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chantillytax
Level 2

Rental property vehicle expense

I have a rental property. Through out 2017, I drove a total of 87 miles for repairs, showing the house to potential tenants, etc. However, TurboTax wants to know the total miles I drove the vehicle in 2017. I do not have that information, at least not accurately. What do I put in the total miles field? Or, does this mean I cannot claim this expense for my rental property?

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
AnnetteB
Intuit Alumni

Rental property vehicle expense

When you enter vehicle expenses for any purpose (Schedule C, Schedule E, Form 2106) in your tax return, you are asked to enter the number of miles driven for the entire year, the number of miles driven for business purposes, and the number of commuting miles. 

These values are used to determine how much (what percentage) your car was used for business purposes. 

The IRS expects that you will have some records to substantiate the business use of your personal vehicle.  This means that ideally you will have a log book showing your odometer readings at the beginning and end of the year, and your miles driven for business purposes.

If you do not have that information, it does not necessarily mean you cannot claim the expense, but you should be aware that it will be disallowed in the unlikely event that you are audited and asked to provide your documentation. 

That being said, you can do your best to determine the total miles driven during the year by checking your records such as oil changes or service records.  These would show your odometer readings.  You can also estimate your commuting miles by taking the total round trip mileage and multiplying it by the approximate number of days that you worked during the year. 

Claiming an expense for 84 miles driven for business is not a substantial amount, so you would need to decide if it is worth the effort to try to report these other miles as accurately as possible.  However, in the future, keeping some sort of records is recommended. 


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2 Replies
chantillytax
Level 2

Rental property vehicle expense

Also, TT asks me to put commuting miles. I am assuming this is the mileage from my work and back (not the mileage for the rental property). I do not have accurate records of this also. Do I estimate?
AnnetteB
Intuit Alumni

Rental property vehicle expense

When you enter vehicle expenses for any purpose (Schedule C, Schedule E, Form 2106) in your tax return, you are asked to enter the number of miles driven for the entire year, the number of miles driven for business purposes, and the number of commuting miles. 

These values are used to determine how much (what percentage) your car was used for business purposes. 

The IRS expects that you will have some records to substantiate the business use of your personal vehicle.  This means that ideally you will have a log book showing your odometer readings at the beginning and end of the year, and your miles driven for business purposes.

If you do not have that information, it does not necessarily mean you cannot claim the expense, but you should be aware that it will be disallowed in the unlikely event that you are audited and asked to provide your documentation. 

That being said, you can do your best to determine the total miles driven during the year by checking your records such as oil changes or service records.  These would show your odometer readings.  You can also estimate your commuting miles by taking the total round trip mileage and multiplying it by the approximate number of days that you worked during the year. 

Claiming an expense for 84 miles driven for business is not a substantial amount, so you would need to decide if it is worth the effort to try to report these other miles as accurately as possible.  However, in the future, keeping some sort of records is recommended. 


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