Not so Dennis Verkest (pictured at right) the owner of A Chimney Sweep & More. Verkest travels great distances to service his clients he has, logging more than 15,000 miles a year in his Ford F-150 pickup.
Because his pickup is fairly new (2004 model year), conventional wisdom holds that Verkest should take the normal deductions. For a car or light truck, you get a write-off that changes from $3,060 in year one to $1,775 in the fourth year and onward until you've depreciated the purchase price. You can also deduct the cost of insurance, repairs, and - critically - gasoline.
But Verkest chose option two: standard mileage. You can't depreciate the cost of the car or write-off gas. Instead, you take a simple deduction based on how many miles you drive. For 2008 it's 50.5 cents a mile, up from 48.5 cents in 2007. By choosing the mileage rate, his CPA figures, Verkest will be able to increase his write-off by as much as $750 over the normal deduction. "I'll do anything to keep more money in my pocket," Verkest says.