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You can’t generally deduct the cost of commuting back and forth between your home and work; that’s treated as a nondeductible personal expense. But with a bit of creativity, you can still claim generous tax deductions for certain types of local driving. Here are three ways to squeeze out some extra tax-deductible mileage:
Visit a client on the way to or from work. As a self-employed person, you can deduct the cost of travel between a client’s place of business and your regular workplace. That includes the cost of tolls and parking fees incurred for this side trip.
Check in at a branch office. Similarly, you can deduct the cost of travel between any two business locations, even if they’re both company offices. Don’t forget to log such trips into your mileage diary.
Go straight to school from work. If you’re taking a refresher course in your field or pursuing other studies related to your job, you can deduct the travel expenses between work and the school. Tax bonus: If that course maintains or improves current job skills without qualifying you for a new line of work, the cost of the course is deductible, too.
Tip: To minimize recordkeeping hassles, use the standard mileage rate for frequent trips by car. The IRS rate for 2006 is 44.5 cents per business mile (plus related tolls and parking fees).