deduct the excess amount on Sched-
      ule A (Form 1040). If you are using actual ex-
      penses, you must be able to prove to the IRS
      the total amount of your expenses and reim-
      bursements for the entire year. If you are using
      the standard meal allowance or the standard
      mileage rate, you do not have to prove that
      amount.

      Here is an example:

      Nicole drives 10,000 miles in
      2014 for business. Under her employer’s ac-
      countable plan, she accounts for the time
      (dates), place, and business purpose of each
      trip. Her employer pays her a mileage allow-
      ance of 40 cents a mile Since Nicole’s $5,600 expense computed
      under the standard mileage rate (10,000 miles x
      56 cents) is more than her $4,000 reimburse-
      ment (10,000 miles × 40 cents), she itemizes
      her deductions to claim the excess expense.
      Nicole completes Form 2106 (showing all her
      expenses and reimbursements) and enters
      $1,600 ($5,600

      $4,000) as an itemized de-
      duction

  39. Kris
    Kris November 17, 2015

    If you are paid for your travel time as a home health nurse while seeing patients can you still deduct mileage when you file taxes if your employer does not reimburse you specifically for miles or gas used?
    thanks

    • Peggy
      Peggy December 4, 2015

      That is a very specific case and there are sometimes different rules with home health care workers. I encourage you to ask your tax adviser.

  40. Hannah
    Hannah November 19, 2015

    My employer pays .40/mile, untaxed. If I drove 7650 miles this year, could I not claim that extra .175/mile? I was told that I couldn’t claim they extra unless I stayed overnight.

    • Peggy
      Peggy December 4, 2015

      Hannah,

      You can claim whatever your employer does not reimburse but make sure you’re keeping records!

  41. Jenni
    Jenni December 1, 2015

    Hi, I recently accepted a part time position as an independent contractor picking up and delivering medical samples for shipping to our Boston office. The office that I work for is located in Boston; however, I will not be reporting to the office prior to picking up samples for delivery. They will email me daily with where my pickups are to take place that afternoon and I will leave my primary job to do this.

    Would I calculate my mileage from my starting point (being my primary job with a different employer) and to my end point of home since there is no office that I am reporting to and there is no centralized location I am based out of? Or would I calculate it from once I arrive at whatever my first location is to once I arrive to my last location which is sending the packages for shipping? It is all a bit confusing to me since I am not commuting to a centralized location and being dispatched from there and do not have a static office/location that I will be going to on a daily basis.

    Thank you!

  42. Sam
    Sam December 15, 2015

    The company I work for just started charging us for driving a company vehicle. They have supplied the vehicle from employment start date for company use and commute into and from work. They have gone back to the beginning of the year and charged us for this use. I guess my question is can I write off any vehicle expenses or am I just stuck with an extra compensation for my income?

    • Peggy
      Peggy December 17, 2015

      Hi Sam,

      I am not familiar with companies charging employees to use company vehicles for work purposes. I would talk to a lawyer if you have questions.

  43. Geo Boothroyd
    Geo Boothroyd January 4, 2016

    Peggy:

    I was provided a Company vehicle as part of my compensation package. The vehicle was damaged in an accident and was never returned to service. I was provided another Company vehicle while it was out of services but with no access to it for my daily commutes to and from home (44 miles each way for six months, five days a week). Since the value of the vehicle was considered an integral portion of my compensation package and was contractually guaranteed to me, can I deduct for non-reimbursed commuting expenses/mileage during the periods that the vehicle was not available to me?

    Thanks,
    Geo

    • Peggy
      Peggy January 7, 2016

      Hi Geo,

      That would be a good question for your tax adviser.

  44. PNW
    PNW January 26, 2016

    My company reimburses me only partially for my mileage. I’m in ResHab care. I have 546 miles reimbursed at .30 a mile and 2769 miles reimbursed at .25 a mile. I can claim the difference on them right?

