In this installment of Ask the Tax Expert, we cover how sales people can deduct mileage on taxes. See which trips are covered and how to write off your drives for sales.

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What Drives Can Sales People Deduct?

Q. I’m in sales and drive a lot. Many times I travel to my office then drive to a customer’s place of business to make sales calls. Other times, I go straight from my home to see the customer.

Are my miles from home to the office deductible? Are my miles from home to a customer’s office deductible? Also, are my miles from my last client back to home deductible.

A. If you have a tax deductible home office that you use for your work, you can deduct driving from home to your other office. If you don’t have a home office, you can’t deduct these trips because they would be nondeductible personal commuting.

You also drive from home to customers’ offices. Again, if you have a tax deductible home office, these trips are all deductible. Yet, even if you lack a home office, they may still be deductible. You can deduct travel between your home and a temporary work location for the same business.

A temporary work location is any place where you realistically expect to work less than one year. Such a location can be inside or outside of the metropolitan area where you live.

Yet, if the location is inside your metropolitan area, this exception applies only where you have an outside office or other regular work location away from your home, which you appear to have.

Finally, you can deduct driving from your last sales call back to your home if you have a home office. Otherwise, such trips are nondeductible commuting unless the temporary work location rule applies.

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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

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