Vehicle tax deduction

I know last year tax laws have made it more difficult to claim more than standard deduction, but…
For a home inspector that owns their own business, are miles or vehicle costs tax deductible?

I ask because I have owned my own LLC in the past and my mileage/vehicle did not qualify for deductions for that business.

Yes, as long as you’re driving to your clients and not a grocery store or personal road trips around the country :slight_smile: Confirm with your accountant.

which business was this? some businesses “don’t require” travel, like working from home. That’s the only exclusion I’m aware of.

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I was a flight instructor for some years. My accountant at the time said I could not count mileage because I was always driving to the same airport. But I was operating under my own business so it didn’t make sense to me :man_shrugging:
As an inspector, I would obviously always be going to different places but I wanted to see if there was some obscure reason that I wouldn’t be able to count mileage as an inspector…since I learned not to assume I could count them as a flight instructor.
Thank you for the information!

Said vehicle can only be used for elements based solely for the business and nothing else (personal, not even 1 mile). To and from jobs and operations only for the business. If you are audited they will make you prove every mile and you will need receipts and jobs dates among every element to show every mile was used for business. Every gallon of gas was used for business along with insurance, maintenance etc…

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I kept a mileage record on my appointment sheet from google maps.


If the ownership document have the business name on it and it’s used for the business, you can write off darn near everything related to said vehicle. If you privately own it, then travel and fuel from the “office"to the"job” and back can be written off. Detours to the grocery store for dinner on the way home does not qualify.

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I do as Larry did. Very easy today with Google maps!

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Both my truck and van are owned by the business. Everything that makes the vehicles go is a business expense. We pay all bills with company credit cards for records. We, my CPA have been doing this for years. No problems to date. Get a good CPA…

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Just a FYI.

We know bed and breakfast owners that paid for a movie that they wanted to watch on TV with business $ and got audited by the IRS.

The IRS agent looked through their books and saw that they didn’t have any overnight paying guests that night and gave them a hearty fine.


We run a home inspection business. Not a home based bed and breakfast.

FYI we use a good CPA.

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If you EVER use the vehicle for personal use, most accountants will tell you to track your business specific mileage using a good record and take a mileage deduction. Travel to and from an office is NOT deductible.

You should be asking your accountant these questions, not a bunch of home inspectors.

Business registration, insurance, and an accountant are really the bare minimums to running a business…

I use Triplog which gives exact times of leaving/arriving at each location and the addresses. It allows you to designate it as personal or business or several other things and is about $60 per year. Every few days I go back and mark things that were personal. It even lets you name locations that are frequently visited. For taxes I just print out the report.

FYI, I’m a CPA, I like hanging with you guys, here is how it works.

If you have a regular place of business, even if you’re self employed, commuting to that destination is considered personal mileage. Any incremental mileage is deductible.

As a home inspector, presumably your regular place of business is your home, thus any trips to from your home for business are business miles that you can deduct for income taxes.

I hope this helps, sorry for the late reply.


It’s been some years since I was flight instructing, but now that you mention it, that definitely rings a bell. Remembering now, that was the reason he gave me…since I was regularly traveling to the same airport I couldn’t count that mileage. Makes sense.
Thank you for the response!

Thanks Chris, so miles driven to real estate offices and for other businesses are deductible? How much documentation is needed if any to claim all mileage on my truck for business purposes? We use the other family vehicle for all personal use?

Generally speaking you need contemporaneous records, ie, mileage log etc. There are many regulations on this so you’re best served by talking to an accountant about your specific circumstances.


I use quick books self employed app. It allows you to turn on and off your mileage tracker and like that when I’m using the truck for work it’s on and if I’m using it for personal use I turn it off. The app tracks the time you left the time you arrived, location, and distance you’re traveling, and adds up all your business miles at the end of the year. The app also allows you to link your bank account so you can keep track of transactions and mark them as business or personal (in case you don’t have a business credit card) and it allows you to upload a receipt so you have prove of everything. $5 a month for quick books membership Doesn’t get much easier than that.

maybe i can squeeze some free information out of you :slightly_smiling_face:

how does the fee structure generally work for CPA? are CPA fees deductible?

i am starting an LLC. i plan to have a home office, but won’t be claiming it this year. i would like to get an inspection vehicle and a few more tools. i’ve already purchased quite a few tools. i understand the SUV and truck specs that change what you can deduct…

i believe i would just be filing my normal 1040 and maybe a schedule c?

once i start inspecting i was thinking about taxbot for recording miles and receipts…

i’m just curious if i need to hire a full time accountant? or just a one time meeting g with a CPA? i’ve always done my own taxes and not really intimidated by the LLC idea, but better safe than sorry starting out.

sorry, that was a lot of info, i mostly am just curious about how a CPA gets paid…

My accountant charges a flat fee. Included in that fee is all of our taxes. Business, personal ,rental property, and my wifes 1099. I can call him anytime during the year if I have questions.
When I used to draw a salary, he advised quarterly for 941 taxes, unemployment, etc…

My accountant advised me not to claim the home office deduction, as said space must be used for only business, and raises red flags.
For the vehicle, I lease and that expense as well as repairs, fuel, etc…are deductible. In that scenario, mileage is not deductible.
On the other hand, for my wifes 1099, that mileage, which is “exclusive to only business related endeavors”, is deductible.

Find a good accountant. I have a spreadsheet which ties into a Schedule C form. Every year…he finds more deductions than I do!

This is my experience exactly.^^^