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moore-leonardj
New Member

I am a independent contractor and use my personal vehicle to perform the work but have not created a business I own to perform the work under, can I deduct car mileage?

I do work part time for We Go Look and received a 1099-misc for that work.  I have not set up a business I own to do the contracting work under.  I use my personal car for the work.  In the business section of turbotax to claim business vehicle deductions it asks for my business profile information but I don't have a business.  Can I still deduct the mileage?
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Patrice
New Member

I am a independent contractor and use my personal vehicle to perform the work but have not created a business I own to perform the work under, can I deduct car mileage?

Yes, you can deduct the mileage.   As an independent contractor (received a 1099-MISC) you are considered self employed by the IRS. Because you received a 1099-MISC, you are considered a "business" owner. 

In TurboTax, when asked to fill out your business profile, you would enter your name as the "business" name and your physical address as the "business" address.  Then you would answer the additional questions in the business profile that apply.  You are not required to have an EIN since you don't have employees and in most cases your accounting method would be the "cash" method.  

After entering the business profile info, then you will have the opportunity to enter in your business income (income from your 1099-MISC) and your business expenses (including vehicle expenses-mileage)

You have the choice of two methods, to claim vehicle expenses. The first option is mileage. You can deduct the miles driven for business. The other option is claiming all your actual expenses such as gas, tires, interest, etc.

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DMarkM1
Employee Tax Expert

I am a independent contractor and use my personal vehicle to perform the work but have not created a business I own to perform the work under, can I deduct car mileage?

You are correct; you are a business owner and your place of business is not your home.  The miles to/from your home and place of business are commuting miles and not deductible.  Here is link with some helpful information on the subject.

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28 Replies
Patrice
New Member

I am a independent contractor and use my personal vehicle to perform the work but have not created a business I own to perform the work under, can I deduct car mileage?

Yes, you can deduct the mileage.   As an independent contractor (received a 1099-MISC) you are considered self employed by the IRS. Because you received a 1099-MISC, you are considered a "business" owner. 

In TurboTax, when asked to fill out your business profile, you would enter your name as the "business" name and your physical address as the "business" address.  Then you would answer the additional questions in the business profile that apply.  You are not required to have an EIN since you don't have employees and in most cases your accounting method would be the "cash" method.  

After entering the business profile info, then you will have the opportunity to enter in your business income (income from your 1099-MISC) and your business expenses (including vehicle expenses-mileage)

You have the choice of two methods, to claim vehicle expenses. The first option is mileage. You can deduct the miles driven for business. The other option is claiming all your actual expenses such as gas, tires, interest, etc.

View solution in original post

jen2massage
New Member

I am a independent contractor and use my personal vehicle to perform the work but have not created a business I own to perform the work under, can I deduct car mileage?

I'd like to add to the original question. I am an independent contractor, but I work out of one place. I drive from home, to my place of work, and back again. Is mileage still deductible in this case? 

AlanT222
Expert Alumni

I am a independent contractor and use my personal vehicle to perform the work but have not created a business I own to perform the work under, can I deduct car mileage?

Yes, you can deduct mileage because you are an independent contractor and your primary place of business is your home.  Since your home is your primary place of business, going to and from the worksite would not be considered commuting miles.  

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heather96
New Member

I am a independent contractor and use my personal vehicle to perform the work but have not created a business I own to perform the work under, can I deduct car mileage?

@AlanT222 

I am in a similar situation and am looking for clarification regarding deducting mileage. From your post I understand that I can write off the miles driven TO the worksite, but NOT from the worksite back home. Is that correct? 

ReginaM
Expert Alumni

I am a independent contractor and use my personal vehicle to perform the work but have not created a business I own to perform the work under, can I deduct car mileage?

No, since you are an independent contractor you can deduct the mileage going to and from your home.   

 

In TurboTax, when asked to fill out your business profile, you would enter your name as the business name and your physical address as the business address.  You would answer the additional questions in the business profile that apply.  You are not required to have an EIN since you don't have employees and in most cases your accounting method would be the "cash" method.  

 

After entering the business profile info, then you will have the opportunity to enter in your business income (income from your 1099-MISC) and your business expenses (including vehicle expenses-mileage).

 

You have the choice of two methods, to claim vehicle expenses. The first option is mileage. You can deduct the miles driven for business. The other option is claiming all your actual expenses such as gas, tires, interest, office supplies.

 

Please find IRS Publication 334  for more information on what you can claim as an expense.

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JohnBell1953
Level 1

I am a independent contractor and use my personal vehicle to perform the work but have not created a business I own to perform the work under, can I deduct car mileage?

On Page 32, Publication 334 states: "...Your workplace can be your home if you have an office in your home that qualifies as your principal place of business. For more information, see Business Use of Your Home, later"  This has always confused me (and I'm sure many others).

