I have a home-based business. If during the 2014 tax year I drove a car:
- C miles for car-maintenance errands,
- B miles for business errands, and
- P miles for personal errands,
if the total miles driven is
C + B + P, how do I calculate the business miles driven when deducting via the actual expense method?
Please include evidence for your answer that is specific to the problem of car-maintenance miles.
Please note: I am NOT deducting $.56/mile! A couple people have assumed this already. The actual expense method means my deduction does not depend on the total miles I drove for business but on the percent of the miles I drove for business. But I still have to provide the totals.
Examples of car-maintenance errands:
- Driving a new car home from the dealership
- Driving to fill up at a gas station
- Driving to the mechanic
- Driving to the auto-parts store
I think my options are:
consider the maintenance driving as the same percent for business as the non-maintenance driving:
business = B + [C * B / (B + P)].
- This makes sense to me the most, because these miles are driven for both business and personal reasons (as the car is used for both), and the IRS's usual approach to mixed-use items is to multiply them by the percent business use.
(removed based on comments)
treat maintenance miles as business miles (because the car is necessary for business):
business = B + C
treat maintenance miles as personal miles (because they are not solely for business):
business = B
If I use the car mostly for business, count maintenance miles as business miles; otherwise, count maintenance miles as personal miles:
business = B + C if [B/(B+P)]>0.5 else business = B
My common sense tells me to use #1 or #5, but taxes are not always common sense. I am looking for actual evidence from a reliable source for or against any of these options.