Savvy business owners creatively promote their businesses by putting advertisements on their cars. This can include painted adverts, stickers, or even vanity plates. While there are many ways to turn business use of your vehicle into a tax deduction, you must be careful not to overstep your allowances. Knowing which deductions are allowed will help you get the most out of your vehicle.
The Truth About Advertising
Adding a placard, sticker, or company license plate to your vehicle doesn’t mean you can write off full use of your car. Even though you might be tempted to argue that an advertisement turns every trip into a business trip, tax law will not be on your side. In 2010, the Internal Revenue Service took a dental practice to court when the full use of the car was reported as a qualifier for a deduction because of an advertisement. It was determined that the dental practice was not allowed to deduct 100 percent of the car expenses simply because of vehicle advertising.
Silver Lining of Vehicle Deductions
The cost of adding advertising to your vehicle is tax deductible. For example, if you spend $1,000 hiring someone to paint your logo on your car, you can deduct the full $1,000 as a business expense. Commuting to work is not deductible, but business trips and use of your vehicle to transport your business materials count. Track your business use of the vehicle in mileage to determine what percentage of your use is business-related. Compile your vehicle expenses for the year, including maintenance. Multiply that amount by the percentage of business use, and that will determine what you are able to deduct.
by Meredith Berg, studioD