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Personal Miles

If we give an employee the company car, to drive to a temporary worksite out of state, the employee stays in that state for the week, then drives back to us/his residence, are the miles from the out of state worksite to home and back considered personal miles?


  • Actually, if it is out of the normal commuting area, none of it is personal miles. Also, the time spent driving the company car is also hours worked for min wage and overtime purposes. That time can be paid at a different rate if that is agreed upon by the employer and employee ahead of time. Of course, this does not apply if the employee is an exempt employee, for example, under the "white collar" exemptions.

    Traveling in public transportation presents a different situation. Travel between home and rail depot or airport, if within normal commuting area, is commuting for hours worked purposes and does not have to be compensated (Portal-to-Portal Act), however, the IRS chart in Pub 463 indicates that transportation and travel between home and a temporary work location, when the employee has a regular or main work location, is business mileage for expense reimbursement purposes, or in the case of a company provided vehicle, not personal use of the employer's vehicle.

    The same is true for an employee who does not have a regular or main work location for travel outside the area of the employee's metropolitan area (per Pub 463). That is, local transportation within that area would be personal commuting miles.

    Travel or transportation to a temporary work location away from home on public transportation is time worked if it cuts across the employee's normal working hours, even on days not usually scheduled, such as weekends. Travel on public transportation that does not cut across normal working hours does not have to be considered time worked, but if the employer pays for it, the hours paid must also be counted as hours worked, Also, hours spent performing services while traveling, for example, feeding and tending livestock while traveling by rail to market, is also considered hour worked.