  45. Elbert
    Elbert February 15, 2016

    My company offers .45 per mile or gas recipient reinbursement and 99 % of employees turn in gas receipts that is all they reinburse us for. We turn in our business miles on our taxes.less the amount reimbursed for gas my auditor says I cannot do it but my accountant says I can plus two people in my office have been audited and was cleared and I am being held accountable to pay back all my milage for two years plus interest is this legal.or not

  46. Shawn
    Shawn March 18, 2016

    Hello,

    My employer paid .40 for my mileage and I believe 2015 is .56

    My question. I send a document with the address to and from and mileage. It has an auto calculator and gives my total amount to at .40 a mile. Unfortunately, I never gave my odometer reading so it’s just address, date, mileage and .40 rate.

    Can I still qualify to get the extra .16 on my report or will I risk audit and no proof of odometer?

    Each report is sent every 2 weeks. So I have all documented. Also, the vehicle is not in my name and have put over 30k miles in travel up and down the East Eoast

    Thanks

  47. Steve hughes
    Steve hughes March 26, 2016

    I have a max of $1500 for my car from my company for business miles and I go over every month that they don’t pay what is the tax deduction for the unpaid overage it was $3900 this year.

  48. Toni
    Toni April 14, 2016

    In order to claim mileage deduction you have to be using your car in conjunction with a business where the employee needs to travel to and from meetings right? In order to use form 2106 does the employee need to file Schedule A or can it be used by itself?

    • Timesheets.com
      Timesheets.com April 18, 2016

      Yes, the employee needs to be traveling for work to claim the deduction and they must not claim any mileage that was already reimbursed by their employer. The employee does need to be itemizing their deductions to claim the deduction and so should probably fill out the Schedule A. If there is any confusion on how to do this, please talk with a tax advisor.

  49. Cyndy N
    Cyndy N April 19, 2016

    My husband receives a fixed vehicle allowance per month – approx. $260. He was required to purchase a vehicle for his job that met certain requirements. This allowance is supposed to help defer the cost of the vehicle.
    Additionally, he receives a variable amount monthly for work-related mileage. The mileage rate changes each month (usually around $0.19per mile) and the # miles also varies.
    Is he able to deduct the difference each month, or is the vehicle allowance considered compensation to cover the difference?

    • Timesheets.com
      Timesheets.com April 26, 2016

      Cyndy,

      This is an interesting question. I am not sure if the $260 is meant to pay for things like oil changes and new tires and stuff like that or if it is meant to pay for the car payment. If it is meant to pay for the cost of upkeep then it is definitely part of the total mileage reimbursement. If your employer is kicking back a car payment, it doesn’t sound like it has anything to do with mileage. Determine which that $260 is supposed to be used for and I think you’ll have your answer.

  50. Lee
    Lee May 8, 2016

    I use a company vehicle for my position and have unlimited use of the vehicle; this includes night and weekend use. However, I am required to pay for ALL gas (work related use and personal).. Is there any deduction that can be used in this situation. I am a W-2 employee and earn a base + commission.

    • Timesheets.com
      Timesheets.com May 16, 2016

      Hi Lee,

      Since the vehicle is not yours, you cannot claim mileage but you should be able to claim the gas as a business expense. Save those gas receipts, track your mileage, and remember that you can only claim the gas reimbursement for miles driven for work purposes, i.e. not to and from work.

  51. Jackie Macciomei
    Jackie Macciomei May 9, 2016

    I lease my vehicle, I do not own it, and I’ve been given a new position at work. The new position requires me to travel quite a bit, and my employer does reimburse me the full mileage rate of $0.54/mile. On my Lease, I will be charged $0.25/mile for any miles over the 45,000 allotted for the term of my lease. My question is – does the standard mileage rate I’m receiving go toward the charges I incur for going over on my lease or can I ask my employer for reimbursement on that as well?

    • Timesheets.com
      Timesheets.com May 16, 2016

      Hi Jackie,

      I am not entirely sure on this. I have never read anything about this specifically being one of the intended reimbursable expenses but I think you should talk with a tax expert on this.

  52. Katie
    Katie May 14, 2016

    What if you company only pays you after the first 40 miles at .40/mile? Can you claim the unpaid, round trip 80 miles?

    • Timesheets.com
      Timesheets.com May 16, 2016

      Hi Katie,

      As long as none of those miles are going to and from work and they are all miles driven for work, you can deduct those miles at the full mileage rate. The remainder of the miles, you can deduct the difference between the IRS rate, and the rate your employer reimburses.

