Another IRS Deduction Question

I didn’t want to Hijack Cleric’s thread so…

This got me to thinking…

I work for an employer that occupies several buildings within the same city. Because of the nature of my job, I have two offices, in two different buildings. On average, I probably travel between these two buildings 4 times a day. The distance between the two is less than a mile. But, does the above mean that I am entitled to a tax deduction, however small it may be, for the mileage?

IAANAA (I also am not an accountant), but no.

We were told explicitly that we would not be reimbursed for mileage between buildings, on the grounds that it would not be deductible for the company. I therefore assume it would not be deductible for you. It’s still the cost of going to work, which is not deductible.

Unless the buildings are more than (I forget, 50?) miles apart.

Gee, the one area of GQ where I can share some expertise and it’s something as dry as taxes.

Well, Photog, there’s good news and bad news.

Good news, yes, technically your mileage between the two buildings is “deductible” as an unreimbursed employee expense. Bad news, in practice you probably will not be able to take it unless you meet several criteria:

(1) You itemize deductions rather than use the standard deduction (if you are making mortgage payments on your house, you probably itemize). If not, no deduction.
(2) The mileage, added to a few other minor items such as tax preparation fees for the prior year, add up to a substantial amount. For most people, this is probably not the case.

And as C K Dex would rightly point out, consult your tax advisor.

With respect to drpepper’s point #2, here is his more detailed comment in the linked thread:

Even among those of us who deduct, few top the 2% mark in this catchall category. It seems to be a sneaky way for Congress to give deductions, without actually giving back any money.

Exactly, RT. On this particular item, it’s a “deduction” but few can take it. Isn’t that a stinker?