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3 Answers

How do I claim mileage on my tax returns as a delivery driver?

Asked by: fgr8out 1605 views YA Discussion

I live in North Carolina. In 2012, I began delivery driving. Now that 2012 is over, I’m attempting to file my taxes and claim my mileage. But I’ve run into some issues.

I’ve printed out the miles I’ve driven for business purposes – 14,871 miles. The total mileage I’ve been paid by my employer is $ 1,988. According to the IRS, the standard mileage rates for the use of my car is 55.5 cents per mile – which would bring my total mileage to $ 8253.41. That’s $ 6265.41 of unreimbursed business expenses on my part. Technically, this is what I should get back, correct?

Well, I’m attempting to file my taxes on taxslayer.com, but as this is the first time I’ve claimed mileage, I’m confused. After listing the information on my business mileage, my tax refund only went up to $ 1020. What about the other $ 5000?

Now, according to my W-2, I’ve only had $ 1020 in federal income tax. Is this why my tax return maxed out at $ 1020? I’ve heard “you can only get back what you put in” but what about the $ 5000 worth of wear-tear and gas used for work? My boyfriend says I should receive a “tax credit” and will get the remaining money next year and the year after. My mom says I should be getting it all back, regardless if it is more than I technically paid in taxes.

Any insight into this? I don’t want to actually file in person with H&R or anyone, but I also don’t want to lose that refund I could be getting.
Wayne Z – so what you’re saying is, even though I might have spent some $ 8000 in expenses for my car, I won’t get reimbursed for that money entirely. Instead, it just means… none of my income is taxable in the end? (Since apparently I would be getting all $ 1020 of taxes back)
Judy – I thought I was itemizing. I got to a screen called Form 2106 and it asked me for my mileage. But it got really confusing when it started asking me about my “Average daily roundtrip commuting distance” and “Commuting miles included in total miles above.” I left them blank because I figured those didn’t matter (I’m only claiming the mileage I incurred while delivery driving). It didn’t ask me for what I was reimbursed by my employer, even though I was prepared to enter that information too. Either way, after I entered my business miles, my tax refund increased to the $ 1020, which was my total tax (box 2).

Box 1 = 11289.72
Box 2 = 1020.49
Wayne Z (Again lol) – For most of last year we got $ 1.33 for every 10 miles. I have a print out of my miles and mileage which I’m assuming is the amount my employer has reimbursed me (I calculated it and it was only about $ 10 off, but that’s because the mileage we were paid was changed in November and December). They paid me $ 1,988 like I said. Yes it’s low, because our employer is a stingy greedy corporate monster. Which is why I was hoping to get reimbursed more in my tax refund.
Bobbie – This is going to sound stupid, but you were speaking a foreign language to me essentially. I tried to look up all this information on the IRS website already and if I could understand what it was saying I wouldn’t be here, haha. But I don’t, which is why I’m trying to figure out if I should just keep going through taxslayer.com or go to an actual tax.. person and let them handle it.

3 Answers

  1. Wayne Z on Jan 15, 2013 Reply

    Out of pocket work expenses reduce your taxable income but they are not refunded directly.

    Edit: Yes.

    If your business expenses exceed your business income, you may have a “Net Operating Loss”. These are quite complex and should be left to tax professionals..

    Why is your reimbursement from your employer so low? Are you calculating your mileage correctly. The mileage from your home to your first stop of the day and from your last stop of the day back home are considered commuting are are non-deductible.

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  2. Judy on Jan 15, 2013 Reply

    Unless you itemize, you don’t get any tax break from it. If you itemize, you’d use form 2106 to show the unreimbursed part of the mileage. From there it goes onto schedule A. You have to subtract 2% of your adjusted gross income from the unreimbursed expenses, and can deduct the rest. No, you wouldn’t get nearly that much back. If you’re in a 15% bracket, you’d save 15% of the amount after you deduct the 2%. Your tax savings will bd minimal if anything, unless you already have other deductions to itemize. You might see a couple hundred dollars discount from your tax, might see zero. Your friend and your mom are both wrong.

    If the job is COSTING you money, more than you make, why are you working there?

    What’s in box 1 and 2 on your W-2? If you’ll add that info, might be able to give you some better numbers. But don’t expect much from the mileage.

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  3. Bobbie on Jan 15, 2013 Reply

    No that would NOT be the correct amount that would be able to qualify to get back at all.
    First things first form 2106 and then also the schedule A itemized deduction of your 1040 income tax will both have to filled our correctly and completely before you will know how these unreimbursed employee business MIGHT affect your REFUND amount on your correctly completed 1040 income tax return during the 2013 tax filing season at that time in your life.
    And then this would only help by reducing your adjusted gross income down to your taxable income on the page 2 line 43 by the $ $ amounts that would be over your standard deduction amount for that tax year.

    Topic 514 – Employee Business Expenses
    If you are an employee, you may be able to deduct your work-related expenses as an itemized deduction (subject to limitations) on Form 1040, Schedule A (PDF). Additional information on this subject can be found in the Form 1040, Schedule A Instructions. Also, you may refer to Topic 511 for additional information on business travel expenses.


    If your employer reimbursed you or gave you an advance or allowance for your employee business expenses that is treated as paid under an accountable plan, the payment should not be shown on your Form W-2 (PDF) as pay. You do not include the payment in your income, and you may not deduct any of the reimbursed amounts.

    To be an accountable plan, your employer’s reimbursement or allowance arrangement must include all three of the following rules:

    You must have paid or incurred expenses that are deductible while performing services as an employee
    You must adequately account to your employer for these expenses within a reasonable time period, and
    You must return any excess reimbursement or allowance within a reasonable time period

    These rules are discussed in greater detail in Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses.
    Generally, you must use Form 2106 or Form 2106-EZ to figure your deduction for employee business expenses and attach it to your Form 1040 (PDF). Your deductible expenses are then taken on Form 1040, Schedule A (PDF), as a miscellaneous itemized deduction subject to the 2% of adjusted gross income floor. Topic 508 and Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions, also discuss the 2% floor and explain some of the other expenses that are deductible as employee business expenses.
    So for the 2012 tax year your standard deduction amount is 5950 for a single taxpayer or 11900 for married filing joint so if you did qualify to use the schedule A form and IF the total amount would be 6000 or the 11900 amount then the 50 amount above your standard deduction amount IF you taxable income would be in the 10% marginal tax rate bracket amount it would REDUCE you federal income tax liability amount by $ 5 at that time of the tax filing season for this purpose.
    Tax bracket 15% X 50 = 7.50 reduction in your FIT liability income amount for the tax year 2012.
    You should itemize deductions if your total deductions are more than the standard deduction amount.
    Topic 501 Should I Itemize


    For more information on the difference between itemized deductions and the standard deduction, refer to the Form 1040 Instructions, or Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax. You may also refer to Topic 551 and Publication 501.
    Use the search box at the http://www.irs.gov website for Topic 500 – Itemized Deductions


    The following topics are found in the category of Itemized Deductions. Each topic is followed by a corresponding number. To access your topic, select the three-digit number.
    Hope that you find the above enclosed information useful.

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