How do I enter my Lyft Rental fees information?
Things are a little different when you rent a vehicle instead of driving your own. You can only claim a mileage deduction for a vehicle you own or lease. The Lyft Express Drive program is a short term rental agreement so the miles you drove don’t qualify for the mileage deduction. However, you can deduct some or all of your “Rental fees” and any gas you purchased to drive your rental for Lyft.
You’ll need to adjust the following:
- Your “Driver Mode Miles”
- Your “Rental fees” amount (found under “2016 Earnings” by expanding “Total fees”)
- Your gas expense for your rented vehicle
How you make these adjustments depends on whether you had a mileage fee rental agreement or a flat rate rental agreement. Look at your weekly pay statements with rental fees to determine which agreement(s) you had.
- Mileage fee rental agreements show Rental Vehicle and Rental Tax plus Rental Mileage Lyft and/or Rental Mileage Personal under Rental Details.
- Flat rate rental agreements show only Rental Vehicle and Rental Tax under Rental Details. (Note that all Hertz rentals are flat rate rental agreements.)
If the only vehicle you used when driving for Lyft was an Express Drive rental, you can’t deduct any Driver Mode Miles. Skip to the next section “Adjustment to Rental Fees”.
If you used a Lyft rental and your own personal vehicle when driving for Lyft, you need to remove the miles driven with your Lyft rental from your Driver Mode Miles.
Based on your rental agreement, follow these steps:
- Determine your Rental Mileage for Lyft based on your rental agreement:
- Mileage fee rental agreement: Add up all the miles listed under “Rental Mileage Lyft" from your weekly pay statements.
- Flat rate rental agreement: From your personal records (or a mileage app) determine the miles you drove your rental for Lyft and for personal use.
- Only subtract your total Rental Mileage for Lyft from your Driver Mode Miles. (An adjustment for your personal mileage isn’t needed.)
- Use this “adjusted” Driver Mode Miles when entering your vehicle expense.
You need to adjust the “Rental fees” amount for only your business use of the Express Drive rental. You’ll calculate a Lyft business percentage using the business and personal miles you drove your rental. Based on the rental agreement you had, follow these steps:
- Determine your 2016 Rental Mileage for Lyft and your personal rental mileage based on your rental agreement:
- Mileage fee rental agreement: From your 2016 weekly pay statements, add up all the miles listed under “Rental Mileage Lyft" and also all the miles listed under “Rental Mileage Personal”.
- Flat rate rental agreement: From your personal records (or a mileage app) determine the miles that were for Lyft business and for personal use.
- Add your Lyft business miles and your personal miles to get your total rental miles.
- Divide your Lyft business miles by your total rental miles to get your Lyft business percentage.
- Multiply your Rental fees amount by your Lyft business percentage to get your “adjusted” Rental fee amount.
- Use the “adjusted” Rental fees amount when entering your equipment rental expense.
For example, you had Rental fees of $200. You drove 1,000 miles with your rental with 750 miles for Lyft business and 250 miles for personal use. You would do the following:
750 ÷ 1,000 = 75% Lyft business percentage $200 x 75% = $150 “adjusted” Rental fees
Although you can’t claim the mileage you drove when using an Express Drive rental, you can deduct the percentage of your gas expense used for Lyft business.
- From your personal records determine what you spent on gas when using your Express Drive rental.
- Take your gas expense times your previously calculated Lyft business percentage to get your “adjusted” gas expense.
- Use the “adjusted” gas expense when entering your equipment rental expense.