2 roads for claiming tax deductions on business miles

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For many real estate professionals, your largest tax deduction may be the business miles you drive. There are two ways to deduct your mileage: You can (1) deduct your actual expenses for gas, depreciation, repairs and other car expenses; or (2) take the standard mileage deduction, which is 55.5 cents per mile for 2012. Whichever method you use, there's a simple way you can maximize your business miles: Use a home office for your real estate business. Commuting is not deductible Most real estate professionals have an office where they work on a regular basis. Unfortunately, you can't deduct the cost of traveling from your home to your regular place of business. These are commuting expenses, which are a nondeductible personal expense item. Example: Kim, a real estate broker, runs her business from an office in a downtown office building. Every day, she drives 20 miles to and from her suburban home to her office. None of this commuting mileage is deductible. Even if a trip from home ha...