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Can you claim mileage on taxes if not self-employed?
February 16, 2024 - 2 min read

Can you claim mileage on taxes if not self-employed?

Claiming mileage on taxes can lower your tax burden substantially. If you are an employed individual, it's common that you would get your mileage reimbursed by your employer, thus avoiding the need to claim mileage on your tax return.

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Who can claim mileage if not self-employed

Unfortunately, even if your employer doesn't reimburse your mileage, you will most likely not be able to claim a tax deduction for your business mileage. This is due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act the IRS introduced, which stipulates that from January 2018 until January 2026, employees cannot claim deductions for work-related expenses, even if employers don't provide reimbursements for these expenses.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lists a few exceptions to this rule. You will be able to claim mileage on taxes if you are:

  • An Armed Forces reservist
  • A fee-basis state or local government official
  • A qualified performing artist, or
  • An employee with impairment-related work expenses

Unsure if you fit into one of these categories? You can read detailed descriptions of them below.

Armed Forces reservists

You are considered a reservist of the US Armed Forces if you are in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard Reserve; the Army National Guard, the Air National Guard, or the Reserve Corps of the Public Health Service.

Fee-basis state or local government officials

You qualify as a fee-basis official if you are employed by a state or political subdivision of a state and are compensated on a fee basis.

Qualified performing artists

You are a qualified performing artist if you fulfil the following criteria:

  • You perform services in the performing arts as an employee for at least two employers during the tax year
  • You receive from at least two of those employers wages of $200 or more per employer
  • You have allowable business expenses attributable to the performing arts of more than 10% of your gross income from the performing arts, and
  • You have an adjusted gross income of $16,000 or less before deducting expenses as a performing artist.

Employees with impairment-related work expenses

You qualify as an employee with impairment-related work expenses if you have expenses in connection with your physical or mental disability in your place of employment that enable you to work.

How to claim your mileage

You will need to keep a mileage log throughout the year to claim mileage deductions. You must record every trip you drive in your personal vehicle and include the date on which the trip was taken, the distance, your destination, and the reason for the trip. Learn more about the IRS mileage log requirements.

If you fall in the categories mentioned above, you can claim work-related expenses, including business mileage, on Form 2106 at tax time.

We recommend reading our dedicated guides on mileage reimbursements for employees and on claiming mileage at tax time in five simple steps.

How to automate your mileage logbook

Manually filling out your logbook can get tedious - see how to automatically track trips for your mileage reimbursement or deductions.
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