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joseph-d-bachman
New Member

I claimed mileage on my tax return that equaled up to $3,780, yet my refund has stayed the same. What gives?

 
1 Reply
MichaelDC
New Member

I claimed mileage on my tax return that equaled up to $3,780, yet my refund has stayed the same. What gives?

The miles you drive for your job do qualify. Unfortunately, there can be any number of reasons it doesn't show up on your Schedule A (Itemized Deductions) or affect your bottom line.

One common reason is that your total itemized deductions (Property Tax, Mortgage Interest, Charitable Donations and State Income Tax) don't add up to more than the standard deduction for your filing status. More info about your situation would be needed to know for sure. You can see that standard deductions below.

Simply using 10,000 miles at the standard mileage rate of .54/miles (2016) would equal a $5,400 deduction. Unfortunately, you must reduce this (combined with other employment expenses such as cell phone, office supplies, etc.) by 2% of your AGI (Line 37, 1040). With a $50,000 income, you would have to take $1,000 (50,000 x 2%) off of the $5,400, leaving you with $4,400 This can seriously reduce your deduction depending on your AGI.

In this example, you would be better off with a $6,300 standard deduction (Single), than $4,400 itemized. Understand that there are more itemized deductions that you're allowed, but this is a simple example showing how sometimes in doesn't help.

Here are the standard deduction amounts for 2016. (Your itemized deductions need to exceed this number in order for them to help you and trigger a Schedule A on your return.)

Filing Status Standard Deduction

Single $6,300   

Married Filing Jointly $12,600

Married Filing Separately $6,300

Head of Household $9,300

Qualifying Widow(er) $12,600


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