If you live and work in the Springfield, Massachusetts area, you probably rely on your vehicle every single day. You rely on your car, truck or SUV to get you to work, and you need it to run errands and shuttle the kids back and forth to all their activities.
If you have had your car repaired lately, you already know how expensive those services can be. Extensive engine work or a serious transmission repair could set you back thousands of dollars, and even a simple sensor or small repair could cost hundreds.
Is It Deductible?
With that kind of money on the line, you may be wondering if you can deduct the cost of your car repairs from your taxes. Being able to deduct the cost of car repairs would certainly reduce the sting of those high repair prices, but will you get in trouble with the IRS if you try it?
That depends on how you use your vehicle. If you use your car, truck or SUV strictly for personal errands and daily commuting, the IRS will likely take a dim view if you try to deduct the cost of a new engine or repairs to your transmission. If, on the other hand, you use your vehicle as part of your job, or if it is owned by your business, you may be able to deduct or even all of those car repairs.
The Mileage Deduction
The IRS recognizes that many ordinary workers are occasionally asked to use their personal cars for business purposes. Your boss may, for example, ask you to drop a package off at a FedEx facility, or you may need to drive to another office. In those cases, you would be entitled to a deduction for the business use of your personal vehicle, but how you take that deduction matters.
If you take the standard mileage deduction, which pays you a fixed rate for every mile you drive, you will not be able to deduct any additional expenses, including the cost of car repair. You will also not be able to deduct things like vehicle maintenance, the cost of fuel or the premiums you pay for car insurance. According to the IRS rules, all of these expenses are covered by the standard mileage deduction, so claiming the cost of car repairs would be a form of double dipping.
It may be tempting to deduct the cost of car repairs form your taxes, but you need to be careful. Even if you think the cost of car repairs is deductible, it pays to check with an accountant or tax expert before claiming that deduction and inviting the wrath of the IRS.