Americans love their cars. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were more than 260 million registered cars registered in the U.S. as of 2014 (the most recent year for statistics). Cars can be expensive to buy or lease and to operate, especially with today's high fuel prices. But the tax law provides some relief for your car use by way of tax write-offs.
This chapter explains the tax breaks you can take for your car (the term may also cover light trucks and vans for certain purposes as explained later). Deducting the use of your car for medical-related travel is discussed in Chapter 2. Deducting the use of your car for a job-related move is discussed in Chapter 4. Deducting the use of your car when working as a volunteer for charity is discussed in Chapter 6.
For more information, see IRS Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gifts, and Car Expenses; IRS Publication 535, Business Expenses; IRS Publication 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts (Business and Nonbusiness); and IRS Publication 584, Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook (Personal-Use Property).
Business Use of Your Personal Car
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration, Americans drive their cars on average 13,500 miles each year. The cost of driving can be high when you factor in gasoline, insurance, and other costs. But the tax law lets a portion of the cost of this mileage be deductible under certain circumstances.