Can I Write Off Taxi Rides for Taxes?

by Lainie Petersen ; Updated July 27, 2017

Taxi fares can add up quickly, making many people wonder whether they are tax deductible. Taking a taxi to and from your job, or while you run personal errands, usually doesn't qualify for a deduction, but there are situations in which you can deduct taxi fare. These circumstances include expenses incurred while performing volunteer work, traveling on business or visiting your doctor.

Work Transportation

If you are employed outside the home and must report to an office or workplace each day, the IRS considers cab fare to your place of business a "personal commuting expense." You cannot deduct this expense from your taxes. However, if you must take a taxi while traveling on business or to other locations in your area as part of your job, and your employer doesn't reimburse your expenses, you can claim these costs as a deduction.

Job Searches

You cannot deduct expenses associated with finding your first job, a job outside your current field or if you haven't had a job for awhile. (The IRS doesn't state how long your unemployment must be, but it does disallow tax deductions for job searches after a "substantial break" in employment.) However, if you want to find a new job in the same field as your previous job, you can deduct your costs, including cab fares to job interviews.

Self-Employment

If you are self-employed, you can deduct the cost of transportation necessary to doing business as well as taxi fares incurred during business travel.

Volunteer Work

The time you spend on volunteer work doesn't qualify for a tax deduction. You can, however, deduct expenses you incur while performing charitable work. For example, if you take a cab to and from the volunteer site, you can deduct this expense. Similarly, if you are out and about doing work for the charity and need to take a cab, you can deduct the cost of the taxi ride.

Medical Transportation

If you take a taxi while visiting a doctor or another health care professional, you can deduct your fare, as well as other transportation costs, as a medical expense.

Documentation

Make sure that you get a receipt from a cab driver before leaving a cab, because you might need the receipt to document your tax deduction in case of an audit. In some areas, you can pay cab fare with a credit card, which provides you with an easy way of tracking and documenting your deductible taxi rides. The IRS may also want to see further documentation of the necessity for your cab fare expense, such as the names of the business associates you met with after taking a taxi to their location.

About the Author

Lainie Petersen writes about business, real estate and personal finance, drawing on 25 years experience in publishing and education. Petersen's work appears in Money Crashers, Selling to the Masses, and in Walmart News Now, a blog for Walmart suppliers. She holds a master's degree in library science from Dominican University.