What Car Expenses Can I Deduct for Business Driving?

What Car Expenses Can I Deduct for Business Driving?

Do you use your vehicle for business driving and wonder: “What car expenses can I deduct for business driving?” This is a question asked more than you might imagine and seems like a complex topic to comprehend. But it’s actually quite simple, and we have all the information you need.

Whether you’re an owner, self-employed, or an employee, “What Car Expenses Can I Deduct For Business Driving?” is a crucial question.

Deductible expenses include depreciation, lease payments, loan interest, insurance, repairs and maintenance, fuel costs, and tolls and parking fees. Choosing the correct filing method allows you to claim these expenses and save money on your taxes.

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, more professionals rely on their personal vehicles to do the job efficiently. So, it’s essential to understand the financial benefits of business driving.

This article will explain all the deductible car expenses for business driving, helping you make the most of your work-related trips.

Who can deduct business driving expenses?

If you have a business or work for yourself, you can take away driving costs for business reasons. But there are some rules you need to follow:

If You Run a Business or Are Self-Employed

As a small business owner, you can deduct all expenses associated with using vehicles for business purposes. This deduction covers vehicles used by both you and your employees.

Furthermore, if your business happens to own the vehicle, you are eligible to claim depreciation expenses. Remember, this rule only counts if the car is used for work more than half the time.

If You Are an Employee

You can deduct car expenses if you’re an employee, provided certain conditions are met. To be eligible, your job must entail travelling to various locations or working away from your employer’s office.

Your employment agreement must also specify that you cover all vehicle-related costs. To prove your deduction claims, your employer needs to sign CRA Form T2200. Keeping a copy in case the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) asks for it is a good idea.

What car expenses can I deduct for business driving?

When you’re using your car for business, knowing which car expenses you can subtract from your taxes is crucial. This helps you make the most of your money. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the car expenses that you can deduct when engaged in business driving:

1.  Depreciation

Depreciation means your vehicle gets older and wears out as time passes. You can deduct the depreciation expenses for vehicles owned and used for business purposes as a business owner.

To claim the depreciation, you must know the vehicle’s original cost, estimated useful life, and business use percentage during that time. These factors are essential for calculating the deduction.

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2.  Lease Payments

Suppose you’re leasing a vehicle for your business. In that case, you can subtract the rental payments from your business earnings when calculating expenses.

However, it’s essential to note that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) sets annual limits on claiming lease expenses. This measure is in place to prevent individuals from purchasing costly personal vehicles and claiming them as business expenses.

3.  Loan Interest

Suppose you took out a loan to buy a vehicle for your business driving. In that case, you might be eligible to deduct the interest. This can help you pay less in taxes. Similar to other deductions, the amount you can claim depends on the percentage of business use of the vehicle.

4.  Insurance

Insurance premiums for vehicles used in business driving are generally deductible. This includes both liability and comprehensive insurance.

5.  Repairs and Maintenance

Vehicle repairs and maintenance expenses are deductible if they are directly associated with business driving. Suppose you regularly maintain your vehicle, like changing oil, rotating tires, or getting other services done to keep it running well. In that case, you can consider these expenses part of your business costs.

6.  Fuel Costs

Fuel costs incurred during business driving are deductible. Keep track of your fuel expenses and determine the portion used for business purposes. This will allow you to claim the appropriate deduction on your taxes.

7.  Tolls and Parking Fees

Tolls and parking fees paid while using your vehicle for business driving are eligible for deduction. These expenses can add up over time, so maintain records and receipts to claim the full deduction amount.

What Car Expenses Can I Deduct for Business Driving - comparewise

What car expenses are not tax deductible for businesses?

One key point to remember, especially when considering what car expenses you can deduct for business driving, is that personal expenses are never tax-deductible. This rule applies across the board, whether you are a business owner, an employee, or self-employed.

1.  You Can’t Claim Commuting Costs

Even if your workday begins and ends with a commute, you can’t deduct the cost of driving to and from your workplace. This is because these costs are considered personal expenses and aren’t deductible.

2.  No Claim for Business Tasks during Commute

Even if you work while commuting, you still can’t claim the commute on your taxes. For instance, you can’t claim a tax deduction for transporting business materials in your car during your commute. Similarly, making business calls on your cell phone during your commute doesn’t make the journey tax-deductible.

