Tax liabilty question

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I started a new job this year as w2 employee. I work about 300 miles away from permanent residence (2 weeks on 1 week off). I have to buy my own tools and vehicle. My question is, I bought two cars. One to commute back and forth, and one to work while on the clock.  

What can I write off in this situation? both vehicles by depreciation? miles?

What are some other ways lower my tax liability? Single male. monthly salary ~6k, ~65k-70k yearly. I own my primary residence outright. I have some student loan interest but very minimal. 

Would it be tax savvy to start an IRA?

Thanks!

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You can't deduct for your commute, but you may be able to deduct miles drive on-the-job and tools. You would use Form 1040 Schedule A and only the amount over 2% of your AGI can be deducted. See IRS Schedule A instructions and IRS Publication 529.

Saving for retirement in a tax-advantaged vehicle is rarely a bad idea, see the IRA sticky.

Is this job temporary?
Are you crossing state lines?
How long do you expect to have the job?

I couldn't find anyway to write off the long commute while doing similar. The on the clock one... you're going to need to keep records to pull out miles between job sites outside the regular commute miles. It depends on how strictly you mean 'on the clock' - if it's really only for work, or if you mean more for at that location...

If the location is temporary, you can deduct more though.

These may have some of the info you need:
http://www.irs.gov/publications/p463/ch04.html
http://www.irs.gov/publications/p463/ch01.html#en_US_2013_publin...

Yes I cross state lines, I live in SC and work in KY. Yes the job is temporary. We are doing Stimulus work for the Government(fiber optic cable installations) under Davis Bacon. The stimulus work has a deadline of june 2015. Can I deduct the total value of my work truck instead of miles?

jacobhorne said:   Can I deduct the total value of my work truck instead of miles?
  
Pretty sure that's a negative. How much does it cost you to operate your truck? And I'm not asking just about gas. I'm asking about gas, insurance, tires, maintenance, repairs, depreciation. I believe the standard mileage deduction is 56 cents a mile, which is pretty generous.

See about the tax benefits of leasing a car and dedicating that 100% to go to work. I don't know all the tax rules but I do remember that Leased cars have better tax deductions when used for Business.

forbin4040 said:   See about the tax benefits of leasing a car and dedicating that 100% to go to work. I don't know all the tax rules but I do remember that Leased cars have better tax deductions when used for Business.
  This is true when you own your own business, not so much when you're a w2 employee

You might want to get a CPA who knows the special rules.

Is there a local office that you can commute to and then go 300 miles for the job site? If I remember, that's one way to deduct the 300 mile commute. Definitely do not take my word for it though.

jacobhorne said:   Yes I cross state lines, I live in SC and work in KY. Yes the job is temporary. We are doing Stimulus work for the Government(fiber optic cable installations) under Davis Bacon. The stimulus work has a deadline of june 2015. Can I deduct the total value of my work truck instead of miles?
  If you've already started, then June 2015 is more than a year away and the work would not qualify as temporary, which kills deducting the longer trip.  You might still be able to deduct during work hours travel (not the main commute).

Thanks for the replies. The negative is I don't drive my truck that many miles at work, however it was necessary for the job. hmmmm....

I guess I could write off tools, meals, lodging etc.  maybe max out an IRA. I was was hoping to depreciate the truck someway. It was 15k upfront I paid.

I need to write off more than the standard deduction.

CPA Time

Actually, OP may be able to deduct the mileage to the job site: http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc514.html

valueinvestor said:   Actually, OP may be able to deduct the mileage to the job site: http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc514.html
  http://www.irs.gov/publications/p463/11081l02.gif-315423875.html
Between home and regular or main job, Never deductible.
Between home and temporary work location, Deductible if you have a regular or main job at another location.
Between home and second job, Never deductible on a day off from regular or main job.
Between regular or main job and temporary work location, Always deductible.
Between regular or main job and second job, Always deductible.
Between temporary work location and second job, Always deductible.




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