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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 03-16-08, 08:17 AM   #26
BA Commuter
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This might not be a bad idea if there was some sort of incentive to get people to buy bikes and apply the cost toward a tax deduction in order to help reduce our dependency on automobile transportation.

Maybe a new version of the Bike Commuter Act (H.R. 1498) or have a pre-income tax account to use to purchase a bike. It wouldn't be easy to accomplish, but it's better to keep trying to do something rather than give up hope!
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Old 03-16-08, 12:24 PM   #27
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In Canada, I understand, bicycle messengers can claim $15 (?) /day for food. (fuel)
If you're going to claim that, you should check with Revenue Canada first.
The Transit tax refund is nationwide, and applies to passes of over 5 days or equivalent.
You should, at least, keep the passes themselves, and preferably the receipts.
Doesn't have to be all year though, so if you just get a pass for the Winter months...

Definitely should have tax breaks for bicycle commuters.
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Old 03-17-08, 10:26 PM   #28
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http://blumenauer.house.gov/issues/I...&SubIssueID=25

You guys remember the bicycle commuter act in the U.S.? Is it dead?
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Old 03-18-08, 08:17 AM   #29
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Warren Buffet did when he filed is first tax forms. He used his bicycle to deliver papers...
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Old 03-18-08, 09:00 AM   #30
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I'm going to have to check into this. I do a little real estate sales part time and know I can deduct mileage. I'm going to check and see if I can still do this on a bicycle. Also should be interesting to show up at a showing on a bicycle and see the buyer's reactions when they see me standing there next to my bicycle. Could get interesting with multiple showings though ("go ahead, I'll meet you there, I'm going to take a shortcut and hop the RR tracks and cut over on the bike path"), then being there already before they get to the next house in their car. But I'm meandering off of the thread topic, sorry.
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Old 03-18-08, 05:24 PM   #31
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So is that a no sales tax thing at time of purchase, or do you claim it on your tax return? And that would have to be provincial tax - what's Ontario's sales tax now?

I have been spoiled living in Alberta with no provincial sales tax and the GST going down the last couple of years . I started off in BC where PST was 8% for a while, plus 7% GST!
I've not purchased anything other then a tune-up/repair service ($400 ouch. ). To my understanding (and assumption) they take the tax off at purchase time.

I believe we pay 13% PST & GST now. 8% PST and 5% GST if I recall right.

Can't wait till the cost of petrol goes up to $1.20/L then people would change thier minds to look for some alternatives then. Better get a good lock then to keep your wheels with you.

I'm going to see if that tax off covers the clothing and bags as well. If so then hot damn... I'm going to try and cash in on some useful goodies that I will be needing for day to day riding.
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Old 03-24-14, 04:47 PM   #32
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Check out irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p15b.pdf for info re: "qualified bicycle commuting reimbursements", i.e. employers can provide $20 / mo as a non-taxable benefit during the bike commuting season (whatever that means).

Also note this from the IRS:

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:


  • 56 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 23.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

