Deductions for auto expenses

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Updated: 1/10/2008 8:29 am
If you own or lease your car and use it for business, you have the choice of either deducting the actual operating costs, such as gas, repairs, license tags, and depreciation, or you can take the flat IRS allowance. The flat IRS allowance for business mileage is 48.5 cents per mile. If you decide to use the standard mileage rate, you won't be allowed to deduct your actual car expenses. But the rules governing this area of taxes are very complicated. For example, those who are self-employed can deduct all business expenses. But employees are subject to the so-called '2-percent floor'--the deduction doesn't start until the expenses are greater than 2 percent of the adjusted gross income. Also, if you use your car for both business and pleasure, only the percentage allocated to business can be deducted. Other deductions you can take include the use of your car for medical, moving, or charitable reasons. The standard deduction allowed for medical reasons or for moving expenses is 20 cents per mile. If you used your car to provide charitable services, you are allowed to deduct 14 cents a mile. In all cases, record-keeping requirements are very specific. These tips are provided to give you general information about your taxes. If you have specific questions, please consult a tax advisor or call the toll-free number for Federal Tax Information and Assistance at 1-800-829-1040.

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