In this installment of Ask The Tax Expert, we go over when an employee can claim a mileage deduction when on the job.
Can Employees Deduct Mileage?
Q. My employer has recently made me in charge of our mail. Our business uses a post office box address only, so I have to go to/from the post office to retrieve the mail. Can I claim the mileage deduction on my taxes?
A. During 2017 and earlier, you could deduct the mileage expenses you incurred driving from your office to the Post Office and back to your office. However, since you’re an employee, such mileage was deductible only as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on your Schedule A.
Moreover, you could claim such expenses only to the extent they exceeded two percent of your adjusted gross income. Unfortunately, starting in 2018, employees may no longer deduct unreimbursed job expenses, included mileage, from their taxes as a personal itemized deductions.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated such deductions during 2018 through 2025. Consequently, you should ask your employer to reimburse you for your mileage. The costs are deductible by your employer and tax-free to you so long as you keep accurate track of your mileage. Your employer can use the standard mileage rate (54.5 cents per mile in 2018) to calculate your reimbursement.
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