What you need to know:
- There are 2 methods: Actual expenses or mileage. Unless you are driving a newer car that you are still making high payments on, it is usually better (and almost always simpler) to use the mileage method.
- If you claim expenses, you must also claim your reimbursements.
- To claim your expenses, you must itemize your deductions on Schedule A. Unless you have a mortgage and pay a bunch of interest, or make large charitable donations, you are better off claiming the standard deduction.
- Even if you itemize, your unreimbursed expenses must be at least 2% of your total income.
My total delivery miles for the year were 3774 (compared to 7629 in 2007). This got me $976 in "unreimbursed employee expenses" on Schedule A, Line 24. However, this is less than 2% of my Adjusted Gross Income, so I did not get to claim this deduction for 2008.
I expect this is a common situation for most pizza delivery drivers, either the mileage was not over 2% of the AGI or, even more commonly, the pizza driver will not itemize deductions on Schedule A and instead will use the Standard Deduction.