3.  Advertising Using Your Vehicle

Using your vehicle as a moving billboard might seem like a smart business move. However, the costs associated with such advertising, like placing a sign on your car and driving around, are not tax-deductible.

Calculating your car expenses

To claim vehicle expense deductions on your taxes, keeping careful records of the kilometres you drive and the related expenses is essential. This is especially true when determining what car expenses you can deduct for business driving. Here’s an example to help you understand how it works:

Suppose you drove 50,000 kilometres in a year, and 40,000 of those were for business purposes. Throughout the fiscal year, you incurred the following expenses related to your vehicle:

  • Gas and oil = $8,000
  • Repairs and maintenance = $700
  • Insurance = $2,000
  • Car loan interest = $2,500
  • License and registration fees = $150
  • Total motor vehicle expenses = $13,350

To calculate your deductible expenses, follow these steps:

  • Divide the business kilometres (40,000) by the total kilometres (50,000): 40,000 / 50,000 = 0.8
  • Multiply the result by the total expenses ($13,350): 0.8 * $13,350 = $10,680

The amount you can deduct on your tax forms is $10,680.

Methods of claiming car expenses

When it comes to claiming car expenses for business driving, two methods are recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency.

Simple Method: Rate per Kilometer Allowance

You can easily determine how much money you can get back for your work-related travel using a fixed rate per kilometre. To do this, write down the miles you drive for work and pay for your vehicle costs yourself. In 2022, the government has decided on a non-taxable car allowance rate.

For the first 5,000 kilometres you travel for work, you can get $0.68 for each kilometre. After that, for every extra kilometre, you can get $0.62.

Comprehensive Method: Tracking Actual Vehicle Expenses

With the comprehensive method, track every business mile and all car expenses in a log to manage your finances. To calculate the deductible amount, divide the total business kilometres by the total kilometres driven.

You then apply this percentage to your actual vehicle expenses. This method requires more effort in record-keeping but can be beneficial if you have significant vehicle-related costs.

How to claim car expenses on tax returns

Claiming car expenses on your tax return can help you pay less tax and save more money. To do this correctly and to answer the question of what car expenses you can deduct for business driving, follow these steps:

1.  Choose Your Method of Calculation

First, you must choose how to calculate car expenses for your taxes. You can use a simple or detailed way based on your situation. Pick how to claim the most money for car expenses to lower your taxes.

2.  Get Your Papers Ready

It’s essential to have all your papers ready. This is your mileage log, a record of work travel for the year, and receipts for car expenses if required.

3.  Work out What You Can Claim

Next, you need to work out what you can claim. If you’re using the cents per kilometre method, just multiply your work-related kilometres by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) rates.

When using the vehicle expenses method, divide your work-related km by total km, then multiply by total car expenses. This calculation method has been discussed in detail in the previous section.

4.  Fill in the Tax Form

After you’ve worked out your claim for the year, you need to put this on your tax form. You must complete “Chart A – Motor Vehicle Expenses” on Tax Form T2125 if you work for yourself. If you are an employee, you must fill in the “Calculation of Allowable Motor Vehicle Expenses” section on Form T777.

5.  Keep Your Papers

Ensure you keep all your papers, like your mileage logs and receipts, for six years after submitting them. This is crucial in case the CRA audits your tax return.

Final thoughts on what car expenses can I deduct for business driving

When it comes to what car expenses you can deduct for business driving, remember that both owners and employees can make claims. You can deduct depreciation, lease payments, loan interest, and fuel. You can optimize your tax savings by choosing the correct calculation method and keeping accurate records.

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FAQs about what car expenses can I deduct for business driving

Is it possible to claim the full leasing expenses on your car?

You cannot claim the total leasing expenses. The CRA sets annual limits on claiming lease expenses to prevent individuals from buying expensive personal cars. These limits are in place to ensure fairness and compliance with tax regulations.

What is the maximum amount you can claim for car expenses without receipts?

To claim car expenses, receipts are essential. Items such as fuel, insurance, and repairs are deductible, but you'll need supporting receipts for all these expenses.

Is it possible to claim a car purchase on your taxes?

Purchasing a new car cannot be asserted as a deductible expense on your tax returns. Nevertheless, an exemption exists when you declare a Capital Cost Allowance for your business, treating the car as a depreciable asset. You can't deduct the car's price, but you might deduct the interest paid for the loan on the new vehicle.


August 7, 2023
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