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Gas Tax

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Liut, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. Liut

    Liut Active Member

    Anyone else have their gas allowance taxed? Seems shitty, but maybe I'm ignorant.

    New employer failed to mention this measly amount would be included in "income." Seems to me, I'm paying tax on the fuel twice. I'm also curious how the home office reports it to the IRS.

    Combine the above with a projected $2,000 shortfall in the salary I was offered and my new gig is likely to be a short-term engagement.
  2. Tarheel316

    Tarheel316 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, it's income. At my shop they simply add it to the paycheck, which simplifies things. A lot of income gets taxed twice, which sucks. Of course that is another bad subject altogether.
  3. rpmmutant

    rpmmutant Member

    It is not income. It's an expense. As a freelancer, I keep track of all my mileage and get reimbursed when I do my taxes. If I ever get another newspaper job, I am keeping track of my own mileage.
  4. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    If your mileage reinbursment is being included with your wages on your W-2, get down to accounting ASAP and show them the error of their ways.
  5. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Not true HanSen.
    If you are given a set gas allowance per week/pay period/month that you do not have to justify with expense report, it is included in taxable income.
    If you submit expense voucher and get reimbursed at xx cents per mile, it is not taxable.
  6. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

  7. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    OK ... since I've always turned in mileage as an expense, was not aware of the other option.
  8. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Any income, or perk, that is not a direct reimbursement for an expense is income to the IRS.
    If you have a work phone, that's income. If you get $50 a month in allowance and your bill is more than that, not income. If it is under $50, the difference is considered income.

    Now if you are getting a monthly gas voucher, and also tracking your work mileage. If you total up the mileage at the end of the year, and use what the IRS allows, 50 cents, and your mileage expense is greater than what the voucher was, you could then declare that on an itemized income tax return and get the money that was taxed on the voucher back.
    That's a lot of tax work that isn't going to get you much back.
    Regardless, as I understand the tax code, what your shop is doing is actually pretty stupid on their part.
    If you file milage that is reimbursed. Your company can declare that mileage, at the full IRS rate, as a business expense and write it off. They actually come out ahead because most places don't reimburse what that IRS allows. Like my shop and most of the shops I'm aware of. But that's why, before the IRS changed it to 2 percent AGI, most places wouldn't allow you not to claim mileage.
    Before the rule change, I know of at least one shop -- Gannett -- that wouldn't allow its writers to claim their work mileage as a personal/business expense because it cost the company money in tax deductions.
    But with the rule change, to hit the 2 percent AGI, it is practically impossible. Even if you could claim all your mileage and not just the difference between what you were reimbursed and the IRS max.
  9. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    We file a monthly mileage sheet and are reimbursed. It's not taxable income. We are paid .30 a mile. I file the difference on income tax and get credit as a deduction.
  10. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I've always had to file a weekly mileage sheet. And it has never been taxed (3 different shops). You can also write off the difference on your taxes since the national mileage rate is something like .56 cents per mile, and papers rarely pay that. Although, I'm sure most people on here already knew that.
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