  53. Cheryl
    Cheryl May 19, 2016

    Can I claim mileage and still be paid an hourly wage for travel time?

    • Timesheets.com
      Timesheets.com May 19, 2016

      Hi Cheryl,

      Federal labor laws mandate paying employees for travel time. Mileage reimbursement is totally separate from that. As long as your employer is not reimbursing the mileage you travel for work, you can claim your mileage even though you’ve been paid your hourly travel rate.

  54. Earl Warren
    Earl Warren June 12, 2016

    A former and proven dishonest employee is taking us a small mom and pop company to the Labor Board.
    He is claiming mileage 100% from his home to job destination at 0.54/mile using Google map. The company policy was to not pay the first 60 miles as a typical average commute distance and then to pay 0.51/mile.
    He even went ahead and rented a car and is trying to charge us for it. The rental was never authorized.
    In California where do we legally stand.

    • Timesheets.com
      Timesheets.com June 15, 2016

      Hi Earl,

      You’ll have to contact a lawyer about this at some point but by the sound of it, you might be in the right. In general, you don’t have to pay for an employee’s commute to work. I do not know if California has an allowable distance from home to a job site, so you’ll have to check on that, but the DOL just defines the reimbursement criteria to be “in another city”. So if someone is driving an unusual amount of miles to another city to arrive at the job site, then this would be reimbursable. Please let me know what you find out!

  55. Ray
    Ray June 19, 2016

    HI, I work for a company that is a pilot/escort service for oversize loads, I use their vehicle, and they pay .45 a mile and per diem, once load is delivered in another city we have to dead head back home and do not get paid mileage on the return trip. Can I claim anything on my taxes? Thank you

    • Timesheets.com
      Timesheets.com June 28, 2016

      Hi Ray,

      It sounds like you should but it might depend on the distance back home. If it’s in another city, the mileage probably is reimbursable. Definitely talk to your tax advisor about this!

  56. Marie
    Marie June 26, 2016

    I work for a social services company that requires home visits on a regular basis. I drive my own car and am required to have a minimum level of insurance. We were told that we could request reimbursement for mileage but not travel time. I am not to clock into work until I arrive at either the office or the home. I was also told that mileage reimbursement would not begin until I arrived at the office. Many of my appointments are first thing in the morning, before the office opens. I am not sure if I can request reimbursement for the trip to the client’s house from my house? It’s 5.9 miles from my house to the office. Would I just subtract that before submitting?

  57. Tracey
    Tracey June 26, 2016

    I am reimbursed at .43/mile however it is included in my regular check and taxes are taken out. I thought that mileage reimbursement had to be paid separately since we have already paid taxes on the fuel when we paid for the fuel originally? So, technically, I’m being taxed when I 1st buy the fuel then I’m reimbursed and taxed on my own reimbursement?

  58. Christine Henry
    Christine Henry July 20, 2016

    My employer in California does mileage reimbursement for us at the regular government rate (we turn in mileage forms that track our daily mileage on business). However, if you turn in a mileage form “late” after 60 days, then my employer says that mileage is a now a taxable income, it gets added to a separate line on my pay stub, and I get taxed on it. Is it legal for them to do that?

    • Timesheets.com
      Timesheets.com July 22, 2016

      Christine,

      I can’t say I understand why they do that. I’m not sure who it benefits. I am not a tax expert but there may be a way for you to get that back when you do your taxes at the end of the year. Discuss it with your tax advisor.

  59. Leora Clevenger
    Leora Clevenger July 24, 2016

    If I filled out a 1099 and get paid $.505 a mile , do I pay taxes on the mileage pay at the end of the year? If so , how much should I put back pay for the taxes?

    • Timesheets.com
      Timesheets.com July 27, 2016

      Hi Leora,

      If you are getting reimbursed $.505 per mile, and the current mileage rate is $.54, then you are getting $.035 less than the IRS rate which means you can deduct that on your taxes. So, for example, if you drive 2000 miles per year, that would add up to $70.

  60. A Mamais
    A Mamais August 4, 2016

    I receive a flat weekly car allowance. Can I deduct business mileage? If so, how?

