How to Get the Most Out of Mileage Deductions

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There are a few things that you need to do for you to get the most out of your mileage deductions.

While a mileage deduction is not an exact science, you can guarantee huge amounts of tax savings if you observe a few rules.

Below are the tips that you need to follow for you to get the most out of your mileage deductions.

1. Don’t Exaggerate Your Expenses

One of the most important rules by the IRS is that you should only claim the expenses that are qualified for claiming, and they should not be  exaggerated with even a single cent.

While it is illegal to inflate expenses; some taxpayers under schedule C are usually tempted to overstate the costs.

The IRS is fully aware of this phenomenon, and thus it is particular attention to this category of taxpayers.

If you are a worker under the W2 form, a copy of your check is always sent along with the social security administration to the IRS and therefore, the tax authorities already know how much you earn before you even file your return.

2. Take Caution with Problematic Expenses

There are a few problematic expenses that the IRS takes a lot of interest in.

These expenses include mileage expenses, our expenses, entertainment and meals.

The reason why the IRS take particular interest in this is because they are susceptible to exaggeration and they’re also the most difficult to reconstruct.

When filing your returns, and sure you take caution to prevent the IRS audits.

You are well advised to use a smart device such as GOFAR to help you track and log your mileage.

This device comes with a wireless tracking app that is easily installed on your smartphone to help you keep a good record of young business managers throughout the year.

It also helps you to find the sweet spot of your car’s engine and temperance you to drive better hands reducing your fuel usage and wear and tear on your car parts.

One of the most important tools on GOFAR is that it can be able to find faults on your engine and translate those faults into plain English.

The application can connect you with the best parts supplier and mechanics in your area.

3. Automate Your Appointment Records

Having all your appointments on one location helps you to support your claims.

The best way to put your records and appointments together is to automate them using a tool such as a google calendar.

The IRS will not ask you to send your appointment records when filing your tax returns, but if there is a problem, you will need to retrieve this appointment records to support your mileage log claims.

4. Use a Mileage Tracking App

You can keep a good record of your business miles starting from the day you make your first business trip.

The IRS expects that you will have properly recorded mileage at the end of every day to avoid making mistakes.

The accurate log will then be filed along with your mileage claims to the IRS at the end of the year.

To make sure that you are mileage log is accurate, you need to use a mileage tracking app such as GOFAR.

5. Make it Easy to Reconstruct Your Mileage

If you forget to switch off your mileage app, you will need to use your digitised appointment records to reconstruct the miles that you covered during the day.

This is important because, without such a method of constructing your mileage, you will lose a lot of money that you could have written off against your taxes.

6. Claim the Qualified Mileage Expenses Only

During the year, you will drive for both personal and business related reasons. You will also commute daily from your home to your office.

According to the IRS, the only mileage that is tax deductible is the miles covered when running errands for business-related reasons.

There is nothing like commuting mileage. The IRS considers commuting your expense.0

An example of some mileage that can confuse you on filing your returns is horn you drive from your office and then drop in on your last client of the day.

According to the IRS, this is not a business mileage as it will confer a benefit on the taxpayer since he will be trying to recover the commuting mileage by dropping in on the customer.

Another example is when you drop in on a client on your way to a personal vacation.

Again this will not be considered business-related mileage because business was not the primary reason you took the drive.

7. Separate the Commuting and Business Miles

If you want to be on the good books of the IRS, you need to separate your personal driving expenses from your business miles.

The personal miles are not tax deductible while the business miles can be written off against your tax.

As a general rule, the first drive you make from your house to the office, and the last drive you make from your office to your home are regarded as commuting, and it is not tax deductible.

8. Choose the Mileage Deductions Method that Best Suits You

In any particular year, there are different available mileage deduction methods.

For example in the year 2018, there are two methods that you can use to deduct your mileage.

  • The first one is called the standard mileage rate which is computed by the IRS by putting into consideration the prevailing economic conditions.
  • The second one is called the actual expense method where the taxpayer is supposed to collect and file all the expenses incurred in running a car for business purposes. The best place to get this information will be the IRS website (www.irs.gov).

9. Back Up Your Documents

The IRS recommends that you keep your supporting documents for three years from the day you file your tax returns.

The best way to have the records backed up is to have their digital format.

This is why the mileage logging app becomes an integral part of your tax returns system.

The app will have the digital format of the mileage log, and this is easy to backup.

10. Hire a Tax Consultant

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Hiring a tax expert helps you to avoid problems with the IRS. The expert will advise you on which expenses to file and which ones to leave out.

He also helps you to find a workaround for the stringent IRS commuting rules.

11. Learn How to Get Around the Commuting Rules

The IRS commuting rules make it very hard to determine which miles qualify for a tax deduction and which ones do not.

As a general rule, the following tips will help you:

  • Commuting is not tax deductible
  • Working during your commuting will not make your trip tax deductible
  • You can nullify the IRS commuting rule by having a home office and getting it qualified as a place where you are a majority of your income
  • A drive between your home and a temporary place of what is tax deductible

12. Know the Mileage You Need to Log

The following are the details that should be in your mileage log;

  • The total mileage during the year
  • Total mileage done for business
  • Total mileage done for personal reasons
  • The dates when the business miles were done
  • Places visited when you incurred the business miles
  • The purpose for which you travelled
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