In this Ask The Tax Expert, we tackle a common question: Can I deduct drives if I make business calls during them? Let’s dive into this.

Download MileIQ to start tracking your miles »

If I take a business call, does that make the drive deductible?

Q. I often have business calls on my cell phone while driving to the office from home or from the office to my house. Does this make commuting deductible?

You can’t deduct drives because you took a business call

A. No, taking a business call while driving does not make commuting deductible. When you drive from home to your regular office, you are commuting. Commuting is never deductible.

The IRS says that commuting is a personal expense that is never deductible. It doesn’t matter how far your home may be from the office.

Download MileIQ to start tracking your miles »

Can other things turn my commute into a deductible drive?

It’s very hard to turn a commute into a deductible drive. Listening to business tapes and putting advertisings on your car won’t turn drives into a deductible business trip.

Even if a trip from home to your office or other regular work location has a business purpose—for example, to haul tools or supplies to your office or other work location—it is still considered commuting and is not deductible.

What are the exceptions to the commuting rule?

There are exceptions to the commuting rule that small-business owners should be aware of. Having an office in your home that qualifies as a principal place of business can get around the commuting rule.

Download MileIQ to start tracking your miles »

Stephen Fishman

Stephen Fishman

Stephen Fishman is a self-employed tax expert and regular contributor to MileIQ. He has dedicated his career as an attorney and author to writing useful, authoritative and recognized guides on taxes and business law for entrepreneurs, independent contractors, freelancers and other self-employed people. He is the author of over 20 books and hundreds of articles, and has been quoted in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and many other publications. Visit Fishman Law and Tax Files for more information on his work.
Stephen Fishman