How do I claim mileage when my job requires lots of it?

How do I claim mileage when my job requires lots of it?

I am a civil process server. My job is literally to drive to people houses to serve papers to them. Foreclosure, divroce, other subponeas and summons to court for a private company. I am however not an "-employee"- of that company, but work as a subcontractor. How do I go about making sure my mileage is accounted for when filing my federal taxes?

Bostonian

You are self-employed. You claim your income and expenses on Schedule C or C-EZ. If the total for the year is $400 or more, attach Schedule SE to calculate the Self-Employment tax. (And don't forget to make your quarterly estimated payments using Form 1040-ES!)For your auto expenses, you may proceed one of 2 ways:1. You may either use the standard mileage rate (50.5? per mile from Jan 1 to June 30 and 58.5? per mile from July 1 onwards).2. Or you may use the actual costs for operating your vehicle and apportion them between business and personal use.Either way, you MUST keep a written log of all business miles driven. The log entries must be made at the time you drive the miles or very shortly thereafter. Since your place of business is your home you may deduct all business miles- you don't have any commuting miles in your case.If you choose to use the actual cost method, keep track of ALL expenditures for fuel, oil, maintenance and repairs, insurance, depreciation, etc. Then apportion the total cost between business and personal use. For example, if you drove 20,000 miles in the year and 10,000 were business miles, you'd deduct half of the total cost of operating your vehicle.You may choose either method. And, you may switch between methods from one year to the next ONLY if you use the Straight Line method of depreciation for the years that you use the actual cost method. If you use any method of accelerated depreciation you may only use the actual cost method for as long as you own the vehicle.You may also add the actual cost of business tolls and parking to whichever method you use. If you use the standard mileage rate, you may not add any other costs except for business tolls and parking.

Judy

Since you aren't an employee, you'll be filling out a schedule C or C-EZ. Keep a log on all of your mileage, and split it as to how much is personal, how much is commuting (home to your first jobsite of the day, then back home from the last), and how much is business miles (all of the driving in between sites). You can deduct either the proportion of your total auto expenses that is the % of business miles of your total miles, or deduct a flat rate that's currently 58.5 cents per mile, on your schedule C or C-EZ.

Bubbles

I would have a sheet in my car that every time i enter the car with papers, write down the date, time, mileage, the place you started and the place you are going. Once you get to the place, if you are headed back to the office, record that the same way, but if you are headed home, i wouldn't record it.I do this with children being in my car, if i write it down every time I go out, i don't have that much to do at the end of the month. OH, and make sure you have a total miles slot. Its best to do it on a spread sheet.....i think

DJ

You will need to keep accurate records of your mileage.got to www.irs. gov and look for these publications.The instructions for Schedule C on the 1040 formPublication 463 Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses.Publication 505 Tax Withholding and Estimate TaxPublication 583 Starting a Business and Keeping RecordsPublication 587 Business Use of your Home

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