    • Timesheets.com
      Timesheets.com August 18, 2016

      You would need to track your mileage. Once you figure out how many miles you drive each week you can multiply that by the IRS rate. If the amount is over what is owed to you with this rate, you need to claim this overage as wages. If it’s below, you can deduct that amount.

  61. Val Chatham
    Val Chatham August 11, 2016

    I am employee (medical marketing). I do not have a physical office to go to. Each morning I leave my house and make my first visit (Dr.’s offices). After my last visit, I return home. Is all my mileage for the day deductible ?

  62. Mischele
    Mischele September 23, 2016

    I work for a company that pays the current standard mileage rate for all documented miles. Mileage is to be turned in monthly. Most of the employees turn in their mileage within a few day of the end of the month. However, one employee holds their mileage for several months (sometimes years) before turning it in. This obviously creates an issue with payment at the correct mileage rate and getting mileage $ on the correct W2 when the W2 was already done. Can an employer impose a time limit for turning in mileage? Or is there a Federal guideline for this situation?

  63. Ellie
    Ellie October 13, 2016

    If you are an independent contractor that drives for a living, can an employer legally force you to accept a lower pay? Such as a small amount per mileage but no other pay for labor? The mileage wouldn’t even cover gas to do the job. Let alone the upkeep and maintenance of your personal vehicle.

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch October 24, 2016

      Hi Ellie,
      I don’t totally understand your question. You aren’t getting paid for your work and are receiving less than the IRS rate for mileage? If this is the case, you are not profiting from the work.

  64. Dylan Galante
    Dylan Galante November 21, 2016

    Hi Peggy,

    I am super confused. I work for a company doing sales/demos for their wines. I work from my home office.I do not have an office outside of my home that I work from. I pay for gas out of my pocket, but get reimburse for it. I drive for work several hundred miles a day. Can I still take the standard mileage deductions on my taxes? I feel like I should be able to, but not entirely sure? If not, would it be better not to turn in my gas receipts?

    Best,

    Dylan

  65. Brian S
    Brian S November 30, 2016

    Very informative page, seeing if maybe you can help shed light on my scenario. My company reimburses me (stipend) roughly 75% of my vehicle payments and provides fuel card for all driving. I report my mileage end of each month on company provided site which shows fuel consumption, asks how many personal miles driven, etc. Assuming personal miles (gas) being deducted from stipend, to be honest I havent been looking as much as I should be.

    So is my only option for deduction the difference in my expense between my stipend and my expense, multiplied by mileage rate? or are there other factors to consider that I can take advantage of? Thank you!

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch December 1, 2016

      Hi Brian,

      Well, I’m not a tax adviser but your reasoning seems sound to me. Find the reimbursement based on the IRS rate and subtract from that what your employer gives you.

  66. Jay B
    Jay B December 7, 2016

    I work for a mobile imaging company. We travel between a dozen hospitals for work. I’m reimbursed 45/cents per mile..after first and last 30 miles. So if we travel 100 miles in a day we get reimbursed for 40. Can i only claim the difference with federal rate? or can i claim the other 60 miles for each day of driving. The locations do not change much but we contract with the hospitals.

  67. Ryan Slater
    Ryan Slater January 5, 2017

    What miles can i claim if I make a daily stop on my way into work to pick up parts for our shop? The miles from my home to the parts house, the miles from the parts house to our shop or all miles 1 way from home to parts house and from parts house to shop?

  68. Gary
    Gary January 9, 2017

    I am a union electrician and my work location/site changes often and seems to be what is considered temporary. I also live outside a metropolitan areaam I allowed to claim the milage? I’ve seen diffrent options on it.

    Thanks.

  69. Lily
    Lily January 17, 2017

    I am a home health care aide, i have two clients that I take care of and I have to use my own car, now if I read this all correctly I can only claim from one house to another ? So that would be 3 days a week. My job does not give us money for mileage or gas.

  70. mary
    mary January 26, 2017

    My husband works for a company that issues a gas card. But for his job he goes to a lot of states. Can he claim his milage on his taxes?

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch January 30, 2017

      He would need to track his mileage to deduct the mileage. But since he gets a gas card, he would need to subtract that from the figure. For example, he would track the mileage to find the total miles driven for work, multiply that times the IRS rate, and then subtract the amount provided in the gas card.

