How are you tracking your business mileage? Yes, one more item you need to do. I know how you feel. Our lives are busy with taking care of family, household chores, and running a business. The last thing you want to do is add another item to your long to do list.
Take a couple of minutes while you sip on that second or third cup of coffee. Discover why and how you can make your life easier by tracking those business miles.
As an entrepreneur, we need to save every penny we can. So why not track your business mileage so you can expense the deduction on your taxes.
You can use the optional standard mileage rate - for 2019 that is 0.58 cents per mile for business use. If you choose to track your miles, then you can’t claim the actual cost of using the vehicle. Such as
Repairs and maintenance
You can’t claim the mileage from home to office and back
By tracking your miles you will still be able to claim parking and highway tolls.
In this blog post we are going to discuss:
What’s Required to Track Mileage
Ways to track mileage
What’s Required to Track Mileage
The IRS will allow you to write off your business, medical, charitable or moving miles at different rates.
Business @ 0.58 cents per mile
Medical or Moving @0.20 cents per mile
Charitable @0.14 cents per mile
Check with your bookkeeper or CPA to see what types of mileage you can deduct.
In order to take the business mileage expense off on your taxes you need to keep accurate records. The IRS will want to see the following items per trip.
Address or location to and from
You do not have to write down the mileage odometer reading for each trip. But you will need to know the odometer reading as of January 1st and December 31st of each year.
Ways To Track Mileage
There are several ways to track your mileage, such as:
Mileage log book
Mileage tracking apps
Log Books can be purchased about anywhere these days. Log Books have preprinted pages with dates, descriptions, purposes from locations, destinations, beginning miles, and ending miles. All log books aren’t the same. Some may have more or less information that you will need to manually fill in.
It isn’t necessary to keep track of your personal miles. But you will need to write down the odometer at the beginning of the year. Because: Beginning year odometer - tracked business miles = personal miles.
Spreadsheets are wonderful in the fact that you can make it your own. You can add any number of columns and labels to your liking as long as you meet all the IRA requirements. For me, this is too tedious to log into my computer each time and fill out the spreadsheet before I forgot the information.
Apps are my favorite. They have come a long way in helping you stay organized in personal and business life. They can track your miles for you. Then at the end of the day you can declare what is business and what miles are personal. Some of the more common Apps are:
Triplog Mileage Tracker
I’ve used MileIQ for several years. It is simple and easy to use. Automatic mileage recording. I swipe left for personal and swipe right for business when I categorize the miles. You can add notes to each drive for further clarification. This makes it very easy for me as months and even years down the road, I will not remember the details.
As of this writing MileIQ has 3 different plans:
Basic - 40 free drives every month. Perfect for someone starting out in business or wanting to try the app out. You can always upgrade anytime.
Unlimited - unlimited driving all month.
Monthly cost is $5.99
Yearly cost billed annually is $4.99 which equals to $59.99
Teams - nice for businesses with employees. They also give volume discounts
This app has automatic mileage recording. You can have monthly reports and year-to-date reports sent to your email with a click of a button.
When I’m traveling in a different vehicle, I turn the app off because I only use one vehicle for business purposes. You can add additional vehicles to this app if you like.
In the end, it doesn’t make any difference what you use to track your miles. Make sure you are using a method that works best for you.
Please contact me at Lola@bearnumbers.com for a free consultation. Let’s get your business on track so you can leave the worries behind and focus on your business.