The guidelines that are in place from the IRS enable workers and business owners to claim for mileage as a business deduction if you are using your vehicle for business purposes. Some people who are employed are able to deduct business mileage if it is not reimbursed by employers or is only partially reimbursed at a rate that is lower than the official business mileage rate.
Owners of small businesses also often use their vehicles for business related purposes and in this event they too can claim their mileage as a business expense. However, it is important that no matter why or how you are claiming for your business mileage you are able to differentiate between business and personal use mileage and that you do not end up claiming for mileage clocked up when using your vehicle for personal use, as this could be classed as a fraudulent claim. On the other hand you don’t want to miss out and end up claiming for less mileage than you have actually done for business. For these reasons it is vital to ensure that you keep track of your business mileage.
The easiest way to keep track of your business mileage is to use your odometer, which will enable you to see how many miles you do from the start of your journey until the end, each time you go out for business purposes in your vehicle. You simply need to record the number of miles that you do either on a spreadsheet or even in a notebook that you use specifically for logging mileage. It is also advisable to make a note on your spreadsheet or notebook about why you had to make this trip, as this is information that the IRS may ask for. Write or log down where you traveled from and where you traveled to, detailing any detours that you may have made en-route for business purposes.
Of course, many people forget to check their odometer before they head out and therefore, unless they have made the same trip many times and already have a record of the number of miles done, it can become difficult to estimate your business mileage for that particular trip. However, you can simply use an online map and enter details of where you travelled from and to in order to get a good idea of the number of miles that you have done.
Andrew writes frequently about personal finance as well as issues effecting both consumers and small businesses, covering everything from savings to mortgages to
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Keeping track of your business mileage by Steve