Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Schedule C expenses


This question is specific to vehicle expenses. I am self-employed and drove over 80,000 business miles last year between 3 different vehicles. This huge mileage expense, combined with my personal deductions brings my business income and taxable income to show near zero or sometimes even in the red. Having an AGI so low leaves me unqualified for dependednt tax credits. Being that it is much more advantageous:

Can I reduce the number of miles I claim as an expense or simply omit a vehicle from the return and not claim any expense for that vehicle? (For example, is it allowable to only claim 50,000 of the actual 80,000 miles travelled?)

Reducing the number of miles I claim puts my taxable income at a level where I would now qualify for certain tax credits, and therefore a much greater refund.

Again, is it legal to only iclude a portion of the miles that you are allowed to expense?

Thank you in advance for any answers you can provide!


Thanks for your question.

If you reduce the amount of miles you claim on your return in order to qualify for credits, and thereby get a larger refund, you have committed a fraudulent act.  Tax fraud can result in hefty fines as well as imprisonment.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

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John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

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The CPA Journal, Florida CPA Today, Green Consumer, Green Business, Global Sustainability as a Business Imperative, Palmetto Review, NATP TaxPro Quarterly, Mustang Journal of Finance and Accounting.

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