Mileage / Tax question

I work a 9 to 5 job Monday through Friday (i.e. main job).
If I am picking up a shop after work, do I claim miles from my main job to the shop site?

Also, If I am doing a 'route' on Saturday/Sunday do I have to exclude my mileage to the first shop and from the last shop?

This is my first year claiming business expenses so help is appreciated.
I did read the long but very excellent tax post by Flash already, and several other tax threads.

Question Added : What constitutes a business lunch (schedule C-Part II-Line 24)?
What I am hoping for is to include a meal if I have a really long Saturday route that takes me out of town.
(Assuming none of the shops are food shops, of course)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/03/2013 05:19PM by SodaJerk.

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My work is 6.5 miles from my house. When I take a shop after work, I calculate the total mileage from work, to the shop, to home and then subtract the 6.5 miles (that would have been my normal commute).

For shops on the weekend, I take all miles, from when I leave my house to when I get back (as long as I was doing nothing but shops). I do take the home office deduction for the room I use strictly for mystery shopping.
Just because you buy lunch on a long shopping day does NOT make it a business expense. Business lunches are when you meet a client or potential client, or a colleague, for the purpose of your business. That could be for networking, marketing, and similar activities.

Now, if you are on a route of shops where you are away from home overnight and through the lunch period, you may have a business "travel" expense, even if you do not have a business meeting duing the lunch. Please consult the IRS publication. available on line, that deals with business expenses, and take a look at the "sticky" topic in the New shoppers area here that is all about MS and taxes.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I'll just make sure I include a couple fast food shops in my route- thats what I do now anyway. smiling smiley
You need to go read the IRS regs and then discuss it with your tax preparer because I've learned there are a lot of factors that come into play, such as how far from home you go, whether you stay overnight, whether the "second job" is in the same business as your "main job" -- go read the information on business travel and see what exact scenario you fall under because there were about six examples in there when I read it recently.

I pray it does not occur that the last thing I did before I died was vacuum the house or eat broccoli.
I could refer you to one but she probably wouldn't talk to you until after tax season. smiling smiley

I pray it does not occur that the last thing I did before I died was vacuum the house or eat broccoli.
My understanding is the same as wales, lunch on a one day route is not deductible. On multi-day routes I deduct all my meals.

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