I've no idea why they restrict this to "cars" or motor vehicles (hey, why not define my cruiser as a "pickup" or "panel truck" for tax purposes) - you'd think any personal vehicle, motorized or not (e.g. what if it's Fred Flintstone's "car") should qualify. Why not a motorcyle or scooter or Segway, if the purpose is to transport something or someone, e.g. to do business or charitable work, what's the difference. Let's say two people go to help at a soup kitchen. One goes by bike and gets no tax deduction, whereas someone else drives a Hummer and gets $0.14 / mile tax deduction - go figure! Great way to encourage and reward carbon emissions. In any case, you always have the option of deducting actual costs of using your "personal vehicle" rather than using a standard mileage rate. Sure, that’s more work but I'd say the IRS should not stand a chance in court if you can document actual costs of using your personal vehicle (i.e. your bike) for tax-deductible purposes. Why not claim your actual fuel cost (figure your calories burned by your body and what you actually spent on those calories) and actual wear and tear on your bike, plus depreciation of course. Good luck. I'll vote for someone who stands for equal deductibility of bikes as personal vehicles. Using a bike to get from point A to point B should be just as deductible as using a van, pickup or panel truck for the same purpose.
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Old 03-24-14, 05:02 PM   #33
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In theory, I could probably do the same with bike mileage if my employer's policy wonks interpret "bike" as "personal vehicle" or whatever the policy calls it. I haven't tried - yet
Yes, I regularly filed vouchers with my employer that included mileage charges for use of my bike when I used it to attend meetings or for local travel when away on business trips. Since these were reimbursed business expenses there wasn't anything to deduct on my taxes, but the extra money I got from my employer for vouchered business travel wasn't taxable income either. And presumably the employer listed such payments under business expenses when filing their tax returns.
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Old 03-24-14, 05:08 PM   #34
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With what I put into them, I should be able to claim my bikes as dependents
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Old 03-24-14, 05:11 PM   #35
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Nice six year bump
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Old 03-24-14, 05:24 PM   #36
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If you itemize your deductions n yuor income tax (in the USA) you can deduct the tax you paid on your new bike, but not the bike itself.
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Old 03-24-14, 05:35 PM   #37
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I deduct a portion of mine as I use it for business purposes.
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Old 03-24-14, 06:03 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by PapaLegba View Post
bike messengers work for cash and don't report their income.
Like a server, they get tips and a base wage, unless a company tries to hire you as an independent contractor. then you'd be able to itemize as your own company. That's when taxes tend not to get paid...
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Old 03-24-14, 06:21 PM   #39
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Generally good advice. Sometimes it helps to understand the intent of the law as much as the letter. The intent of a vehicle tax deduction is to cover situations were the vehicle is a ordinary and necessary business expense that is used for business purposes to generate income. Obviously stuff like a delivery van, company car to visit client locations, etc. counts. And conversely, the tax laws to not consider a vehicle used for commuting from one's home to place of business to be a business expense - it's a normal personal expense of everyday living so it is not deductible. The situation is somewhat analogous to a uniform - if a place of business requires you to wear a uniform and you have to pay for it, then it is deductible, but if your job doesn't require a uniform, you can't deduct the cost of normal everyday street clothing.

Things get ticklish in the margins, but this "ordinary and necessary business expense" is the key test. If your bicycle meets this standard, then it is probably deductible. And if you use the bicycle for multiple things, you can probably apportion percentages to your personal and business use and take partial deductions.

I doubt you can take a standard mileage deduction - this is done to make things simpler but assumes levels of expenses specific to various vehicle types. The law is allowing you to deduct what it thinks your actual expenses are, not just covering your mileage with a fixed amount no matter whether you walked, rode a bicycle, or took your private helicopter. Again, it must meet the ordinary and reasonable bar - deducting expenses of $5000/hr to fly a helicopter might be considered reasonable for a neurosurgeon getting between his practices, but not for someone delivering pizza. And I doubt the IRS has any concept of what bicycle expenses are so you'd probably have to itemize all your expenses rather than take a standard mileage deduction.

- Mark
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Old 03-24-14, 08:46 PM   #40
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Generally good advice. Sometimes it helps to understand the intent of the law as much as the letter. The intent of a vehicle tax deduction is to cover situations were the vehicle is a ordinary and necessary business expense that is used for business purposes to generate income. Obviously stuff like a delivery van, company car to visit client locations, etc. counts. And conversely, the tax laws to not consider a vehicle used for commuting from one's home to place of business to be a business expense - it's a normal personal expense of everyday living so it is not deductible. The situation is somewhat analogous to a uniform - if a place of business requires you to wear a uniform and you have to pay for it, then it is deductible, but if your job doesn't require a uniform, you can't deduct the cost of normal everyday street clothing.

Things get ticklish in the margins, but this "ordinary and necessary business expense" is the key test. If your bicycle meets this standard, then it is probably deductible. And if you use the bicycle for multiple things, you can probably apportion percentages to your personal and business use and take partial deductions.

