Tax Deduction Tip: Deduct Hundreds of Dollars in Mileage! 

I hate hate hate organizing, tracking and PAYING taxes. 

The only thing that makes paying Uncle Sam a little bit better are figuring out my deductions. Just to review, a tax deduction (aka “write-off”) is a reduction in the total amount on which tax is calculated. 

This means that whatever you make total from your private patients you take the deductions off of that money so that you’re taxed on a lesser amount. 

Let’s say that you make $6,500 from private patient visits this year. If you calculate $708.75 in mileage deductions, you will only be taxed on $5,791.25. Hopefully you have more deductions than just mileage, but just remember, every deduction adds up!

Keep Track of Each Visit

You really really really need to keep track of your patient visits. This is important both for declaring earned income (how much money did you make) as well as being able to deduct miles driven to and from visits. I keep track of everything!

I personally use the app Milebug to keep track of my miles. I add clients addresses into the app using their INITIALS only, which helps me stay HIPAA compliant.

So… What Miles Can I Count?

In order to calculate miles to and from your patients house/treatment location, I recommend using either Milebug OR Google Maps. Either will allow you  to calculate the mileage quickly and accurately. 

So, what counts? I think of it this way:

  • where did I leave to get to the patients house
  • where is the patients house
  • where am I going after I see the patient

For me, this usually works out to be one of two scenarios:

My home address, the patients location and then my home address again OR my work address, the patients address and then my home address. 

You’re not allowed to tack on extra things (like the grocery store) but if it’s business related, you can add it! (such as trips to Staples for business supplies)

How to Calculate Your Mileage 

  1. Figure out the total miles you drove to see private patients
  2. Multiple that number by .56  (56 cents is the rate for 2014)

***For example, in 2014, I drove 1,417.51 miles x .50 for a total deduction of $793.80 Impressed? I am. I just got myself an $793.80.75 deduction just by keeping track of how many miles I spent running around treating private patients.

Still Nervous About Taxes?

Don’t be! 

The way to stop being nervous about taxes is EDUCATE YOURSELF and get an accountant. Chapter 7 of The Independent Clinician Guide to Private Patients  all about taxes and tax deductions. This chapter assumes you know NOTHING about taxes and shows you step-by-step how get organized and feel more confident about taxes

I also HIGHLY recommend getting an accountant

As you well know, I’m an SLP and not an accountant. I have never had a greater piece of mind than the day I hired my accountant and now I feel completely confident that I know what I’m doing. She appreciates my organization and I go into our meetings assured that I have the necessary information to let her prepare my taxes properly.

Jena H. Casbon, MS CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and private practice consultant. She started her own speech therapy private practice in 2006. She is the founder of The Independent Clinician and author of The Guide to Private Patients and The Guide to Creating a Web Presence for Your Private Practice. Since 2008, she has helped thousands of clinicians get the flexibility, income and freedom they desire from starting their own private speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy practices. 

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