Can self-employed ministers deduct commute mileage?

Can self-employed ministers deduct commute mileage?

Travel can be one of the most problematic areas for many of your self-employed ministers.

The crux of the matter is defining when a drive is a commute and when it’s a deductible travel expense. This definition depends crucially on the minister’s principal place of ministry.

Driving between home and a worker’s principal place of ministry is considered commuting. Commuting – whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee – is never deductible. However, driving between one’s principal place of ministry and a workplace is a deductible travel expense.

A principal place of ministry is the primary location where the work of that church is performed. It’s generally the place where the books and records are kept, and where other administrative functions are performed.

For freelancers, remote workers, and others who work from home, their home office is their principal place of business. Therefore, any business-related travel will be deductible. This includes trips to the post office or to a client’s place of business.

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