Many people turn to rideshare driving as a flexible way to earn money on their own schedule — whether full-time or as a part-time gig. But life on the open road can become less appealing when faced with the task of filing 1099 taxes.
Here at Keeper, we're hoping to make tax season a smoother ride by listing a bunch of the write-offs that can help Uber and Lyft drivers save a significant amount of money on their taxes.
There are, of course, many car-related deductions you can claim, like the cost of gas or depreciation. But other things count too, like the cost of a music service subscription or refreshments you keep in your car for riders!
If you drive for work ...
Some rideshare companies will supply drivers with company-owned vehicles. If you drive a company car, feel free to write off all the gas and upkeep you pay for out of pocket.
If you drive your own car to pick up passengers — and for other work-related tasks like getting your car cleaned, inspected, or repaired — you can claim even more car expenses on your taxes, including vehicle depreciation.
Parking for a meeting downtown, or any other work trip, is tax-deductible!
A toll while driving to or from a work destination is tax-deductible!
Car purchase & depreciation
If you buy a new car, you can write off part of the cost every year for five years.
Flashlights, tire iron, duct tape, and other tools you may need in your vehicle are deductible.
Car insurance & registration
Car insurance monthly fees, registration, even roadside assistance are partially deductible.
Oil changes, repairs, and regular checkups are all tax-deductible if you drive for work.
If you leave town for work ...
If you drive a passenger to an out-of-town destination that's at least 100 miles from your home base, you can claim associated trip costs — like booking a hotel to sleep in before heading back into town. This also applies if you travel to, say, SXSW specifically to drive for Uber or Lyft.
Planes, trains, and car rentals are all work-related travel costs that can be written off.
When you travel for work, lodging expenses such as hotel rooms or Airbnb are write offs.
When you're traveling for work, all meals are tax-deductible. Even takeout!
If you work from home ...
As a rideshare driver, most of your work likely happens on the road. So being able to claim home office expenses is relatively unusual.
Still, some drivers build up their own brands outside of Lyft, Uber, and other gig apps — sourcing passengers and maintaining independent businesses from home. If you do any marketing or business development work of that nature, you can claim some of your home office expenses.
A desk, chairs, lamps, and other home office necessities are all tax write-offs.
You can write off up to $2,500 for individual repairs to your property.
Gotta keep the lights on in your home office! A portion of your electricity bill counts.
Whether it's rental or homeowners insurance, you can write off a portion through your home office deduction.
It'd be hard to work in an office without running water, huh? You water bill counts.
Your Comcast bill is a tax write-off. You need internet to do your job!