Business mileage at 55.5 cents a mile (for 2012) is a great tax deduction!
In 2013 the business mileage rate increases to 56.5 cents per mile.
But.. no one like recording odometer readings, so I use information from Google maps instead.
Mileage records must be kept contemporaneously, meaning at the same time, so you should not rely on your memory.
Record the destination and date and then use Google maps to calculate the distance.
If you use the mileage rate you do not have to keep gas or auto maintenance receipts. Yeah for that!
Just FYI: About 90% of my tax clients use the standard mileage rate, not their actual expenses. The only tax client that uses actual expenses has a truck that is used all of the time for business (a farm).
But keep parking and tolls receipts. You can deduct those in addition to the mileage rate.
Need to know more about tax deduction for writer?
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Carol Topp, CPA