As Lyft and Uber drivers know, tracking your mileage and expenses is extremely crucial if you want to be eligible for mileage deductions.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a rideshare driver to qualify. You can deduct the cost of your vehicle operations if you operate your private car for business purposes. However, only those costs associated with business use are deductible.
Apart from business mileage, the IRS also provides for mileage deductions on:
- Charity work
- Military moving
- Medical appointments
As anyone who’s ever been on the wrong side of the IRS can attest, ignorance of the law does not excuse. Therefore, anybody claiming mileage deductions, including a business mileage deduction, must be able to provide sufficient proof and documentation that’s accurate, complete, and timely.
For documentation to meet these criteria, it must show the actual date, location, mileage, expenses, and purpose of a drive. The expenses must be recorded at the time of payment, not later, and must be clearly separated from personal expenses.
Ah, what would you give to be assisted with this documentation burden?
So, consider the following must-have time-saving features in mileage tracking apps, such as GOFAR, if you’d like to quickly and efficiently reduce your tax liability.
1 – Automatic Mileage Tracking
One of the main reasons busy professionals go for mileage tracking apps is the desire to automate tax reporting. With apps like GOFAR, you can manually or automatically tag your trips to match their purpose. For instance, a simple swipe to the right will manually mark a trip as a business one.
Additionally, you can easily set up location tags that automatically classify trips according to their destination.
These location tags help the app remember the route used and assign it the same classification in the future. They’re also a brilliant way to avoid tagging your commute to and from work as business mileage. Incidentally, you can figure out the most economical routes when you tag and analyze your daily commutes.
The best mileage tracking apps don’t just limit you to the actual business and commuting miles. They also automatically track your fill-ups, fuel economy, and trip costs. These features can help you:
- Increase your vehicle’s efficiency by tracking fuel usage so you’re immediately aware when drastic changes happen
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by giving you useful information, such as when your vehicle is excessively idling
- Make more sustainable travel choices by showing you which routes eat far less into your pocket than others
2 – Complete History
It’s critical that you record and document all your business mileage because the IRS may require this documentation if they decide to audit you.
Unfortunately, merely reporting the total number of miles you drove or submitting some receipts isn’t enough. The IRS requires a wide range of information when auditing mileage expenses, including:
- Trip purposes
- Business mileage
An excellent mileage tracking app will be able to keep an exhaustive history of your trips, whether they’re personal or business-related. With GOFAR, for example, a leave-in adapter automatically tracks every trip your car makes without draining your battery. That way, you always have access to your complete trip history whether:
- Your phone crashes during the day
- You forgot to open the mileage tracking app
- Your phone dies or turns off GPS services due to low charge
You don’t get these benefits with apps that only rely on your phone’s GPS to track location.
There’s more. If you install the optional GOFAR Ray, it’ll save your vehicle’s diagnostic data locally should the GOFAR adapter experience hiccups when synchronizing to your app. This data can then be later synchronized to your app, ensuring you have zero instances of incomplete records.
Additionally, a subscription to GOFAR’s Unlimited plan will get you nifty extra features such as:
- Capturing receipts
- Tracking fuel costs
- Data backups to the cloud
3 – IRS-Compliant Reports
A must-have time-saving feature every mileage tracking app needs to have is the ability to instantly generate rich, custom IRS-compliant reports. Whether you’re using the Actual Expense Method or the Standard Mileage Rates, your mileage logs must include the:
- Dates of your business trips
- Reason/purpose of each trip
- Starting and ending mileage on your car
- Starting point and final destination of each trip
- Total amount of expenses
Expenses can include fuel, parking fees, road tolls, and vehicle insurance, among other relevant costs. However, the expenses the IRS expects to see typically depend on the chosen deduction method.
For instance, fuel and car repair expenses need to be listed when using the Actual Expense method since they’re usually accounted for in the Standard Mileage Rate.
Confirm that you can export all your fill-ups, tags, and trips—or filter some based on locations or tags, before settling on an app. Being able to export a CSV or spreadsheet report whenever you need can allow you to confidently submit your tax returns or get ready for an IRS audit.
While physical mileage logs can easily get damaged or lost, digital reports are ideal since the IRS accepts them. Additionally, being able to generate digital IRS-compliant reports can help you:
- Increase productivity: Using an app like GOFAR eases the business mileage logging process. As you reduce the time taken to manually log business miles, you become free to focus on your business.
- Improve your financial records: The manual pen and paper method can result in inadequate tracking of your mileage. You might forget to note down a trip, or your notes can get lost. You don’t have to worry about losing digital reports.
- Avoid an IRS audit: Since handwritten reports are prone to human error, they’re more likely to attract audits. Such errors are unlikely when an app is automatically logging all relevant details about your trips.
Bonus Tip: Go for a mileage tracking app that not only logs your mileage and expenses but is also compatible with the IRS Standard Mileage Rate. Apps like GOFAR also allow you to choose % Business Use or Custom Rates. They also give you quick access to your expense claim summary.
4 – Timely Support
Even the best apps can suffer downtime. And you don’t want to wait a week or two for customer support as you need to figure out why GOFAR isn’t connecting to your phone’s Bluetooth.
For this reason, one feature that ought to rank high in your must-have time-saving features is excellent customer or technical support. You want an app with great reviews on everything, including support.
For example, Anthony John can’t get enough of GOFAR:
“Great device for keeping a log of your travels, works perfectly, and technical support is great. Definitely the best solution to keep track of travel and fuel spent.”
Users on the GOFAR Unlimited plan can expect same-day customer support, while those on the Basic plan can expect support in less than 72 hours.
Sometimes, all you need is some quick help with troubleshooting your app. A great mileage tracking app will have a knowledge base with all the answers about the most common questions users have.
Other helpful features that mileage tracking app users enjoy include handy reminders to renew their insurance and registration or get their car serviced.
If you opt for GOFAR, you’ll also get access to car health, management, and diagnostics support. GOFAR continuously monitors your car and lets you know what your On-Board Diagnostic II (OBDII) scanner fault codes mean in plain English.
Save Precious Time With the GOFAR APP
When tax season rolls around, you don’t want to be hunting around your glove compartment for incomplete, handwritten mileage logs. Not when you can use the GOFAR app to automatically log and categorize your trips, and provide mileage logs that satisfy the IRS’ requirements.
By getting an app that instantly generates IRS-compliant reports, you can increase your productivity, improve your record-keeping, and avoid unnecessary audits. Additionally, you’ll enjoy timely customer support ranging from app troubleshooting to vehicle diagnostics.
The following table shows some of the features you stand to enjoy depending on the GOFAR subscription plan you opt for.
|Basic Plan||Unlimited Plan|
|Automatic trip logging||Yes||Yes|
|Swipe to classify trips||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic trip categorization||No||Yes|
|Customer support||Within 72 hours||Same day|
Try the GOFAR Mileage Tracker App today and discover how its rich range of features can save you time and money on your taxes and more.
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