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Old 03-15-2009, 04:52 PM
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Commuting miles

I am employed by an agricultural company with their only office located in Ypsilanti, MI. I am a territorial sales manager. My territory is New York State. I have 35 independent agricultural dealers that see our products. I provide product support, sales training, and marketing advice. I have an office in my home in New York State. To perform these duties, I travel to each one of these dealerships periodically. I provide the vehicle and the company pays me a car allowance and a mileage fee. I drive a lot of miles in a year, 35-40,000 to accomplish this job. We are in the process of getting our taxes prepared and we are being told that the IRS will not allow us to claim all of these miles. We have to specify a given number of commuting miles each day.

I could see this commuting miles applying if I was an insurance salesman or a real estate salesman or anybody else who worked out of a local office. Example: I would leave my home in the morning, travel to the company office, get my orders for the day, go make the calls, return to the local office, make a report, and then drive home. I can see that these miles between home and the office, coming and going, should be considered commuting miles.

The way I understand this, my home is the office. I'm not commuting to an office. Please advise. Thank you.

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Old 03-19-2009, 02:27 PM
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Well, I see two issues of concern to me! One is that the driving to your local office is generally considered commuting, and according to the IRS tax rules this so called commuting mileage is not deductible as a business expense.

Now, the other point you have mentioned is that you do drive a lot and your company reimburses you by providing you with a car allowance and a mileage fee reimbursement.

Therefore, I am not entirely clear how you can claim this mileage expense if your company reimburses you with an allowance. Unless, of course, they do not provide you with a sufficient allowance to offset your expenses. In any event, you can claim the business mileage less the commuting portion but these expenses must be offset against the company's mileage allowance and mileage fee.

You cannot claim for these expenses if they already been reimbursed by your company, only the portion that has not been reimbursed by your company.

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