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Clarification on commute mileage for work and between work sites

I am a home infusion/hospice nurse that works for a major hospital chain. I commute directly from my home to a patient's home, work with them, and then commute to another patient's home, etc.  My work schedule is set so that I see the same patients on the same days during the month. Once in a while, I am asked to fill in for an absent colleague but otherwise my schedule is set. My supplies are mailed to me. Although we have a home office building several cities away, I never go there regularly; I don't have an office there at all. I use my car (and home to store the supplies that I am sent).  In fact, I have only been to the home office building  twice in the last year in order to get a respirator fitting and pick up an award for exemplary job performance.

 

I have been using a tracking app to track mileage, but I only turn it on when commuting between patients' homes, not while I am commuting from my home to their home or on the return trip.  I want to use these "in-between" miles for a job commute deduction. Can I do this?  Anything that I am missing?

 

Overall, I can put 100 miles on my car a day, and I work 7 days a week.

 

I also keep all of my receipts for gasoline, oil, car maintenance, car rental (while my car was being repaired), etc.

 

Note: I filed an extension to my taxes because I was unsure about how to handle these miles.

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4 Replies
Vanessa A
Expert Alumni

Clarification on commute mileage for work and between work sites

It depends.    If you are a W-2 employee, then employee related job expenses, including travel expenses, are not deductible.  If the hospital pays you mileage, that would not be included on your W-2 so you would already be reimbursed for these expenses.  

 

If you are not an employee and get a 1099-NEC, then yes, you would then be able to deduct your travel expenses to and from clients homes. 

 

If you are receiving a 1099, then you would be considered self-employed. 

 

To enter your self-employment income click the following:

  1. Federal
  2. Income and Expenses
  3. Show More next to Self-Employment
  4. Start next to Self-Employment
  5. Yes, to you have any self-employment income or expenses
  6. Enter the type of self-employment work you do and you can select that you use your name for your business
  7. Click through a few more screens and you will get to a screen that says "Your XX info"
  8. Click Looks good
  9. Then you will come to a screen that says Let's enter the income for your business.  It will give you the option of 1099-NEC or Other self-employed income including the 1099K , cash and checks.  Here is where you will enter your 1099
  10. If you do not select one, it will not let you enter your income
  11. Enter your self-employment income on the next screen
  12. Continue and on the next screen click add expenses to enter your vehicle expenses or use the standard mileage rate. 

 

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Clarification on commute mileage for work and between work sites

If you are a W-2 employee, nothing is deductible.  You may want to discuss your situation with your employer.

 

If you are self-employed as an independent contractor and file a schedule C, the definition of commuting, regular place of work, and what mileage is deductible, are covered in IRS Publication 463 in chapter 4.

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p463.pdf

 

You can use the standard mileage method or the exact expense method, but not both.  The standard mileage method is more advantageous for most taxpayers. 

Clarification on commute mileage for work and between work sites

Thanks for this clarification. I am a W-2 employee. But for some reason, TurboTax asked me to enter a vehicle summary, to enter mileage, etc. Now TurboTax is asking me, "Did you document any of the work miles you drove for this job in 2023?"

 

My answer is "yes" becase I use app on my phone and a paper log to keep track of miles.

 

So, if I am not eligible to deduct mileage (and it seems that way), then how did I get to this point in TurboTax?

Do I just leave everything blank or enter zero?

 

Clarification on commute mileage for work and between work sites

Turbotax will allow you to enter the deduction because some states still allow this type of itemized deduction (depending on certain other limits and conditions). But there won't be a deduction calculated on your federal return. 

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