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Visitor III

Two questions

1. My wife is self employed, can she deduct mileage to/from home and office on days she drove there to see clients? I read IRS Pub 463, and it doesn't mention self employed when it discusses commuting expenses.  

2. My wife's business accounting software is giving us a number for write offs.  It is the difference in fees paid by insurance companies vice what her hourly billing rate is.  In other words, money she did not make because insurance companies did not/would not pay her full fee for services.  Is there a way to deduct these?  


Catalyst V

It would depend.  Where is the principal place of business?  If it is the office, then no, it would be a commuting expense.


If home qualifies as principal place of business, then travel from principal place of business should be deductible.


Reviewing the rules for home office might provide you with some guidance.


Hi K-M-W,


Similar to the reply above regarding home office location, it does depend where the office is and what her industry is.  But generally yes, your wife can deduct either standard or actual mileage for her self-employment work.  Our TurboTax Self-Employed product sounds right for her needs and can guide her through the mileage section and help determine if standard or actual is best.  


Also within our TurboTax Self-Employed product, there is Schedule C guidance for what can/can't be deducted, and based on her industry, we'll even recommend deductions for her.   Is she using QuickBooks Self-Employed as her accounting software?  If so, there is an import option available to carry information over.  


Let us know, we're here to help.



Catalyst V

I see that while your first question has been answered, the 2nd question has not.

"Is there a way to deduct these? "

There's nothing to deduct. Write'offs are income that was billed, was not collected and never will be collected. For example, your bill for services provided to me is $1000. Per my insurance I have a co-pay of $100. I pay you that $100 and you bill my insurance company for the remaining $900. However, the insurance company only pays you $800 leaving you $100 short on the total bill. Per your agreement with the insurance company, you cannot collect that shortage from me. You just have to "write it off".

Basically, what the write off does is reduce the bill from $1000 to $900 so that the bill shows as "paid in full". If you don't do that, then the bill will "never" be paid and you'll just carry that $100 balance due, basically forever. That would means your books would never balance.

Write-offs are not a tax deduction. You can't deduct from your taxable income, that income which you never received and were never taxed on in the first place. The write off just allows you to balance your books so you can "close out" the year.