Deducting Car Related Business Expenses

Metro Accounting & Tax Services, CPA is dedicated to ensuring the accounting success of new and existing small businesses. We have created this guide to help small business owners that use their personal automobile for business purposes.

If you use your car in your job or business and you use it only for that purpose, you may be able to deduct its entire cost of operation. However, if you use the car for both business and personal purposes, you may deduct only the cost of its business use and you must keep records to support your claim.

You can generally figure the amount of your deductible car expense by using one of two methods: the standard mileage rate method or the actual expense method. If you qualify to use both methods, you may want to figure your deduction both ways before choosing a method to see which one gives you a larger deduction.

To use the standard mileage rate, you must own or lease the car and:

  • You must not operate five or more cars at the same time, as in a fleet operation,
  • You must not have claimed a depreciation deduction for the car using any method other than straight-line,
  • You must not have claimed a Section 179 deduction on the car,
  • You must not have claimed the special depreciation allowance on the car,
  • You must not have claimed actual expenses after 1997 for a car you lease, and
  • You can’t be a rural mail carrier who received a “qualified reimbursement.”

Under the standard mileage rate deduction, you simply multiply the standard mileage rate by the number of business miles traveled during the year.

To use the actual expense method, you must determine what it actually costs to operate the car for the portion of the overall use of the car that’s business related. Including all the incidentals required to keep the car running such as: gas, oil, repairs, tires, insurance, registration fees, licenses, and depreciation or lease payments

Your actual parking fees and tolls are deducted separately under both methods.

If you’re ready to meet with a tax professional to discuss which method is advantageous to your situation, call the office today 470-240-5143.

User | 10/10/2017