Clergy Commuting Expenses

You cannot deduct the costs of taking a bus, trolley, subway, or taxi, or driving a car between your home and your church or regular place of work. These costs are personal commuting expenses. You cannot deduct commuting expenses no matter how far your home is from your church or regular place of work. You cannot deduct commuting expenses even if you work during the commuting trip.

However, if you drive to a hospital, post office, or some other ministry related stop on the way to or from church, the mileage incurred in driving from the church to the second ministry/ business location are deductible expenses even though you are on the way to or from home. The remaining miles between the second ministry/business location and your home are nondeductible commuting mileage. If you are serving two churches, the mileage of driving between these churches are also deductible. Keep track of your professional mileage in this easy-to-use Mileage Log.

Temporary work location

If you have one or more regular places of business and commute to a temporary work location, you can deduct the expenses of the daily round-trip transportation between your home and the temporary location. The temporary work must be irregular or short term (generally a matter of days or weeks).

If you have no regular place of work but ordinarily work in the metropolitan area where you live, you can deduct daily transportation costs between home and a temporary work site outside that metropolitan area. Generally, a metropolitan area includes the area within the city limits and the suburbs that are considered part of that metropolitan area. You cannot deduct daily transportation costs between your home and temporary work sites within your metropolitan area. These are nondeductible commuting costs.

If the temporary work location is beyond the general area of your regular place of work and you stay overnight, you are traveling away from home. You may have deductible travel expenses.

Two places of work

If you work at two places in one day, whether or not for the same employer, you can deduct the expense of getting from one workplace to the other. However, if for some personal reason you do not go directly from one location to the other, you cannot deduct more than the amount it would have cost you to go directly from the first location to the second. Transportation expenses you have in going between home and a part-time job on a day off from your main job are commuting expenses. You cannot deduct them.