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Can I use the .565 milage rate for the idle time of a self employed security officer?

Self employed security guard....I take .565 mileage rate for business miles....client says he can take deduction for "idle miles"...he is sitting at a location with his car running(idling). Client says he can claim 30 miles per hour of idling. I never came across this before. Help!! 


    I never heard of it either but it does make some sense.  I assume the same would apply to private detectives and so on.Have you tried looking for some backup on this answer?

    • I have checked the IRS site and have found nothing!
    • All I have been able to find so far is that it is illegal to idle your vehicle in Minneapolis! This is such an interesting thought that I'll keep looking.
    • Thanks...that is funny! My client has 935 hours of "idling" which he argues is 935 @ 30 miles = 28050 miles . I can hear the IRS red lights going off now!! I need to back up this deduction with
    • Agree with everyone.  Never heard of this and highly doubt anyone will find it in any IRS instructions, code, or regulations.
    • And the Tax Court judge who heard the case died laughing before he could write his opinion.

    I don't think I could do it with a straight face.  But I don't think the IRS would be even slightly amused.  Just for openers, there is no way he could prove the car was running.  Other than that, it's patently absurd.  Heck, I could drive to a client's office, drive back to my parking garage, and let the thing idle for months.  I'd pay zero tax every year.  I would NOT sign the return, even if someone is able to dig up some goofy cite.

    But if I did it, I'd idle at 75 mph.  Sheeeeesh!

    • I totally agree.
    • It's possible, just barely possible, that he could deduct the cost of gasoline consumed, if keeping the car running was a stated condition of employment.

    Tell him to shut off the vehicle when he is parked.  End of story.  By the way, did he also want to deduct the cost of haircuts too?

    • And shoe polish?
    • The gaurd dog wears shoes?
    • OMG OMG OMG  I almost forgot the best deduction of all -- gaurd dog grooming.
    • Poodle gaurd dogs get groomed.  German shepherd gaurd dogs get haircuts.
    • And of course, we've already determined that *hair cuts* ARE deductible - right?
    • That's why I brought it up.  We haven't touched on the subject of grooming yet.
    • As long as the guard dog is under 24 you should be good to go. I think.
    • What if this poor maligned security officer is required to keep his motor running in case he has to chase the bad guys????

    Maybe he could use "actual expenses" instead of mileage if he wishes to claim gas burned while idleing.

    • That is exactly what I'm going to do. Thanks to everyone for their funny comments.

    Agree with Poolcleaner, never heard of it either.  If I was going to sit for an hour, I would turn the engine off.

    • You just KNOW he'd say that his employer requires it.  I say the guy is a nutjob.

      But I WILL say that this thread is a keeper!
    • Make sure he gets his muffler/exhaust system checked (that should be deductible right <w>) to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning during those long idle times.
    • Thanks to all for their input!! Cant believe so many of you have time to answer. Thanks so much for validating what I was already thinking!!
    • (It's March...we are all a wee bit punchy). Thanks for providing some *tax* humor on a Monday.

    A hundred years ago, when someone had to turn a crank to start a car, idling made sense. Now that it takes about three seconds to start a car, idling is totally unnecessary and may even cause the car to run badly.

    I would tell him that I needed documentation that idling was a requirement for his job and a complete log of the specific dates and times he spent idling before I could enter any of it on a tax return.

    • Pretty sure he has to crank it.
    • Crank it?  I thought it was more the Fred Flinstone type.
    • My great grandmother, who died at the age of 102 in the 1980s, told me she stopped driving when cars stopped having to be cranked.
    • What...she liked cranking, but not driving???
    • Charlotte - I would not only "need documentation that idling was a requirement for his job and a complete log of the specific dates and times he spent idling before I could enter any of it on a tax return," but I would want to find this in some IRS document, proving that it is deductible.

    Thanks I am first instruction to the client would be to go to the source of this information and ask (1) that he/she provide the IRS code that allows this expense and (2) what level of tax training does he/she have.  If one is provided tell him you will review it and if it is  being accurately interpreted you will include the deduction.

    I would also advise him to "believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see until you have verified the information with your tax professional"

    Please be sure to let us all know the result.

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