Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Photo Galleries
Homes in these ZIP codes are selling like crazy Strong job growth, growing interest from Millennials and affordable home prices are attracting home buyers to these cities. More
Working class whites & the government: It's complicated These Clearfield, Pennsylvania, residents are mad at D.C., but want more help. More
Dear Trump and Clinton: Here's what swing voters want These voices are based on interviews with American voters from the key swing states of Florida and Ohio. It's part of a special report titled "Your money, your vote," that will air on CNN on October 15. More
Special Offer
5 of 5
BACK NEXT
Transportation Savings
Vehicle deductions can be particularly tricky. Many owners wind up driving blind, say experts, unaware of how much money they're losing through poor tax planning.

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.

More galleries

Last updated February 25 2008: 11:17 AM ET