Beginning in tax year 2018, you must be a reservist, performing artist or Qualifying Government Employee to claim mileage expenses on your return. All others are not eligible for the deduction on the 2018 return.
For tax years prior to 2018, W-2 employees that are required to travel for work may be able to claim the mileage deduction on the return. See the instructions for Schedule A for the tax year you are preparing for complete instructions.
To use the Standard Mileage Rate, eligible individuals must choose to use it in the first year the vehicle is available for business use. In later years, you can choose to use either the Standard Mileage Rate (if you qualify) or the Actual Expenses. If you choose to use the Actual Expenses in the first year the vehicle is placed in service, you must continue to use Actual Expenses for the life of the vehicle.
You must also:
- Own or lease the car
- Not operate five or more cars at the same time (fleet operation)
- Not have claimed a depreciation deduction for the vehicle using a method other than straight line
- Not have claimed either the section 179 deduction or bonus depreciation on the vehicle
- Not have claimed actual expenses after 1997 on a leased vehicle
- Not be a rural mail carries who received a 'qualified reimbursement'