Commuting mileage is not a tax-deductible expense. The Internal Revenue Service considers mileage between the employee's home and primary place of business to be commuting miles. This mileage may not be deducted regardless of the method used to travel between these locations. The IRS does not consider mileage from one work location to another work location to be commuting miles, so this mileage may be deductible as an employee business expense. Taxpayers who wish to deduct this mileage may use either the standard mileage deduction or the actual-expenses method. The IRS recommends figuring taxes using both methods and choosing the method that provides the greater tax benefit.
Standard Mileage Deduction
A taxpayer may keep track of the actual miles driven from her first job to her second or subsequent workplaces during the same day. She may not include miles driven from her second or subsequent workplace to her home. The taxpayer determines her deduction by multiplying the total number of deductible miles by the standard mileage rate, which is 51 cents per mile for the 2011 tax year. She must complete IRS Form 2106, Employee Business Expenses, and add her mileage deduction to all other unreimbursed employee business expenses. She then reports the amount on Schedule A of IRS Form 1040. Only the amount of unreimbursed expenses that exceeds two percent of her adjusted gross income is deductible.
Some taxpayers may benefit from using the actual-expenses method of determining their mileage deduction, but the record-keeping requirements for this method are more extensive. The taxpayer must keep records of all expenses for the vehicle for the entire year, including car payments, insurance, fuel, scheduled maintenance and repairs. He must keep a written record of the number of qualifying miles driven between jobs. He then divides the number of qualifying miles by the total number of miles driven during the year to determine the deductible percentage. He multiplies the total amount of car expenses for the year by the deductible percentage. He must complete IRS Form 2106, Employee Business Expenses, and add his actual-expenses deduction to all other unreimbursed employee business expenses, and report the amount on Schedule A of IRS Form 1040. Only the amount of unreimbursed expenses that exceeds two percent of his adjusted gross income is deductible.
A taxpayer who claims a mileage deduction for traveling between a first and second job may only claim expenses that were not reimbursed by her employer. The taxpayer must itemize her deductions on Schedule A of IRS Form 1040 to be able to claim the mileage deduction.