If you want to take a business deduction for mileage driven in 2009, it’s time to get your record-keeping caught up! While the IRS would prefer that you keep track of your mileage every day, or every week at the least, it is possible to recreate your mileage logs using your calendar or appointment book. For instance, if you drove to see ABC Company every month, you can record those dates from your appointment book. By using MapQuest or another online map service, you can determine the exact mileage for driving to ABC and back. For every mile that you can document, you get a $0.55 deduction off your business income! For every 100 miles you drive for business, you get a $55 deduction, saving you $16 or more in taxes!
According to the IRS, you can also keep detailed records of your mileage for one week of each month and use that as a basis for estimating the remainder of your mileage. If your detailed records show that you drive 60% of your miles for business trips and 40% for personal trips, you can then apply that 60% to your total mileage for the other three weeks of each month.
For the gadget geeks out there, you’ll find iPhone apps and web-based programs designed to help make mileage tracking a little easier:
- Trip Cubby and MileBug help log your mileage on your iPhone
- MileageTrackerPro is a free, web-based solution
- For a GPS-driven log, check out Mileage Logger
Deb Howard Greenleaf, EA, CEO and Principal, of Greenleaf Accounting Services provides virtual accounting and bookkeeping services and specializes in financial management to consultants, coaches, solo professionals, and other small business owners across the US. Deb is an Enrolled Agent (EA)—an IRS-licensed tax professional—and specializes in small businesses and entrepreneurs filing Schedule C or as an LLC. As an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Deb spends her day in QuickBooks Online and specializes in providing QBO support.