cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Highlighted
Level 1

What can an UBER driver deduct?

AS an UBER driver what can you deduct as expenses? Can you deduct your cell phone, water and gum you buy for people, clothes to wear when driving?Vehicle Maintenance, Washing of the car, insurance for the car? car payment? What are some things I should probably keep track of for my taxes next year?


1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
Level 1

What can an UBER driver deduct?

While the above is a very thorough answer, it is a bit much for what an Uber Driver needs to know. So here’s the skinny…

 

You would be at a gross disadvantage if you chose to deduct your actual car maintenance expenses as indicated in the long post above. Uber drivers are better off (almost always) if the deduct the standard mileage rate. You can include detailing (cleaning) and car washes as added vehicle expenses. However if you use the standard mileage rate for a year, you cannot deduct your actual car expenses for that year. You cannot deduct depreciation, lease payments, maintenance and repairs, gasoline (including gasoline taxes), oil, insurance, or vehicle registration fees.

 

 You can deduct the rental fee for an Uber phone but if you use your personal phone that’s a bit touchier… it would depend on the amount used for Uber vs your personal use.  Water and gum you purchase for passengers yes, they are deductible as supplies.

 

Another thing Uber drivers need to be aware of is that the 1099-K (and 1099-MISC) you receive shows the total amount that Uber collected for your rides; it does not have their fees, commissions, safe rider fees or phone rental payments taken out. You need to deduct those as part of your business expenses along with the mileage you drove. If you didn't keep track of the mileage or the amounts Uber withheld (commissions etc) look on the 2014 Tax Information link on the payments page of your Uber driver account. There is a summary sheet linked at the bottom and it shows the fees they took out as well as the mileage for the trips (your mileage may actually be more as you drove around waiting for a hit.)

 

You will enter most of these expenses under Other Common Expenses on the business income and expenses page in TurboTax. When entering things look for the blue hyperlinks with tell me more. If you get really stuck, contact the TurboTax folks and they’ll walk you thru it.

 

For tracking your expenses for 2015, I suggest taking advantage of the free version of Quickbooks Self-Employment. You’ll find the link for this on the tax information page. The tax information page link you’ll find at the upper left of the Payments Page.

 

38 Replies
Level 1

What can an UBER driver deduct?

While the above is a very thorough answer, it is a bit much for what an Uber Driver needs to know. So here’s the skinny…

 

You would be at a gross disadvantage if you chose to deduct your actual car maintenance expenses as indicated in the long post above. Uber drivers are better off (almost always) if the deduct the standard mileage rate. You can include detailing (cleaning) and car washes as added vehicle expenses. However if you use the standard mileage rate for a year, you cannot deduct your actual car expenses for that year. You cannot deduct depreciation, lease payments, maintenance and repairs, gasoline (including gasoline taxes), oil, insurance, or vehicle registration fees.

 

 You can deduct the rental fee for an Uber phone but if you use your personal phone that’s a bit touchier… it would depend on the amount used for Uber vs your personal use.  Water and gum you purchase for passengers yes, they are deductible as supplies.

 

Another thing Uber drivers need to be aware of is that the 1099-K (and 1099-MISC) you receive shows the total amount that Uber collected for your rides; it does not have their fees, commissions, safe rider fees or phone rental payments taken out. You need to deduct those as part of your business expenses along with the mileage you drove. If you didn't keep track of the mileage or the amounts Uber withheld (commissions etc) look on the 2014 Tax Information link on the payments page of your Uber driver account. There is a summary sheet linked at the bottom and it shows the fees they took out as well as the mileage for the trips (your mileage may actually be more as you drove around waiting for a hit.)

 

You will enter most of these expenses under Other Common Expenses on the business income and expenses page in TurboTax. When entering things look for the blue hyperlinks with tell me more. If you get really stuck, contact the TurboTax folks and they’ll walk you thru it.

 

For tracking your expenses for 2015, I suggest taking advantage of the free version of Quickbooks Self-Employment. You’ll find the link for this on the tax information page. The tax information page link you’ll find at the upper left of the Payments Page.

 

Level 1

What can an UBER driver deduct?

Is an uber driver allowed to deduct the mileage used for driving to and from the riders' locations?
Level 1

What can an UBER driver deduct?

Yes. You can deduct mileage from the second you go available until you're done. The only mileage that you can't deduct is if you were available and giving rides, stopped for a couple of hours for personal stuff and then started again. You couldn't claim the miles you drove during the personal time when you weren't in available status.
Level 16
Level 12

What can an UBER driver deduct?

The trip from your home to the first pick-up, and from the last drop-off to your home, is quite questionable if it is deductible.  Generally, unless you have a qualified home office, that driving is not deductible because it is "commuting".  However, driving for Uber is a bit of a gray area when the first 'business location' starts.
Level 1

What can an UBER driver deduct?

If you don't go available right away, then yes, it's commuting. However if you go available the minute you're out of your driveway and are off to get the rider, then those are deductible miles. Otherwise you'd only deduct the actual miles Uber tracks and not your miles from rider A dropoff to rider B pickup and that's just not the way it works. From the time you go available until you are no longer available... those are business miles. There are some drivers that drive to a better area before "clocking in" and going available and in that instance, yes, those are commuting miles and not deductible.
Level 12

What can an UBER driver deduct?

I agree that the Rider A drop-off to Rider B pick-up is deductible, but I still think the trip to and from your home is questionable.  The IRS clearly says that merely doing business at home (such as logging into Uber) does not make it a business location for deductible miles.

The tricky part with Uber is to define where the 'business location' starts.  The first pick-up or the arrival to a 'busy area' would definitely be a 'business location', but just logging into Uber from home would not necessarily make it a business location (unless your home qualifies as your "Principal Place of Business").
Level 1

What can an UBER driver deduct?

TaxGuyBill,
I have several clients that are Uber drivers and have discussed with them at length how they operate. The home office designation has nothing to do with the start point. The drivers nearly always travel around trying to get to a call and their starting point can be home or a sandwich shop where they stopped to eat. If they are available to get a call, then the miles are deductible no matter where they start. As I said previously, the exception would be when they drive to a nearby city for their starting point. My clients that do drive to another location before going available on the driver app know that they can't deduct miles if they aren't in available status which includes once they are no longer available and traveling home.
Level 12

What can an UBER driver deduct?

I would love it if that were right.  However, can you show me anything that supports your thoughts?

To me, Revenue Rule 99-7 says it is not deductible (start on the VERY bottom of page 5 for the "holding"):
<a href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rr-99-7.pdf#page=5" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rr-99-7.pdf#page=5</a>

The 1993 "Walker" Tax Court case had supported your thoughts, but the IRS immediately came out with Revenue Rule 94-47 (and several follow-up Rules, including 99-7) to redefine the rules and say they will NOT be following the Walker decision.