  71. Tanya Kimbrough
    Tanya Kimbrough January 31, 2017

    Hello,
    My husband’s company pays him a monthly auto allowance. He keeps a log of his business miles separate from personal miles. A few questions. Does driving to the airport constitute driving to work? He doesn’t have a local office he drives to, and some of his accounts are over 100 miles one way, so does that constitute driving to work? Also, we have kept all receipts for maintenance. Are these business miles and maintenance bills deductible if they exceed the monthly allowance.
    Thanks in advance for any assistance.
    Tanya

  72. Rocky Cinnamon
    Rocky Cinnamon February 2, 2017

    Is there any advantage to an employer, to cut a separate check for a typical Mileage Reimbursement to an employee? Also, should we be taxing this reimbursement or treat it as untaxed? We pay 50 cents per mile for business use their personal vehicles.

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch February 15, 2017

      The reimbursements to employees are not taxed so, yes, there’s a benefit to everyone in doing it that way.

  73. Paula DiSabella
    Paula DiSabella February 3, 2017

    I am a teleworker, but am required to report to my employer’s office once every other week. I telework from CT, but my employer’s office is in PA. Can I deduct the mileage and tolls on my taxes?

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch February 15, 2017

      Hi Paula. You should talk to a tax adviser about that specific question.

  74. Jim W
    Jim W February 4, 2017

    Hi,
    I recently got a job as a Salesman. Should I deduct the miles it takes me to get to the sales call or sale Center? If I do do I also calculate the time it takes to get back to my house? This location can sometimes be consistent and sometimes is unique to a customer. Thank you!

  75. Danny
    Danny February 7, 2017

    Hello, I live in calif.
    My company I work for let’s us use our vehicle for their business. They pay me rent which is taxed as income. My question is the fuel which is paid by my company considered income when it is used for business ?

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch February 10, 2017

      Generally, employee reimbursements shouldn’t be taxed but when employers offer a fixed mileage stipend each month, it is.

  76. orlando Pereyra
    orlando Pereyra February 10, 2017

    Can I deduct miles from home to my place of work I drove almost 50 miles one way.

    thanks

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch February 10, 2017

      Generally, you can’t. There are exceptions for out of city assignments though.

  77. Mark
    Mark February 11, 2017

    What if you are paid .25 cents a mile but anything over the whole number is not. Example I drive 1786 miles one way to work I’m paid for 1700. When my trip is that far and choose to fly what can I deduct there?

  78. John
    John February 17, 2017

    Can an employer force you to have your mileage reimbursement “direct deposited”? Our employer used to cut us checks, but now they want to switch to direct deposit.
    I do not want my mileage reimbursement direct deposited. I do not want it showing/running through my account. I want to take their check to their bank and cash it.
    Can they force me to direct deposit it?

  79. MARY ARNOLD
    MARY ARNOLD February 20, 2017

    At what point is the employer responsible for travel reimbursement? Is it from home to a special assignment? From assignment home? The employee has an assigned office but has been sent on a special assignment, what is this the employers responsibility.

  80. Nicole Roy
    Nicole Roy February 20, 2017

    I am a subcontractor and received a 1099, stating one sum I was paid. Part of that was reimbursement for mileage, but only at .39 cents a mile. How will I claim this?

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch February 22, 2017

      You should talk to a tax advisor about this.

  81. Nicole
    Nicole February 20, 2017

    Hello,

    I am a state employee for Florida (state university) My employer, does pay mileage .44 cents per mile, but it is a hassle and will not pay you after 90 days. Can I claim this mileage on my taxes and if so, what rate would it be?

    On the IRS website I saw the following:

    53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven
    17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
    14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

    Thank you.

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch February 22, 2017

      Hi Nicole,

      As long as you’re keeping records, you can claim any unpaid mileage on your taxes, yes, at the current rate on the IRS website.

  82. Chelsey
    Chelsey February 23, 2017

    I filed my taxes for 2016 and got my return already however, I did not know I could deduct the difference in the reimbursement rate. I have all my miles logged on my phone in a notepad app. Can I make a revision to calim the difference or is it too late?

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch February 28, 2017

      You can always do an amended return.