I doubt you can take a standard mileage deduction - this is done to make things simpler but assumes levels of expenses specific to various vehicle types. The law is allowing you to deduct what it thinks your actual expenses are, not just covering your mileage with a fixed amount no matter whether you walked, rode a bicycle, or took your private helicopter. Again, it must meet the ordinary and reasonable bar - deducting expenses of $5000/hr to fly a helicopter might be considered reasonable for a neurosurgeon getting between his practices, but not for someone delivering pizza. And I doubt the IRS has any concept of what bicycle expenses are so you'd probably have to itemize all your expenses rather than take a standard mileage deduction.

- Mark
Tremendous explanation.

The deduction of part of my bike is for marketing expenses.
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Old 03-25-14, 10:19 AM   #41
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I'm Thinking If that is the tool you require for your business , Independent, self employed..
A bike messenger, or that street soup cart trike, deliveries , etc.

but not if you just commute to a job that is not owned by you .
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Old 03-25-14, 10:21 AM   #42
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I do here - everything related to the bike (including a new bike) is considered a business expense. Costa Rica actually thinks bikes are a means of transportation - how backward is that?!
I hate you.
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Old 03-26-14, 01:50 PM   #43
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As a high school teacher, you cannot deduct the expense of getting to work on a bicycle from your salary, as you are an employee, and getting to work by bicycle is not a requirement of the job. If you want to deduct your bike, here's what you do:

Start your own company. Start generating revenue with this company. Make up stickers with the name of your company and put them on the downtube of the bicycle. As well, any time you ride the bike, wear a jersey with the name of your company. You should now be able to deduct a portion of the cost of the bike (capital asset) each year, as well as the ongoing expenses incurred by your bicycle (including having stickers and jersey made up) from the company's gross income (total revenue less cost of whatever product you're selling or whatever it costs to directly provide your service). The bike is a marketing expense, since you are using your bicycle to provide your company with public exposure. This expense goes in the same part of the income statement as your phone bill, mailing costs, employee salaries, etc. On the balance sheet, the bicycle is a fixed asset (usually amortized over 3 years), and the maintenance costs are a liability.

Note that you have to generate enough revenue in order to be able to deduct the bike costs. What's left after all your expenses is the amount that's taxable, so adding the bike to your expenses reduces the amount of tax you would pay. If you are not generating self-employed income, there's nothing to write off, is there?

And on a different topic, here in British Columbia, with the return of PST, bicycles can now be purchased without paying 7% PST. You still have to pay 5% GST (federal). Bicycles are exempt from PST, as are any accessories purchased initially with the bike, plus safety equipment (your helmet). Also, services related to repairing the bike are also PST-exempt. However, after the purchase, accessories (fenders, racks, locks) incur PST. But if you buy parts that are an essential part of the bike (brakes, fork, tires), these are still PST-exempt.

Luis
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Old 03-26-14, 02:09 PM   #44
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but not if you just commute to a job that is not owned by you .
Commuting expenses, by ANY mode, are not deductible expenses on Federal Income taxes, period.
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Old 03-27-14, 12:44 PM   #45
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Check out irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p15b.pdf for info re: "qualified bicycle commuting reimbursements", i.e. employers can provide $20 / mo as a non-taxable benefit during the bike commuting season
My employer does this - every month I just e-sign a form that says "I used my bicycle for more than 50% of my commuting miles this month". I get $20 from the company and they get it back as a tax credit so the only cost is the admin work to process the tax forms.
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Old 03-27-14, 12:59 PM   #46
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but not if you just commute to a job that is not owned by you .
Be careful with advice like that. It's completely wrong.
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Old 03-27-14, 01:01 PM   #47
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I don't even try , as I'm Retired it's not even applicable ..
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Old 03-27-14, 06:45 PM   #48
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Maybe not your bike, but as a commuter... Commuter Tax Benefits | National Center for Transit Research
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Old 03-27-14, 09:34 PM   #49
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Maybe if you're a contractor and are traveling to your client's office from your home office. But then that wouldn't be bike commuting, so you wouldn't be allowed to post here. Sorry, can't have it both ways.
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Old 03-27-14, 10:20 PM   #50
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Maybe not your bike, but as a commuter... Commuter Tax Benefits | National Center for Transit Research
These benefits provide no provision for anybody to deduct commuting expenses on their individual income tax return
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