My question is how to write down miles Personal versus Business, in relation to this circumstance.

  • I finish work at location A.(work related)
  • I drive toward Location B.(work related)to do a job. Point A. to Point B. is on one road Hwy 12. North to South.
  • On the way to Location B. following hwy 12 to the South I see my gas is low. The nearest Gas station is 2 miles away location C.
  • I turn off Hwy 12 location D. and turn east onto Bob lane and follow it 2 miles to Location C. to get gas.
  • After gassing up at Location C. I realize by looking at GPS I can take another road by the gas station named Chery Lane from Location C. to Location B. by going Southwest and get to my job.
  • In order to get credit for my business miles however do I return to Hwy 12 location D. where Bob lane connects to hwy 12 and continue where I left off when I first was traveling from Point A. to Point B. to get those miles or can I count Point C. to Point B. as business miles?

I wanted to say point D. to C. is Personal miles.

But unsure how the rest works out if I have a side trip and how to get it all worked out. And if I wasn't getting gas what if I wanted to visit a friend 2 miles out on bob lane by Gas station before going to a job afterward?

  • Are you asking about deducting miles for your own business, or getting reimbursed for miles by your employer?
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 0:09
  • I think all of that is business miles. AFAIK there is no rule that says you must take the shortest route between business locations. (And I often didn't, as going by freeway was quicker, even though a couple of miles longer.)
    – jamesqf
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 4:16
  • deducting miles for my own business.
    – Andrew
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 22:46

2 Answers 2


I use google maps and other similar tools to calculate the distance from location A to location B. That is what I charge. That is the miles I had to drive that are business related.

Now if the distance from A to B is large, lets say 100+ miles, then I might decide that the side trip to get gas is also business miles, because the business trip is causing me to get gas days before I would have needed to buy gas. I make the route decision to either minimizes distance or time if those are business miles.

In all cases miles spent visiting a friend or unrelated to business I consider non-business miles.

  • I get what your are saying about not going to a friend and counting that as mileage. And I can see how say getting gas could be part of your business venture because gas is a must. but what if after I did Job A. I realized I had extra time to kill before job B. So I wanted to go to a store for lunch or get a unrelated to business item in between jobs at point C. How would you calculate business miles from A. to B (after) the side trip? Or would my mileages be null and void between( A. and B.) if I decide to take a (side trip C.) and afterward head for Job B. from C point.
    – Andrew
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 22:57
  • Or could I just count Mileage from Point A. to where I turned off to point C. and not counted mileage from turn off to side trip C point.. And then count Mileage afterward for business for myself from side trip C point to B. point.
    – Andrew
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 23:14

You are travelling from A to B for business. It is unreasonable to expect you to do so without gas. Therefore, a slightly longer route that includes a gas station is a reasonable route from A to B, which makes the whole trip a valid business expense.

  • 1
    +1 Exactly this. "Reasonable." Some fill-ups could occur during business trips, some not. The business mileage need not always be exactly the same route and distance, even if the starting and ending points are the same. Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 3:10

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