There are times that you can deduct the cost of operating your car, and more specifically, write off the mileage you’ve driven for particular reasons.
From the IRS site, above is a brief summary. You can see the disparity between what you can deduct for miles driven for business vs medical, moving, and charity. Strangely, the deduction for charity is not currently indexed to inflation, and requires a specific change authorized by congress. It’s been stuck at 14 cents per mile for a very long time. The budget proposal would change the rate for charitable driving to the same rate as medical and moving. That’s over a 50% increase, but still barely enough to cover gas. I’m disappointed the business miles rate wasn’t chosen. If you volunteer at a charity, your time is not a deduction, only the mileage and actual cost you incur if you have any unreimbursed purchases for the charity. Given the high cost of gas and car maintenance, this change is an improvement, but not enough of an increase, in my opinion.
We’re nearing the end of this series, two more budget proposals to look at, and that’s it.