What are my rights to mileage reimbursement for traveling between two offices?
I work as a Field Service Engineer for a company and at the moment they are moving to a new office. I am using my personal vehicle to deliver new equipment from the old office to the new and also doing service calls to the new office. They will not pay me millage. It's only 20 miles round trip but 4 trips a week is 80 miles on a V8 truck.
Generally speaking, in California, companies must reimburse for all costs incurred by an employee during the course and scope of the employee's job. Labor Code section 2802 covers this.
Section 2802 provides: "An employer shall indemnify his or her employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties, or of his or her obedience to the directions of the employer, even though unlawful, unless the employee, at the time of obeying the directions, believed them to be unlawful."
This includes mileage (except to and from work).
If your office will not pay for your mileage it may be possible, depending on how your employment is termed, to take the write off on your taxes. Just keep track of the days you did the work and the miles traveled.
According to the IRS publications, beginning on Jan. 1, 2009, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) is:
55 cents per mile for business miles driven
24 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
I would check with an accountant on the best way to handle it for you. Good luck.
Unfortunately, there is no "right" to mileage reimbursement. Companies are allowed to provide it, and certain tax laws help encourage them by allowing them to deduct it as a business expense; however, they are not required to provide mileage reimbursement; they can require people to make trips in their own vehicles. You should keep records and discuss the matter with an accountant or other tax preparer; at a minimum, you may be able to claim some mileage deduction or some other tax benefit on your own behalf, since you are not being reimbursed. You could also try discussming the matter with your employer and working out to something that benefits you both--for example, if you regularly spend $25/week on gas, would you be willing to take $25 less a week in salary in exchange for mileage reimbursement.