There are two methods of calculating the occupation use of your car. You ’ ll want to calculate your vehicle expenses each manner and then choose the method that yields the largest subtraction for you. If you are using TurboTax Self-Employed, check out How do I enter my Lyft tax information ? for bit-by-bit instructions.
The Actual Expenses method
The Actual Expenses method is based on the expenses you actually incur in the operation of your fomite. It includes things like :
- gas purchases
- oil changes
- tire purchases
- car washes
- and even vehicle depreciation
however, you can entirely claim the percentage of expenses that apply to the business use of your fomite. To compute this, you must know how many miles you drove for business purposes and how much you drove for personal reasons. Lyft provides this important information on your Driver Dashboard adenine well as on your year-end annual Summary sheet. You can find it under the heading Online Miles. Add these miles to any other commercial enterprise miles to get your total clientele miles .
To find the share of your car ’ south function for clientele, divide your sum business miles by the sum count of miles you drove for the year ( commercial enterprise + personal ) .
- For example, if your Annual Summary show that you drove 5,000 online miles and your odometer indicates you drove 10,000 miles for the year, divide 5,000 by 10,000.
- The result is 0.5, or 50%. This is the percentage of your vehicle’s business use.
You then multiply the sum of your actual expenses by this percentage to arrive at your actual expenses tax write-off .
- For example, if your actual expenses were $9,500, you would multiply that figure by 50 percent.
- Your deduction would be $4,750 ($9,500 x .50 = $4,750).
The deduction is large, because the actual expenses are big. In the example above, the actual expenses include :
- $1,000 gas
- $1,500 insurance
- $6,000 lease payments
- $400 repairs
- $100 oil
- $500 car washes
Standard Mileage method
The second method you can use to compute the business use of your car is called Standard Mileage. You should hush track both your personal and business miles but you will only use the business part to calculate your deduction. As mentioned above, Lyft does this for you on the Lyft Driver Dashboard and on the Annual Summary sheet. Your miles are shown under Online Miles. In the case above, the driver logged 5,000 on-line miles. Add these miles to any extra business miles to get your full clientele miles .
To compute the tax write-off for business use of your car using Standard Mileage method, plainly multiply your business miles by the total per mile allotted by the IRS .
- For tax year 2021, that amount is 56 cents per mile. In the example above, the deduction turns out to be $2,800 (5,000 miles x $.56 = $2,800).
In theory, both methods of calculating the expense of business use of your car should produce roughly the lapp result. In the case above, however, the driver ’ s big lease payments and moo mileage leave in a higher discount using Actual Expenses than using Standard Mileage— $ 4,750 compared to $ 2,800. You are entitled to the larger deduction .
If a driver ’ south mileage were higher, the Standard Mileage discount might yield a larger deduction, like in the exercise below.
A Lyft driver has logged 40,000 miles in 2021, and 30,000 of those miles are for business. When you divide 30,000 by 40,000, the resultant role is 0.75, or 75 %. This was the share of this driver ’ second vehicle business use. The driver not entirely drove more miles, but besides had larger actual expenses :
- $4,000 gas
- $3,160 depreciation
- $1,500 insurance
- $1,200 repairs
- $190 oil
- $500 tires
- $750 car washes
This driver ’ randomness Actual Expenses sum $ 11,300 and since this driver used the car 75 % of the time for business, the Actual Expenses tax write-off is $ 8,475 ( $ 11,300 x .75 = $ 8,475 ). That ’ s a draw .
however, when you multiply the driver ’ s 30,000 miles by the IRS ’ sulfur 2021 mileage rate of 56 cents per mile, the resultant role is a humongous $ 16,800 ( 30,000 x .56 = $ 16,800 ). In this example, the driver is able to deduct $ 8,325 more by using the Standard Mileage method acting than by using the Actual Expenses method acting ( $ 16,800 compared to $ 8,475 ) .
As these examples demonstrate, the two methods can yield vastly different results. exist sure to keep all your receipts so you can calculate the deduction both ways and then choose the method acting that benefits you the most .
besides, if you want to us the standard mileage rate, you must choose it in the first year you use the car for business. In later years you can choose to use the standard mileage rate or switch to actual expenses .
Just a reminder
ampere important as your vehicle expenses are for reducing your tax circular, they are not your entirely occupation deductions. The form you ’ ll habit to calculate your internet commercial enterprise income, Schedule C, Profit or Loss From Business, has lines for several types of business expenses .
common expenses for a ridesharing commercial enterprise include :
- a phone
- a wireless plan
- passenger refreshments
- parking fees
- and tolls
The chart below shows the typical business expenses for a Lyft driver .
As with mileage, you can only deduct the expenses related to your business. If you use an detail in both your personal life and your business, you must calculate the share of use for each .
- For example, if you use the same wireless plan for both your personal phone use and your business phone use, you must calculate how much of your use applies to your business.
- You can deduct only that portion of your bill from your business income.
To make it easier to track their expenses, some Lyft drivers purchase a call for business use only. That means they can deduct 100 % of the expenses associated with that phone and not worry about calculating percentages of use. But be certain to save all bills, receipts, and other software documentation related to your business expenses. The IRS can disallow any deductions that aren ’ triiodothyronine fully documented .
TurboTax Self-Employed will ask you childlike questions about your life and aid you fill out all the correct forms. Perfect for freelancer contractors and small businesses. We ’ ll search over 500 tax deductions to get you every dollar you deserve and help you uncover industry-specific deductions .