 

Here is the situation.  I am a sole proprietor in two separate businesses.  I use my personal vehicle and take the standard mileage deduction for both businesses.  For the first business, I do computer support, which includes driving to client's sites and then, usually, home.  For my second business I do Uber/Lyft driving.  For this business I normally go on-line with the Uber driver app from home and go off-line at the end of the day at my home. 

 

My question is: Do I need to have an actual "home office" (area only used for business, etc.) in order to claim my home as my place of business and, therefore, claim my vehicle expenses from and back to my home?

MaryK1101
Employee Tax Expert

I am a independent contractor and use my personal vehicle to perform the work but have not created a business I own to perform the work under, can I deduct car mileage?

No you do not need an actual "home office".  Transportation expenses include the ordinary and necessary costs of all of the following.

  • Getting from one workplace to another in the course of your business or profession when you are traveling within the city or general area that is your tax home.

  • Visiting clients or customers.

  • Going to a business meeting away from your regular workplace.

  • Getting from your home to a temporary workplace when you have one or more regular places of work. These temporary workplaces can be either within the area of your tax home or outside that area.

  (IRS Pub 463 Tranportation)

 

@JohnBell1953

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tiki57
Returning Member

I am a independent contractor and use my personal vehicle to perform the work but have not created a business I own to perform the work under, can I deduct car mileage?

What if I have a home office, and while traveling to meet a client, I drop my child off at a babysitter's... when do I start/stop tracking miles? Leaving my home and returning back home,  or leaving the sitter's to the meeting and back to the sitter's?

DMarkM1
Employee Tax Expert

I am a independent contractor and use my personal vehicle to perform the work but have not created a business I own to perform the work under, can I deduct car mileage?

You just need miles between your home office and the destination. One way to do this is to look up the distance from home office to the client location and use that mileage.  That way you just don't count the detour (personal miles).  A log page can look like:

 

Date         Departure         Destination        Business Miles          Business reason

 

If you leave one client and go to another, do the same, look up the distance.  This way it really doesn't matter what you do in between.  When figuring business miles at year end, you just need the beginning and ending mileage from the odometer and the total business miles column from the log.             

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jen2massage
New Member

I am a independent contractor and use my personal vehicle to perform the work but have not created a business I own to perform the work under, can I deduct car mileage?

Ok. When I hear “primary place of business” I think of where I’m actually making my income, which is at my place of work (which isn’t my home). I don’t travel from site to site. 

So, when deducting this mileage, do I deduct round trip or one way? 

DMarkM1
Employee Tax Expert

I am a independent contractor and use my personal vehicle to perform the work but have not created a business I own to perform the work under, can I deduct car mileage?

You are correct; you are a business owner and your place of business is not your home.  The miles to/from your home and place of business are commuting miles and not deductible.  Here is link with some helpful information on the subject.

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jen2massage
New Member

I am a independent contractor and use my personal vehicle to perform the work but have not created a business I own to perform the work under, can I deduct car mileage?

That’s what I thought. Thank you for the confirmation. It’s so confusing when one tax expert says yes and another says no. I just want to make sure I’m doing this right and not setting up any red flags. 
Thanks again 

bjhines
Level 2

I am a independent contractor and use my personal vehicle to perform the work but have not created a business I own to perform the work under, can I deduct car mileage?

I'm really confused about commuting versus business miles. It's my understanding that commuting mileage is not deductible and business mileage is. If I'm wrong in this understanding please correct me on the terminology because if you say commuting I will assume it is not deductible and if you say business I will assume it is deductible.

 

My husband is an independent contractor and received a 1099-MISC. It is from a lawn care service so the business conducted includes multiple job sites per day. Does he include mileage from home to the first job site of the day and mileage from the last job site of the day to home as business mileage or commuting mileage? I know the mileage from one job site to another is business mileage and is deductible but I'm confused about whether the trip from home to the first and from the last to home is deductible or not since he doesn't actually own this business.

 

He also has his own construction business that he does own himself. It is a registered business in our state. The business structure is an LLC, not that that particularly pertains to this question but just in case. The business office is our home and we do claim the simplified deduction for home office. The jobs are usually full day jobs so he will only travel to and from one temporary job site in a day. In this case, would his mileage from home to the job site and back home be business or commuting mileage?

WKins2
Expert Alumni

I am a independent contractor and use my personal vehicle to perform the work but have not created a business I own to perform the work under, can I deduct car mileage?

Here are the answers to your questions:

 

For the lawn care business:

 

You would only deduct the miles to the house to the first job and from the last job home only if the office of the business is located in the home. If the business is run out of the home, and there is a home office you would deduct those as business miles.

 

For the construction business:

 

You have two options for deducting the home office:

 

1. You can take the actual expenses (home mortgage, interest, electricity, gas, etc) and claim the percentage that applies to the office (if you office is 10% if the home, you get to deduct 10% of the expenses).

 

2. You can take the simplified method which is a set formula the IRS determines based on the square footage of your office. 

 

To read more about home office deductions click here: https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/credits-and-deductions/help/can-i-take-the-home-office-deduction/0...

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