Leasing a car for commute


I have a software development consultancy - this is a Sub-chapter S firm.

I am considering leasing a car to travel to my client sites for business use and keep my personal vehicles for personal use.

What are the restrictions on such leases?

Also, are there any tax related pitfalls to leasing cars for a Sub-chapter S?


asked Jan 26 '11 at 03:33
Raj More
106 points

2 Answers


The pitfalls is that a lease usually costs more than owning a car. You could just purchase a car, and lease it directly to yourself. So rather than leasing a mercedes benz, buy it. Then lease it back to yourself for what the lease rate would be.

Leases are nice and 100% of the payment is a write off, but the drawback is that you usually end up paying more for the option to return your car.

Sometimes, based on the manufacturer you can find a lease that is an exception to the rule.

answered Jan 26 '11 at 08:13
2,079 points


For vehicles and travel, it comes down to mileage vs actual expenses. You can either deduct $0.50/mile (or whatever current rate is) traveled to/from qualified locations, or you deduct what your actually spend (gas, repair, lease, etc).

You can simply run the numbers and decide how nice of a car you want to lease to see which is better for you from a tax/personal perspective.

IRS Publication 463 will provide plenty of detail.

answered Jan 26 '11 at 08:19
Alex Papadimoulis
5,901 points

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