Are you providing transportation for someone else? With inflation, gas prices have hurt family caregivers substantially. Save money by deducting gas mileage and transportation costs from your taxes each year. Filing for taxes gets complicated for family caregivers. Calculating your mileage will make a massive difference in your tax refund. How can you make the most for your gas mileage when you file for taxes? And what is a travel log? Learn how to calculate a reliable and accurate mileage rate to cover up-front travel expenses.
When you care for a family member, transportation costs pile up quickly. You may see high gas costs and maintenance repairs between medical appointments, commuting, and errands. Over time this can add up, primarily if you work full-time or are the primary caregiver. Calculating and deducting your transportation costs can save you money on your yearly taxes.
Before calculating the amount of money, the IRS should reimburse for mileage; you need to log the distance you traveled and what type of travel. If you are traveling for medical-related matters, like a doctor’s appointment or to pick up medical supplies, make sure to factor that into your final calculation. Consider if any other travel costs were involved besides mileage during your time away from home. Recording these details will help provide an accurate total when factoring in mileage reimbursements.
Tracking your driving details is essential to calculate your mileage reimbursement accurately. Keep a written or electronic log of your trips, including dates, starting and ending locations, and total miles traveled. Record additional costs during the trip, such as parking or tolls, so you can include these when filing for reimbursement. This will also help you provide proof of your travel if needed.
Are you using your vehicle for caregiving? In that case, recording how much each route is dedicated solely to business travel is essential. This includes drives between two client locations or one-way trips from office to client. Subtracting the miles from any personal trips will give you an accurate measure for tax deductions or reimbursement. Consider an app like Driversnote or an Excel spreadsheet to track and store your car mileage when traveling for work. These great tools make calculating mileage easier and more convenient.
When calculating your reimbursement rate for mileage, you need to know the rate the IRS has set for tax-deductible travel. The current rate for 2022 taxes is 62.5 cents per mile traveled, and in 2023 the rate goes to 65.5 cents per gallon. This amount should be multiplied by your travel miles to calculate the total amount. Calculate your car mileage by dividing the number of miles you drove as per the trip meter by the quantity of fuel used:
[miles] * [rate] = Reimbursement
For example, if you drove 200 miles in 2022, the formula would be:
The IRS should reimburse you for your trips. Remember that reimbursable mileage includes all trips taken for medical purposes and any other related costs associated with those trips, such as parking or toll fees.
Not all of us want to spend hours figuring out math equations. Save time with a helpful app. Calculate your car mileage quickly and accurately with these practical tools.
The most popular mileage calculation apps are:
How does the IRS determine if you applied for the correct reimbursement? Family caregivers should log all of their trip details. This can be a computerized log or a handwritten one. Keep all receipts, including toll receipts. While audits of individuals don’t often occur, having the travel log will save you time and hassle if the IRS needs to verify your information.
Always keep receipts and documentation carefully organized in the case of an IRS audit. A simple filing system or an app that scans receipts may help you keep track of your mileage. Even after filing for taxes, keep the documentation in case you need it. The IRS may only give you the mileage deduction if you have receipts or a travel log.
After gathering all your mileage records:
Transportation costs add up quickly. Caregivers inside and outside the home can claim mileage as a tax deduction. It’s essential to consult with a tax specialist to determine what qualifies for deductions according to your situation. Claim dependent mileage for medical appointments, travel for errands like grocery shopping or running other necessary chores, visit family members in assisted living facilities, deliver meals, and similar activities defined by the IRS. Find ways to save money yearly when you claim your gas mileage deductions.