Keeping a Logbook for the ATO: The 5 Best Mobile Apps

Photo: Pexels

The fuss about keeping a mileage logbook is over exaggerated. Especially today when you can use a mobile app to log your car expenses and support your tax deduction claim.

Yet, a good logbook app is hard to come by. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack; there are plenty of unreliable apps out there.

To help you weed out the poor logbook apps, listed below are some of the features any decent logbook app must have. It needs to:

  • Record all your trips
  • Help you maximise your tax savings
  • Simplify the logbook keeping for you
  • Be ATO-compliant

We present you the 5 best mobile apps that meet these criteria more or less.

1. GOFAR

GOFAR iPhone Screenshots
GOFAR App Store

GOFAR is an Australian-made mobile app that ties in two benefits any motorist would surely enjoy.

  • The app automates your work-related car expenses.
  • It works alongside an OBD2 port adapter to get you the biggest tax refund possible.

So, how does it work? The app connects to your car computer and transmits your driving data automatically. You only need to install the device and let the app work in the background.

The device detects when the engine is running and starts recording your trips.

This makes it stupidly simple to claim your kilometres!

Now, let’s look under the hood and check out some of the GOFAR’s distinctive features. The app enables you to:

  • Record Your Trips Automatically. GOFAR ensures you have a full driver’s log because it records your trips even if you forget or lose your smartphone.
  • Classify Your Trips Easily. Nominate your journeys as business or personal with a swipe.
  • Simplify Your Location Tagging. The app tags your locations automatically whenever you revisit the same address.
  • Export Trips at the Click of a Button. Flick your tax return report to your accountant anytime. This won’t be hard on your fingers – your export is just one click away.
  • Filter Your Logbook Reports. Go for a handsome claim amount by picking the period with the highest driving activity. Talk about turning your logbook keeping into a tax return bonanza!

You want a car logbook app that maximises your tax savings – and GOFAR ticks all the boxes. But the app can also help you cut down on your car running expenses, such as fuel and insurance.

Read more about other great GOFAR’s features here.
Cost: Starter Kit (adapter and logbook app) – $99; Standard Kit (adapter, logbook app and Ray) – $129.
Download: App Store and Google Play Store

2. Driversnote

Mileage Logbook by Driversnote
Mileage Logbook by Driversnote

Driversnote will separate your personal and business mileage as any pro app would do. It will also calculate the business use of your car and help you claim your car expenses seamlessly.

The app allows for more freedom as you can use it to capture your mileage by using the GPS or the Auto Tracking Feature. What you go for will depend on your preferences and the time you have at hand for doing your tax return.

Stick to the GPS feature and you’ll have to take the trouble of pressing start and stop each time you drive. Or opt for the Auto Tracking Feature and the app will do the job itself – just keep your phone on you.

Now, let’s explore some more Driversnote’s features:

  • Set Custom Mileage Rates. Choose between custom ATO, IRS or CRA rules to claim your car expenses.
  • Log Your Trips Retroactively. If you forget a trip, you can always clear the backlog of your journeys later on.
  • Frequented Locations Feature. Select your start and end journey points and the app will calculate your route. It will suggest the nearest locations of interest so you can name them easily.
  • One-Click Reporting. Download your mileage reports in a PDF or Excel file or send them right to your tax practitioner in just one click.

Cost: Lite Version: Free; Basic Version: $9.50/month; Enterprise Version: Quote given upon contact.
Download: App Store and Google Play Store

3. Vehicle Logger

Vehicle logger logbook app
Vehicle Logger | Log Book

Vehicle Logger makes claiming your tax deductions simple.

Vehicle Logger developers stepped up their game by adding the automated car feature. It relies on syncing with a Bluetooth device similar to the one we have at GOFAR.

If you want to claim tax deductions for multiple vehicles, Vehicle Logger will give you plenty of information to go on. The app makes it easy to log and classify your trips, as well as calculate your expenses and send out reports.

It also allows you to log your work-related trips either manually or via GPS tracking. Note though that the app won’t work if another app is using your phone’s GPS.

