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With the mileage deduction, the IRS only lets you deduct trips that are ministry-related. The natural question is: what types of trips are considered ministry mileage? Here are a  few examples of approved mileage by the IRS:

Travel between churches
You can take the mileage deduction for travel from church A to church B.

Errands/supplies

Driving for ministry-related errands qualifies. This can include trips like going to the bank, office supply store or post office. Additionally, these small trips add up quickly. 

Business meals and entertainment
Trips you make to meet with church members or church vendors qualify for this deduction. This can include drives for dinner, coffee, drinks, etc.

Airport/travel
The miles you drive to and from the airport for a ministry-related trip.

Honoraria 
Mileage to and from wedding venues, funeral homes, and speaking engagement locations can be written off. 

Temporary job sites
Driving from home to a temporary work location that you expect to last (and does, in fact, last) less than one year.

Job seeking
If you’re looking for work, you may deduct the drives to find a new job in your current occupation. Yet, you cannot take this deduction if you’re looking for a job in a new industry for the first time.

Ministry Mileage Does Not Include Commuting

There are some strict rules on what makes up deductible ministry mileage. The one that most people get in trouble with is commuting. Commuting occurs when you go from home to a permanent work location-either your:

  • Church office or another principal place of business
  • Another place where you have worked or expect to work for more than one year.

Evening or multiple trips from home to your church is still considered commuting.

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Clergy Financial Resources serves as a resource for clients to help analyze the complexity of clergy tax law, church payroll & HR issues. Our professionals are committed to helping clients stay informed about tax news, developments and trends in various specialty areas.

This article is intended to provide readers with guidance in tax matters. The article does not constitute, and should not be treated as professional advice regarding the use of any particular tax technique. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information. Clergy Financial Resources and the author do not assume responsibility for any individual’s reliance upon the information provided in the article. Readers should independently verify all information before applying it to a particular fact situation, and should independently determine the impact of any particular tax planning technique. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney.

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