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A Notary’s Guide For Claiming Mileage Deductions At Tax Time

Claiming Mileage Deductions for a Mobile Notary Tax Business

Updated 2-11-19 with mileage rates for the 2018 tax year.

With tax time just around the corner, it’s important to make sure your records and planned deductions are in order. The NNA has previously covered some basic tax tips for Notaries, and Ryan Reeves, an accountant with A Notary On the Go in Florida, along with  David M. Green, a Notary, IRS Enrolled Agent and owner of David M. Green Bookkeeping and Tax Service in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, answer some frequently asked questions for mobile Notaries who want to claim a mileage deduction on their income tax.

These are general guidelines, and every person’s tax situation can differ. If you have specific questions about your income tax situation, contact the IRS or a qualified tax advisor.

What are the most important things Notaries need to do if they want to claim a mileage deduction?
 

The most important thing for claiming mileage/travel deduction is keeping good records.

IRS Publication 463, page 27, has a good example of a business mileage log that incorporates what information should be reflected in your records. Starting out, you will have to choose if you want to deduct actual expenses for travel or use the standard rate method. There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods and it will depend on your situation as to which is better.  

What information should be recorded when keeping a record of mileage?
 

Your records, whether paper-based or recorded using an electronic tool such as Notary Gadget, should adequately document the distance traveled, the date, and the business purpose of the trip. It’s also a good idea to record the vehicle odometer reading at the beginning and end of the year in order to get the total miles driven for the year. I suggest taking a picture of your odometer on the first and last day of the year.

What’s the most common mistake people make when claiming a mileage deduction?
 

The most common mistake people make is not adequately documenting the business purpose of trips or not properly separating personal mileage from business mileage.

Is there other travel-related information Notaries should record when claiming mileage deductions?
 

If you are using the actual expense method, then most of your other expenses like lease payments, depreciation, repairs, tires, oil changes, gas and insurance will be covered in the set rate. Otherwise, parking fees, registration fees, licenses, garage rent and tolls are tax deductible and should be claimed, though it’s important to note parking tickets are not deductible.  

Anything else Notaries should know?
 

In the past, many Notaries used paper mileage logs. A smartphone and multiple mileage apps such as MileIQMilebug and MileTracker make recordkeeping a lot easier.

For the 2018 tax year, the standard IRS mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) is: 54.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes and 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

 

 

27 Comments

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Kenneth Geathers

25 Jan 2016

good test very informative

KATHY LINDGREN

25 Jan 2016

oops! NEED TO READ ACCURATELY!

Denis A. ortega

25 Jan 2016

I'm conducting a wedding at the end of next month in Florida. Can you send some tips please? Thank you

National Notary Association

25 Jan 2016

Hi Denis. The Florida Governor's Reference Manual for Notaries has guidelines for performing wedding ceremonies. Please see page 16, "Solemnizing Marriage" of the PDF at this link: http://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/notary/ref_manual11-22.pdf

Joan Quintana

25 Jan 2016

`Interesting

Donna Joldersma

25 Jan 2016

Very good information - I appreciate all of the information

Rosemarie Braun

25 Jan 2016

Thank you, very interesting.

Helen M Biagas

25 Jan 2016

I've learn a lot from taking the quiz about taxes. thanks for the quiz

Sylva Stone

25 Jan 2016

I appreciate all tips you send me. thank you very much.

Michelle

25 Jan 2016

I think the question about deducting your insurance versus not if you deduct mileage should be double checked. If you are filing a schedule C the deduction for your car insurance is added separately

Vinita Anderson

26 Jan 2016

Thanks for sharing this important information!

Phil

29 Jan 2016

great and essential information for notaries. Thanks!

Latisha Newman

31 Jan 2016

Very informative test.

Lafleur

02 Feb 2016

Good read and information.

Ashok K Ghosh

02 Feb 2016

Very Good informations

Jacob Chassereau

04 Feb 2016

I would love to win this I just became a notary at the age of 18! Please let me win!!!! I love notary it is so cool but I don't have money for supplies!

Walter Hertz

08 Feb 2016

very good. Thanks for the assist.

Gloria Lloyd

08 Feb 2016

Very informative. Keeps you on your toes.

John McCoy

08 Feb 2016

One question I have asked many times and have not found an answer. Notarization fees are not taxable (see 1040 instructions). Can I deduct $10.00 (FL max. fee) for each stamped document at a loan closing?

National Notary Association

09 Feb 2016

Hello. If you have specific questions about your tax situation other than the general information covered in the article, please contact the IRS or a qualified tax preparer for assistance.

Margaret Ruth Slaugh

10 Feb 2016

I enjoy testing and improving my knowledge .

Darline mejia

22 Feb 2016

Love taking the test and the information given was very informative and easy to understand.

Irma Sandoval

07 Mar 2016

Great test, good information to know.

Rosemary Chan

16 Apr 2016

No place to "enter your name and email above to be entered in a giveaway for a Neil or Camille Notary Seal" tho... I hope this counts and I hope I win :)

National Notary Association

18 Apr 2016

Hello. We're sorry, but the Neil and Camille tax quiz giveaway has ended. However, please keep watching the Bulletin and our Facebook page, as there will be more contests and drawings for Neil and Camille in the future!

CRHalem

20 Feb 2017

I find it funny that they asked HR Block regarding this. We used HR Block, my husband had excellent mileage records and the HR Block person did not know how to handle a mileage tax reporting they totally messed up my husbands taxes. We will never use HR Block again.

Lily Turner

05 Mar 2018

Would you kindly clarify the information in this paragraph taken from the article (it's not clear what is meant by "set rate", and what is the difference between the first set of expenses, and the second) : If you are using the actual expense method, then most of your other expenses like lease payments, depreciation, repairs, tires, oil changes, gas and insurance will be covered in the set rate. Otherwise, parking fees, registration fees, licenses, garage rent and tolls are tax deductible and should be claimed, though it’s important to note parking tickets are not deductible.

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