Is Gas a Tax Deductible Expense?

by Frugal Brian


Frugal minded people of the world unite! There seems to be no end in sight for rising costs in everything we buy and soaring oil prices are behind most every raise in cost of the items we buy. How can we save money on transportation costs besides falling back on our old standby wheels, the bicycle?
Is the purchase of gasoline a taxable item? Yes and No

If you fill up your tank and go to the shopping mall or take the kids to school every day you cannot claim that as a tax deduction.  This is considered personal miles and they just don’t apply. However, you can claim the tax you’ve paid on that gasoline. Just be sure to keep accurate records by saving all gasoline receipts for the year. Now if you travel back and forth to a doctor’s office or clinic you may be able to claim a portion of that as a legitimate expense. Also if you drive for your boss as part of your job requirement, it too may be at least partly deductable. Moving? You can claim some of that as well. Donating that old couch and/or television to charity? Claim the miles you drove to donate it.
Medical expenses are among the items you can claim if you itemize your deductions. However, if you plan on using your standard deduction these deductions will not apply.

 Medical transportation means the miles used to travel back and forth to a doctor, clinic, dentist, chiropractors, or hospital for the purpose of receiving medical treatments or services. Keep track of your miles each way whether you travel in your own vehicle or use a train, bus, taxi, or ambulance. The expenses you may claim include gas as well as oil along with any parking fees or tolls. This amount can be up to 7.5% of the tax payers adjusted gross income. Then you can multiply the miles used for medical purposes and multiply that figure by 16.5 cents per mile.

If you traveled 1000 miles to a Mayo Clinic for treatments three times last year, plus back and forth to your doctor 10 times at 30 miles each appointment this would mean you have a deductible medical travel expenditure of $544.50 to claim at tax time.

Business mileage means actual miles driven for your job. If you deliver products for your boss, or travel to service equipment, or transport employees (using your own private vehicle) from place to place you have a legitimate deductable cost in the gas and oil you have to buy to get there and back. Keep track of your miles and when filing your income taxes this year (for 2010) multiply your total business related mileage by .50 cents. As an example say you drove 2500 business miles for your company this would mean that you can claim $1250. as a business mileage expense. And don’t forget those parking fees and any tolls you had to pay while on the job.

Did you move last year as a result of a job change or because you were transferred elsewhere? If you kept track of all the travel related expenses you may claim them at 16.5 cents per mile. You can only deduct the actual cost of gas and oil used if you moved at least fifty miles further from your job than before, such as to a new town for new job or existing one that meant you had to move at minimum of those fifty miles away. The cost of gas and oil along with any parking fees and tolls are deductible.

Make any charitable donations in 2010? Claim the costs of travel related expenses such as gas, oil, tolls, and parking fees at the tune of 14 cents per mile. Keep track of your total miles to lug that old couch to the local Good Will or Red Cross and it will be a deductable expense.

While these deductions may not help relieve the heavy toll gasoline prices have on our budget they will help make the frugal minded person fight back somewhat. And as a rule those who need to itemize their deductions are in need of all the help they can get.

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