Job-Related Tax Deductions for Local Travel

It's possible to deduct certain expenses you incur for local travel related to your job, depending on a variety of circumstances. Employee-based business travel expenses are deductible as miscellaneous itemized deductions on Schedule A of your federal income tax return. You can only deduct the amount of your miscellaneous itemized deductions that exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income.

Traveling to a Second Job

If you work two jobs, you can deduct some of your expenses for travel when commuting from your main job to your second job. If you take a bus or taxi, the fare is deductible. If you travel using your own car, you can deduct your expenses using the IRS standard per-mile charge of 56.5 cents per mile. On a day when you do not work in your main job, travel expenses to your second job are commuting expenses, and are not deductible.

Traveling to a Temporary Location

If you primarily work in one location, but have been temporarily assigned to a second location, you can deduct your travel expenses to the temporary location. You can deduct the cost of travel from your home to the temporary location, as well as the cost of travel from your primary location to the temporary work location. If your work assignment is indefinite, the expenses for travel are not deductible. A job assignment of over one year in length is considered indefinite.

Job Search

If you are looking for a new job in your current occupation, you can deduct many of the expenses you incur related to the job search. This includes travel deductions for the mileage you spend in your car driving to meet with a potential employer or to drop off a resume. Parking fees and tolls are also deductible as part of the job search. With local travel, meals may be deductible at the standard 50 percent rate, but these meals should be related to the job search, such as having lunch with a potential employer.

Business Use of Your Vehicle

If your employer requires you to use your own vehicle to perform business functions locally, you can deduct expenses related to the business use of your vehicle. If your employer reimburses you for a portion or all of the business vehicle use, your deduction is reduced by the reimbursed amount. If your employer reimburses you for more than the amount of expenses you incurred, you must claim the difference as income and pay the taxes on that amount.

Record Keeping

You should have a written record of your local business travel when deducting these expenses. A small notebook kept in the glove compartment of your vehicle in which you can record the date, the starting and ending mileage for the trip and the purpose of the travel is suitable for this purpose. You can also keep the records electronically in a SmartPhone or computer program. Written records can help you verify your deductions in case of a tax audit.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

About the Author

Craig Woodman began writing professionally in 2007. Woodman's articles have been published in "Professional Distributor" magazine and in various online publications. He has written extensively on automotive issues, business, personal finance and recreational vehicles. Woodman is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in finance through online education.

Zacks Investment Research

is an A+ Rated BBB

Accredited Business.