Mileage/Tax question

Wondering if any veteran shoppers can help me with this one?

We are at the beach on vacation about 200 miles from home. Of course, I couldn't help myself and picked up a handful of shops while here that will help offset the cost of the trip smiling smiley

So the question is how do I log the miles? Is it just from our hotel to the shops since we were coming here anyway? Or would it be the mileage from my home? Seems like too much but I really have no idea.

Thanks for any input.

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When I was audited a few years ago I sort of figured out that it all has to do with "intent". If the purpose of your trip was to mystery shop, then you can probably get away with counting your mileage from home. Since this wasn't the reason for taking this trip, I would go with my mileage from the hotel to the shop.

The IRS is okay with you having fun on a business trip, but generally frowns at footing the bill if you add a little business to your vacation. Tread carefully, but remember it is all about perspective.

Shopping since 1995; full-time since 2009. Blogging about shopping on
If I drive directly to the hotel I don't log the miles. If I plan a route from my home that takes me to a number of shops and ends at the hotel I log the miles. I don't know if that will pass an audit but it makes sense to me.
Watchbird is on the right track. Several times per year I drive 480 miles roundtrip to visit my sister for a few days or a week. If I shop my way up and back, I cleaim the mileage and tolls. If not, when I shop from her house on a daily basis, I take just the local mileage and tolls.

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.
As a former tax agent with 20 years of experience I can assure you that 'intent' is the correct word here as jonk said. Your intention was to go on vacation and then you decided to pick up a few shops while you're there. Then you can only claim the mileage from the hotel to the shops and back to the hotel.
When I plan a trip to N. NJ, my intention is to use my sister's house as a home base from which to perform a lot of video shops. So, when I travel to and from there, I add shops along the way, often turning the 240 journey into a trip of 2-3 days to perform shops enroute.

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.
Then you're absolutely fine walesmaven. You are quite entitled to claim for the mileage on the whole trip.
Hello, all. I am a newbie in this newly found world of MS. I've been lurking for a few days and reading a ton of information here before asking any questions. However, I am still a bit unclear about a few things...

When I apply for the agencies that use 1099s, just I apply as an Independent Contractor?

Should I get an EIN and operate as Fictitious Name rather than use my own name, and treat this as a business, as well as write-off as a business?

What is the best way to get the most out of this experience?

I appreciate anyone's input, both great and small.

Very Respectfully, WarriorKM

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

~Viktor E. Frankl
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