  83. Mark
    Mark February 25, 2017

    I’ve never been clear on whether the commute to a 1099 job in your local area is or isn’t deductible? They are Temporary jobs, temporary locations.

    I also have jobs out of town that pay through a w2 third party payroll. Out of town as in 300-400 miles round trip, over night. Would those be deductible and if so, they would go under personal deductions and not self employment deductions like the 1099’s correct?

    Thanks for any clarification!

  84. Shirley
    Shirley February 28, 2017

    I am paid a taxable $600 a month to use my car plus .19 a mile. can I deduct the difference of .19 and .53 on my tax return. Since $600 is already taxed?

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch February 28, 2017

      You can deduct anything your employer hasn’t already reimbursed you for. So if you get a car allowance, that is reimbursement. You will have to figure out what mileage that allowance didn’t cover.

  85. Elizabeth Akers
    Elizabeth Akers March 3, 2017

    I work prn (as needed) for several different therapy companies. As such, my daily commute varies daily. I am I able to deduct those s miles?

  86. Andy
    Andy March 5, 2017

    My employer expects me to use my vehicle for work. I haul material for him. I only get 53.5 cents a mile. The first 100 miles I have to give to him but the rest of the miles I get paid. Is this practice normal. Or should I get all the miles . Simetimes the mileage is right at 100 miles. I get no wear & tear. No oil changes.

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch March 15, 2017

      Whether it’s fair depends on which state you’re in. Most states don’t require employers to reimburse. the mileage rate is more than just gas costs; it includes wear and tear and maintenance too.

  87. Janam Bhoomi
    Janam Bhoomi March 5, 2017

    Once every month I need to visit a site around 90 miles [one way] away for office related work which takes full day. i do not get paid any mileage. Can I deduct this as mileage on my taxes?

  88. Linda
    Linda March 12, 2017

    I have kept track of my mileage but didn’t realize I needed odometer readings. What can I do now? Am I just out of that money?

  89. Vm
    Vm March 13, 2017

    Hdllo. Have a question. My company does personal vehicle reimbursement but I didn’t claim it with the company. I waited till the end of the year and claimed it on the tax return. Got audited and now IRS is requesting my company’s reimbursement policy copy. I do have the prove that I never got reimbursed for the mileage, irs is not agreeing. What’s should I do now?

  90. Hector
    Hector March 13, 2017

    Hello I work as a maintenance manager. I get paid a salary, but I have to get all the materials needed at the hardware store, I have to go 5 times a day sometimes to get work related materials or tools. Question, can I file at least gas expenses?

  91. Jeff
    Jeff March 18, 2017

    I am an electrician. Some employees in my company are given work trucks and some are not. I have to use my personal vehicle to go to different job sites for work. I am also expected to pay to park and pay for any tolls incurred during my commute. I do not have a set workplace; the worksites vary. I do not get reimbursed. Can I deduct these expenses (mileage, toll, parking) on my taxes?

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch March 30, 2017

      You should be able to, yes. Talk to your tax professional about it.

  92. Beth
    Beth April 6, 2017

    If your employer will reimburse you for miles, can you can do either; have them reimburse you, OR CAN you just deduct it as an expense and claim it on your taxes at the end of the year? In other words, is it mandatory since they will reimburse you for miles used, that you use that option?

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch April 6, 2017

      Beth,

      That’s a good question. Do you have the right to decline their reimbursement payments? If your employer refuses to stop reimbursing you for mileage, then you should talk to an employment lawyer about what your rights are.

  93. Paul Pisano
    Paul Pisano April 12, 2017

    Does this apply to M&IE expenses too? If my employer reimburses the exact amounts of the expense receipts that I submit, but those amounts are less than the per diem rates allowed by the IRS, can I claim the difference as per diem expenses on my taxes?

  94. Pat Pope Jackson
    Pat Pope Jackson April 16, 2017

    My employer of 10 years has never reimbursed the full IRS allowable amount. I do submit expense reports showing total miles driven and the company reimbursable amount. I have copies of all expense reports available. Can I recover the difference? If so, for how many years? How do I go about doing that?

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch April 21, 2017

      I would talk to a tax pro about submitting an amended tax return for those years.

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