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Category: Tax Questions

Auto Expenses - Actual Expenses or Standard Mileage

If you use your vehicle for business purposes, you may be able to deduct auto expenses.  You can either claim Standard Mileage or Actual Car Expenses.

 Standard Mileage
  • To see the standard mileage rates click here.
  • If standard mileage is used for a year, you cannot claim any actual expenses for that year (insurance, repairs, maintenance, tire changes, title fees, etc).
  • If you choose standard mileage, you must do so before the deadline for filing your return.
  • Standard mileage must be chosen in the first year the vehicle is placed in service.  In future years, it can be changed to actual expenses, but then cannot be changed back to standard mileage.
 Actual Expenses
  • Actual expenses can include: depreciation, lease payments, registration fees, licenses, gas, insurance, repairs, oil, garage rental, tires, tolls, and parking fees.
  • Actual expenses can be chosen at any time during the useful life of the vehicle, but once chosen cannot be changed to another method.
  • If changed from standard mileage, you must use straight-line depreciation for the remainder of the years the vehicle is in service.