Should I Claim Mileage or Actual Car Expenses on Taxes?

Tax write-offs let you claim work related expenses as business expenses. Claiming expenses allow you to pay much less in taxes. For an overview on taxes as a scooter charger read our overview guide. 

This article breaks down two methods of deducting car related expenses: standard miles which gives you 54.5 cents for each mile driven and actual expenses which match your car related purchases.

As a scooter charger, car expenses will be a huge source of your tax write offs. Here we will break down if you should use the standard mileage deduction or itemize your actual expenses.

In this guide, we’ll review the numbers for which method you should use depending on how much you drive and other common variables.

So what’s best for me?

There’s no one right answer for everyone, but there is one right answer for you! Let’s start by outlining four examples different of driving behavior and vehicle information.

Case 1: Typical drivers may want to use actual expenses

Let’s say you drive about 10,000 miles per year, half of that for work. On an average week, that’s about 200 miles, or 5-10 hours of driving.

Car expenses deduction.

That’s a pretty big difference! With the actual expense method, you’ll be claiming an additional $655 in tax write offs which is about $200 saved at tax time (assuming 30% effective tax rate).

Case 2: Heavy drivers should use standard mileage method.

Heavy drivers may want to use miles.

In this case, the standard mileage method is be better, and would net an additional $250 saved at tax time (assuming 30% effective tax rate).

Bottom line: if you drive a lot for work, track miles. If you don’t, track receipts (or use Keeper!)

Tax preparation is a funny thing – we hate it and want to spend as little time on it as possible, and yet small things can add up to thousands of dollars in savings.

If you had a particularly tough year with a lot of car repairs, it might make sense to use the actual car expense method even if you drove for work a lot. If you drive a super efficient Prius and have kept great mileage logs, it might make sense for you to claim mileage. It might be boring, but it’s ultimately hundreds of dollars in your pocket!

Haven’t been tracking receipts? Keeper does it for you.

Keeper monitors your purchases for tax write offs, without you needing to do anything. It’s like having a personal bookkeeper!

Scooter Map users get 20% off of Keeper. Learn more here.

Disclosure: We have an affiliate partnership with Keeper and they helped us write this article. But we highlight their product because we use it ourselves!

Disclaimer: The information contained in this Guide is not offered as legal or tax advice.  The U.S. federal income tax discussion included in this Guide is for general information purposes only and is not a complete analysis or discussion of all potential tax consequences that may be relevant to a particular individual. In light of the foregoing, each individual should consult with and seek advice from such individual’s own tax advisor with respect to the tax consequences discussed herein.  Any information contained in this Guide is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for purposes of avoiding penalties imposed under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. 

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