Travel from home to work, also known as commuting, is generally not a tax-deductible expense. This applies no matter what type of transportation that you use to commute, even if you commute by train so that you may work while commuting. However, there are some types of employee local travel that are fully deductible on your taxes.
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Travel Between Two Jobs
Even though commuting from home to work is not a tax-deductible expense, you can take a deduction for expenses you incur while travelling between two different jobs on the same day. This means that if you have a normal full time job at one location, and you do part-time work for a different employer 15 miles away after your regular job, you may deduct the expenses related to that 15 miles of travel. The mileage to the first job and back home from the second are not deductible.
Travel From a Home Office
If you maintain a home office to do work for your employer, but your employer has its own office at another location, you may deduct the expenses related to commuting from your home office to your employer's office. Your home office must meet the requirements of the IRS for home office deductions for this deduction to apply. This means that the home office is your principal place for doing business, or that you regularly use the home office for management or administrative work and don't do this work elsewhere.
Travel to See Customers or Clients
Travel by car or other means is deductible on your federal income taxes if the travel is to see customers or clients in the course of business. This would include sales calls or customer service visits. Travel to attend business meetings also meets the guidelines for deductible business travel within the same city, or wherever the meeting may be held.
Accounting for the Deductions
You should keep accurate records in order to claim any type of business travel expenses. If you are travelling by mass transit, keep receipts for your tickets. The same is true for taxi fare. When travelling by your own car, keep a logbook showing the beginning and ending mileage, and a description of the reason for the trip. Also, keep track of all of your vehicle expenses, such as maintenance and fuel. You may need to determine the business and personal percentage of vehicle use to claim these expenses, and keeping records will help. Deductible business travel expenses for employees are filed with Form 2106.
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