Return Home Mileage Deduction - Definite Yes, No or Gray Area?

I am dutifully tracking my mileage to a shop and from one shop to the next shop. I have been under the impression that the return home mileage is not deductible UNLESS I happen to make a business related stop on the way home such as picking up office supplies. Even then, the mileage to the store is deductible while the mileage from the store to home is not. The way I read the rules, the return trip is considered commuting which is not considered tax deductible.

However, I recall seeing something but now I can't find it that indicated the IRS does allow deducting the return mileage for distinct business trips. That is unless you make a personal stop on the way home such as going to the grocery store (for personal shopping, not a grocery shop) or getting a coffee at which point you can only count the mileage when you stopped for the personal shopping. The distinct business trip is not your normal day-to-day job so none of the trip is considered commuting until a personal component is introduced.

Anyone know that this has been firmly clarified in tax law that the return trip is or is not tax deductible or falls under the currently unresolved, take the deduction at your own risk situation?

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Before posting questions, I really should check to see if the question has been asked before. Here are recent discussions with great info:

IRS and mileage deduction
[www.mysteryshopforum.com]

tracking mileage
[www.mysteryshopforum.com]

The issues seem to be:
* Mileage from home to first shop - It is deductible assuming your mystery shopping office is in your home. It is a myth it is not deductible as long as you consider your office is in your home. If you count the local coffee shop as your mystery shopping office, mileage to the coffee shop is not deductible but from the coffee shop to the first shop is.

* Mileage from one shop to another shop - always deductible.

* Mileage from last shop to home - if your home is where you maintain your mystery shopping office, this is considered to be deductible.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2015 06:19PM by Frugal.Lee.
Hmm,

Self motivated, detail orientated, willing to admit there might be a different approach and supplies correct information.

All are qualities of a good mystery shopper and forum participant.

I look forward to seeing more of your contributions.

Happily shopping Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut
I can't imagine why you would not consider the mileage home not deductible. Just because you stop for a coffee or pick up something on the way home from the grocery store doesn't mean that you can't claim your mileage home.
You are definitely entitled to claim the trip home as business mileage. But, read the details below.

You are not entitled to claim the mileage from your home to your full-time job as business mileage (and back). If you start at work, lets assume it is 10 miles from home. You spend 3 hours doing mystery shops after work, driving a total of 40 miles. You can claim 40 - 10 = 30 miles as business miles. If you go home from work, and then start out on your mystery shopping rounds, then all miles from home back to home are business miles. If as you are driving around doing mystery shopping, you drive 3 miles out of your way to your favorite grocery store to do your weekly shopping and you are not mystery shopping, you have to deduct the miles associated with that personal use of your car.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
basically..if your 'work place' is your home you can deduct the miles from the moment you leave the house...through all business stops...until you return home..

if you can deduct miles to the 1st stop...you certainly can deduct the miles home.

with mysteryshopping--you generally do your scheduling and paper work at your 'home work place'
I've got it. I have a desinated room for mystery shopping. Computer, printer, file cabinet, camera, recorders, all equipment for what I do. It is my office.
I was wondering how many of you actually do deduct part of your house as an office on your taxes?

I saw on the tax advice thread that you can deduct a part of your house as your home office, and details are on irs.gov. I briefly looked through the website, but just wondering if it's worth deducting it. Thanks in advance for a reply.
Syko, it is worth deducting the expense of the home office if it will reduce your taxable income, thereby reducing your tax bill. There is a simplified method on IRS.gov for figuring the home office deduction. The rules governing the home office are quite strict and should be closely considered.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
I have deducted a portion of my home for the past 20 years when it was appropriate. I use the simplified method. It is worthwhile.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
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