Can I write-off my car, truck or SUV as a business
If you're self-employed and use your vehicle in your business, you
can probably deduct the business portion of your vehicle expenses on your business tax return. But this deduction
is trickier than most people realize.
The big thing that goofs many people up, you need substantiation to prove your business
use. Ideally, in fact, the Internal Revenue Service wants you to keep a log of your business miles, your commuting
miles, and your personal miles. With this information, you can then either deduct an amount equal to the business
miles times a standard per-mile rate of roughly $0.60 or you can deduct the percentage of your vehicle expenses
equal to the percentage that your business miles represent. For example, if your business use equals 5,000 miles,
personal use equals 3000, and commuting equals 2000 miles, your total miles for the year equal 10,000. Business
miles as a percentage of total miles equal 50% because 5,000 divided by 10,000 equals .5 or 50%.
If you don't have exact records, you can sometimes use good sampling. For example, if you
keep a good appointment calendar of your business activities, one popular tax reference suggests that you can look
at the total business, personal and commuting miles driven during one week each month. Then, you can average this
data to get good weekly estimates of your business, personal, and commuting miles. Finally, you can multiple these
weekly estimates by 52 (the number of weeks in a year) to get reasonable estimates of your business, personal and
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