Now, let’s take a peek at other Vehicle Logger features. The app enables you to:

  • Capture and store receipts relating to your business car expenses
  • Pull the data from your phone calendar and use it to add trip descriptions
  • Log your car expenses, such as maintenance, registration, fuel, and tolls
  • Upload your reports to a cloud drive, such as OneDrive, Box, or Dropbox

Cost: Free (with in-app purchases)
Download: Google Play Store

4. LogbookMe

LogbookMe
LogbookMe App

LogbookMe uses GPS technology to log information for your business-related trips automatically. It uses a GPS device, similar to GOFAR to transfer data in real-time and minimise the hassle for the taxpayer.

This subscription-based app allows you to view your driving-related data on the dashboard and classify all your trips in real-time.

Now, let’s skim through this app’s essential features:

  • 2-Step Trip Classification. LogbookMe will display trip data on your dashboard as soon as you’ve finished your trip. Your job is to designate the trip as business or personal and type in the trip description.
  • Calendar Integration Feature. Use your phone calendar to pre-fill your trip descriptions. Just tap on the calendar event that matches your trip purpose and that’s it.
  • Push Notification Feature. At the end of each journey, you’ll receive a push notification to remind you to enter your trip details.
  • Dashboard Display Feature. The app lists data on your dashboard, such as your current and target business use percentage. It also shows the backlog of your unclassified trips as a reminder.

Cost: 52-week subscription: $255 Per Vehicle excluding GST
Download: App Store and Google Play Store

5. Travel Logs

Travel Logs - Vehicle Logbook
Travel Logs by Vehicle Logbook

Based on real-time GPS tracking, the app boasts multiple vehicle support which enables you to track your mileage and expenses for each vehicle.

To be able to use this app at full capacity, you’ll need to opt in for a subscription and make some in-app purchases.

Now, let’s zoom in to some Travel Logs noteworthy features:

  • Bluetooth Hands-Free Support. Use GPS tracking or get Travel Log’s Bluetooth device to track your trips. Connect the Bluetooth device and the app will automatically start and stop your trips.
  • Location Auto-fill and Tracking. The app automatically fills in your location information when you activate your phone’s GPS.
  • Places Feature. The app recognises your typical check-ins and uses them to start and end trips, so you don’t have to.
  • Sync Support. Store your data on iCloud or Dropbox or use 365 Direct Sync that records your data without using a cloud service.

The contacts and calendar integration feature makes entering the trip purpose information even easier.
Cost: Monthly subscription: $0.99; Annual subscription: $11.49
Download: iTunes Store and Google Play

Why Is GOFAR the Best Mobile App for Keeping an ATO Logbook?

So, there you go, your 5 best mobile apps for claiming tax-deductible car expenses. Now, you don’t ever have to worry you’ll make a poor choice when buying a vehicle logbook app.

Having the best products in the market on your radar will be helpful when it’s time to finalise your purchase.

Settle on any one of these apps and you won’t regret it.

After all, the whole point of logbook apps is to track your trips accurately. And that’s what the apps above do.

Want to choose the best logbook app for you? Well, you know how they say: the devil’s in the details.

GOFAR allows you to claim your mileage deduction with a happy-go-lucky attitude. You’re not buying it? Tax season can be nothing but downright stress-inducing, right?

Well, not exactly. At least not with GOFAR. This advanced, Australian-made logbook-keeping software frees up as much time as is conceivable when it comes to keeping an ATO logbook.

The app:

  • Records your business mileage even if you forget to take your phone (a feature unique to GOFAR)
  • Makes classifying your trips as easy as making a swipe on your smartphone
  • Automates your location tagging for repeated trips
  • Lets you choose the most lucrative logbook period so you can maximise your tax return
  • Gives you access to a decent logbook app without having to sign in to a subscription
  • Lets you capture an unlimited number of trips

But that’s not even remotely a point where this app stops with its awesome benefits. On the plus side, the app allows you to:

  • Save on your fuel spend. The app pairs up with the Ray device to give you real-time driving feedback that improves fuel efficiency.
  • Save on your car repair and maintenance. The OBD2 port device translates over 300 typical car errors so you’re one step ahead of your mechanic.
  • Save on car-related fines. The app sends you alerts whenever it’s time for insurance payment or your registration expiry date is due, etc.

So, what to do next? Roll up your sleeves and learn a bit more about how GOFAR can spare you the hassle at tax time. Or get GOFAR today and start reaping the benefits in a matter of days.

Track Work Mileage With GOFAR

  • Log, calculate and export business expenses at the press of a button
  • No ongoing fees
  • Available on iOS and Android

Get GOFAR now

GOFAR mileage tracker app on a white smartphone screen
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