Standard Mileage Rate

The IRS lets you deduct automobile expenses when your vehicle is used for business, charitable, and medical / moving reasons. Expenses can either be deducted on either an "actual expense" basis, or you can use the Standard Mileage Rate on a mileage basis where you can deduct a certain amount of money per mile.

Medical mileage includes mileage primarily for transportation to and from medical care such as doctor visits for yourself or with a child who needs medical care, trips to pick up prescription drugs, trips to another city for medical reasons - if the trip is primarily for that reason.

If you use the Standard Mileage Rate, you can deduct a certain amount of money per mile traveled. To use the Standard Mileage Rate, you must use it in the first year you use the vehicle for business use. To use the Standard Mileage Rate on a leased vehicle, you must use it for the entire lease period.

See our IRS Mileage rate table.

You can not use the Standard Mileage Rate if you:
  • Use the car for hire (such as a taxi).
  • Use five or more cars at the same time (as in fleet operations).
  • Claimed a section 179 deduction on the car (current expense instead of taking depreciation over years).
  • Claimed the Special Depreciation Allowance on the car.
  • Claimed actual car expenses after 1997 for a car you leased.
  • Are a rural mail carrier who received a qualified reimbursement.

Alternately, instead of using the Standard Mileage Rate, you can deduct your actual expenses, you can deduct the cost of depreciation, garage rent, gas, insurance, lease payments, licenses, oil, parking fees, registration, repairs, tires, and tolls.

If you use your vehicle for both business and personal purposes, you must divide your expenses between business and personal use, based on the miles driven for each purpose. You may still be able to deduct business related parking fees, tolls, interest on your car loan, and certain state and local taxes.

Be sure to look at our free printable business mileage log form.

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