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Tax advantages of leasing vs. buying a car Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our aim is to assist you make smarter financial decisions by offering you interactive tools and financial calculators that provide objective and original content. This allows you to conduct your own research and compare information for free to help you make informed financial decisions. Bankrate has agreements with issuers such as, but not limited to American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn Money The deals that are advertised on this site are from companies who pay us. This compensation can affect the way and when products are featured on this website, for example such things as the sequence in which they be listed within the categories of listing, except where prohibited by law for our mortgage home equity, mortgage and other home loan products. However, this compensation will have no impact on the information we provide, or the reviews that you read on this site. We do not contain the vast array of companies or financial offerings that might be open to you. SHARE: andresr/Getty Images

4 min read Published June 14, 2022

Written by Mia Taylor Written by Contributing Writer Mia Taylor is a contributor to Bankrate and an award-winning journalist who has two decades of experience and worked as a staff reporter or contributor for some of the nation’s leading newspapers and websites including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the San Diego Union-Tribune, TheStreet, MSN and The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain the confidence to take control of their finances through providing clear, well-researched information that breaks down otherwise complex issues into digestible chunks. The Bankrate guarantee

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You have money questions. Bankrate can help. Our experts have been helping you master your money for over four decades. We strive to continuously provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to make it through life’s financial journey. Bankrate adheres to a strict code of conduct standard of conduct, so you can rest assured that our content is truthful and accurate. Our award-winning editors and reporters provide honest and trustworthy content that will help you make the right financial decisions. Our content produced by our editorial staff is objective, factual, and not influenced by our advertisers. We’re honest about the ways we’re capable of bringing high-quality content, competitive rates and practical tools for you by explaining how we make money. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for the placement of sponsored products andservices or through you clicking specific links on our site. This compensation could influence the manner, place and in what order items appear within listing categories and categories, unless it is prohibited by law for our credit, mortgage and other home loan products. Other factors, like our own rules for our website and whether or not a product is offered in the area you reside in or is within your own personal credit score can also impact the way and place products are listed on this site. Although we try to offer an array of offers, Bankrate does not include details about every credit or financial product or service. As a business owner you’ll likely have to give more thought into whether to purchase or lease your vehicle than the average motorist. The usual questions you have to ask whether to lease or buy are relevant, however there’s a second factor to consider — namely, which are tax advantages? Tax deductions for business vehicles If you’re using a car for business purposes, there are two approaches that are permitted by the IRS to deduct the expense on the federal tax form. You may use what’s known as the standard mileage deduction, or choose to take advantage of the deduction for actual expenses. You can swap between the standard and actual expenses from year to year for a purchased vehicle but you must stick the same vehicle you initially chose when leasing. Mileage deduction : The standard mileage approach allows you to claim miles driven for your business on your federal tax return. The IRS announces the standard mileage rates that can be used to calculate the deductible cost of operating a car business purposes every year. In 2022, the standard mileage rate will be 58.5 cents for every mile to serve business needs. This means if you drive 15,000 miles for your business, you are able to claim a deduction of up to $8,775. Lease payments You can take the cost of monthly lease payments by taking the expense deduction you claim on your federal tax returns. The amount of allowance for lease payments is contingent on the amount of time you drive the vehicle exclusively for business purposes. If, for instance, your monthly lease payment is $400 and your vehicle is used at least 50 percent of the time to work, you can deduct $200 per month as an expense. This benefit is only available if you sign up for a standard lease. It is not possible to get a federal tax deduction on monthly lease payments when you sign an agreement to purchase the vehicle, which means that you own the vehicle at the time of contract expiration rather than returning the vehicle to the dealer. Depreciation Only purchased vehicles qualify for the depreciation deduction and only when the actual expense deduction is utilized. The method used to determine the value of your vehicle’s depreciation throughout the year is typically Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS). Much like the mileage deduction the depreciation deduction is subject to change each year. For 2021 the highest amount you could deduct was $10,000 There are alternatives to increase this amount dependent on the date the vehicle entered service. It is recommended to review the IRS to be familiar with the various ways to depreciate your vehicles and other assets as the owner of a business. Operating and maintenance costs Actual cost rules also allow for the deduction of other expenses such as oil, gas repair of vehicles, and tire purchases for your purchased or leased vehicle. If your vehicle needs extensive maintenance or repairs due to business use make sure you keep a meticulous note of it. In this way, you’ll be aware of the exact amount you spent and how much your business can reduce tax costs during tax season. The cost difference between leased and purchased vehicles. Costs upfront may be far less when you lease a car with the same brand model, year and year as compared to buying it. For business owners, those savings can be used to fund other business needs and investments. Provided you know you will remain within the lease conditions for wear and tear and expected mileage, you may see that the less expensive payment can yield more cash for your business. If you are comparing the same vehicle in a lease and a acquisition, monthly installments and first down payments may be cheaper in a lease. It is also possible to have lower maintenance costs in the event that your lease covers the cost of routine maintenance services, for example, oil adjustments. Purchasing has advantages when it comes to the fact that you’ll ultimately own the vehicle, while leases have to be terminated at some point, and the business is left with no equity. The cost of early termination when you need to end the contract early and excess mileage charges incurred when you go over the limit of mileage can add significant costs when it comes to leases. Both options come with interest and other fees and, in the end, it depends on how your business will need to utilize the vehicle. Do you prefer to buy or lease a business vehicle? The tax advantages that could be derived from it are only one of the considerations to consider for owners of businesses. The bottom line is that a vehicle purchase or lease can be a significant cost for your company and you should consider the issue from all angles before committing. Lease contracts usually restrict the amount of miles a car can be driven up to 10, 000 or 20,000 annually. If you go over this limit, the lease could be subject to a penalty of 10 to 50 cents per additional mile. If you drive a great deal for your business then purchasing a vehicle may be the better move. It is also required that the vehicle is kept in good working order. If you fail to keep up your end of the agreement or if there’s an excessive amount of wear on the vehicle after you return it, there may be additional costs. Also, keep in mind that if you continually lease a car one after the other and you’ll always be required to pay monthly payments for your car, in contrast to when you purchase a car and eventually own the car completely. However, if you like having access to the most recent automobiles with the latest technologies, leasing a vehicle can be a great way to achieve this, and allow you to access a new vehicle every three or four years. Furthermore, since lease payments tend to be less expensive than a traditional car loan and you can in a position to purchase a luxury vehicle. In the end, as with the many aspects of running a business, there’s not a one size fits all answer in determining if a lease or buying is more tax-efficient. Take into consideration how the vehicle will be used, upfront costs, long-term costs and the possibility of additional charges and the variety of deductions you might be eligible for before you purchase an automobile for your business. Find out more about SHARE:

Written by Contributing Writer Mia Taylor is a contributor to Bankrate and an award-winning journalist who has two decades of experience and worked as a staff reporter or contributor for some of the nation’s leading newspapers and websites including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the San Diego Union-Tribune, TheStreet, MSN and Written by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain confidence to manage their finances through providing concise, well-researched and well-studied content that break down complex subjects into bite-sized pieces.

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