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1. Can I write off gas and mileage when traveling for work? 

2. When tracking milage for self employment, should it only be to and from my home address? I mostly work remotely, but I also do site visits. If I live in Central CA, but was remotely working in Northern CA and had a 5 hour drive to get to work in Southern CA instead of a 2 hour drive from my home address. How do I accurately track the milage.


3 Replies
Employee Tax Expert


Hi @Shannon Beasley, thanks for your question.  You can claim mileage for traveling to your self-employment work, but not for a position that you hold as an employee where you are simply routinely traveling to the office.  In the case of self-employment, the mileage does not necessarily have to be only to and from home, but between whatever destinations that you are using to perform the self employment work.  Here is more information on what the IRS deems acceptable for mileage for work purposes: https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/self-employment-taxes/driving-down-taxes-auto-related-tax-deduc...


Hope this helps!


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Employee Tax Expert


Hi there:


If you are a W2 employee, unfortunately there is no longer an automobile mileage deduction. I mention it because it appears you live in Central CA, but was remotely working in Northern CA, which seems like an employer/employee relationship.  


If you are self employed, then yes you can deduct automobile mileage from your place of work, which should be your home since you're not an employee. A typical business trip would be from your home (place of work) to your business destination and back. Also, Our sister company Quickbooks Online offers a great mileage tracking app.

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Employee Tax Expert


Hello and thank you for your questions


1.  You can either write off gas or Mileage.  You can not do both.  The IRS allows you to choose from Standard Mileage and Actual Expenses.  If you choose the standard mileage than you can not switch to Actual Expenses.  You have to stay with either/or for the life of the vehicle(meaning the use of the vehicle). The gasoline falls into Actual Expenses.  You can find a more detail information at https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/business-expenses/help/can-i-switch-between-the-standard-mileage-r...


2.  The miles that you can deduct are the business miles.  Personal miles are not deductible.  If you have a home office expense, meaning you work out of your home and meet with customers at your home, and then drive to a site than those are business miles.  If you are in a business site and drive to a different business site, those are business miles.  The way you track the miles is you take the beginning miles from your odometer and when you get to the other site you take the ending miles from your odometer.  You need to write the address of location where you started and the address of your destination.  You are going to need to write the business purpose too.  In case of an audit you will be good. 


You can find more information at Topic No511, Business Travel Expenses - https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc511


I hope this answered your questions.  Thank you so much and have a wonderful evening

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