You can only deduct gas and maintenance expenses if you don’t deduct your mileage! These expenses along with oil changes, repairs, tires, insurance, registration fees, licenses, and depreciation fall under the category of 'actual expenses.'
We don't have a category in the Stride app for these expenses for a few reasons! These expenses fall under the 'actual car expenses' category, which cannot be claimed alongside the standard mileage deduction. Overall we have found that drivers get more with the standard mileage!
For people who drive for work, here is a breakdown of the two options you can take when deducting expenses:
1) The actual expense method: the cost of actual car expenses (such as gas, maintenance, car payments, oil changes and a few others),
2) The standard mileage method: deducting a standard amount for every business mile driven. The standard mileage rate for 2020 rate was 57.5 cents per mile and will be 56 cents per mile for 2021. Stride will automatically calculate your mileage deduction for you based on the year in which you're driving.
If you deduct both your mileage and your gas and maintenance expenses, you’d be double-deducting the same expense (since the mileage rate includes the cost of gas and maintenance already)—which the IRS really doesn't like!
Not sure which method is best for you? No problem. The mileage deduction typically gives the highest deduction, especially if you drive a lot for work.
- There are a few exceptions, such as if you're driving a really gas-inefficient vehicle or if you had to do a ton of repair work on the car. To read more about the distinction click here.
That being said, you might as well track both your mileage and your actual car expenses. Then you can determine at the end of the year which expense method is best for you!