Car Tax Deductions for Work-at-Home Moms
For moms that opt to take on multiple roles within the household, there is little relief. Not only are you working to bring in a second income (or sometimes even act as the primary breadwinner), but you are also responsible for the upbringing of your children, a monumental task in and of itself. Then there are errands to run, appointments to set, a house to clean, mouths to feed, and so on and so forth. In short, work-at-home moms carry a heavy load. This is not to say that there aren’t rewards to be had, but it can be a lot to juggle. So the last thing you need is to have to pay for the privilege of holding a job. Luckily, if your business is one that demands you use a vehicle from time to time (or on a regular basis) you can find a few ways to write off the expenses related to your work.
Because you are unlikely to own a “work” vehicle, you may be somewhat limited in the scope of automobile-related deductions you can claim on your tax returns. When you split vehicle usage between professional and personal pursuits it can be difficult to keep track of what expenses are associated with your business. However, there are a couple of different methods of calculating these costs for your taxes. The easiest way to track is probably by using the “standard mileage rate” method, by which you simply keep an accounting of the miles you travel while you’re on the clock, so to speak, and multiply the final number for the year by the standard rate, as determined by the IRS. The number changes each year, so you’ll have to check their website or ask your tax prep specialist, but the standard mileage rate is calculated to reflect the cost of gas, maintenance, and other expenses.
You can also use the “actual expenses” method by which you keep track of all expenses associated with the work-related usage of your vehicle. This could include not only the price you pay at the pump, but also loan or lease payments, registration, insurance, tolls and parking fees, maintenance and repairs, and even depreciation. You may be able to claim only a percentage of these costs, however, depending on the amount of usage attributed to your job (versus personal use), and often it’s simply too much trouble to track everything, especially for the busy mom on the go. So while you could get a slightly higher deduction by this method, it may not be worth your time to bother.
In rare cases you could also be eligible to take advantage of write-offs associated with moving or medical expenses, but these can be difficult to claim and they are not related to your business at any rate (unless you run a moving company or medical transport service out of your house). And of course, if you end up donating your car you will qualify for some form of charitable deduction. Although you might not get a lot of money from automotive deductions for your business, you can still enjoy savings for discount online vehicle insurance, not to mention the commute you’re missing (well, you wouldn’t say you miss it!). And every little bit helps when you’re a work-at-home mom supporting your family in every way you can.
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