In order to properly track mileage for tax purposes, the IRS has a short, but strict set of rules that every person must adhere to if they're going to claim mileage-based deductions on their tax return.
IRS mileage log requirements are as follows...
A record of your mileage: Yes, of course, it would be kind of odd to make a mileage deduction request without stating the actual mileage you drove, but nevertheless it needs to be mentioned. Every mileage log needs to have the actual number of miles driven that you're planning to deduct using the IRS standard mileage deduction rate.
The date of your business trips/rides: This is where many people run into issues, especially if they're using the old paper mileage logbook instead of an automatic mileage tracker like Everlance. Each ride or full trip needs to have dates and mileage attached as a complete record. Just as important is the fact that it must be a business trip as you cannot deduct personal mileage.
Location & Purpose: This is essentially what is referred to as destination & classification. You're required to add the location of the trip, to determine if it's business related or not and then, of course, classify it as either business or personal.
Every requirement above is automatically handled for you when you're using an automatic mileage tracking app such as Everlance. Let's break down just how Everlance meets these requirements and why using our app to keep an accurate mileage log is smarter than using a traditional paper mileage logbook.
Mileage Logbook: Manually record each and every trip when you're done with the drive. Accurate from a mileage standpoint as long as you record the exact mileage on the odometer before you start the trip, and record the mileage when you're done - and onerous task no doubt!
Everlance Automatic Mileage Tracker: Download Everlance, Sign up for free, start tracking. Seriously, it's that simple. Each time you drive Everlance automatically records your trip in the background using GPS for the most accurate, hands-free way to record business mileage.
Winner: Everlance. The ease-of-use and total accuracy of this app make it a clear winner. No mistakes. No forgetting to fill out the logbook when you're done with the drive or remembering to set a trip meter or note the starting mileage before driving. You won't have to do any of that. Everlance handles all of it and only records the miles you drive, from start-to-finish.
Record Business Trip Date
Ok, so Everlance is better and easier at recording mileage, but what about the date? This one might seem like a toss-up because how hard is it to add a date? Except, as you'll see - it depends on if you remember to do it!
Mileage Logbook: If you don't have a logbook that's set up like a calendar and has the date printed on the sheet already, you'll have a column to add the date. It's not a tricky thing to do. That is if you remember to do it! The main area that people who keep paper mileage logs run into issues is when they procrastinate and wait until the end of the week or the end of the month. At this point, they may be struggling to remember exact dates or even mileage! That's a problem.
Everlance Automatic Mileage Tracker: As you can probably guess, Everlance automatically records the date & time of each trip as it happens. Everlance never forgets to record these important details. Each trip is automatically timestamped and logged accurately and immediately.
Winner: Everlance. This might come down to personal preference for some people. Those who are diligent with mileage tracking via a logbook may have a system down they don't want to disrupt. They may love whipping out that logbook at the end of every trip and writing down the mileage, date, location & purpose of the trip.For those that don't, or simply don't want the hassle while also maintaining 100% accuracy, there's Everlance.
Record Business Location & Purpose Of Trip
Lastly, let's see how Everlance fares in the final requirement. Can it beat a paper logbook at recording locations & trip purpose? Let's find out!
Mileage Logbook: Since a logbook is manual you're relatively limited to what you can record. You're probably not going to draw a map, and you're definitely not going to trace your route on the streets you drove, however, you could put a start and finish point as well as the purpose of the trip, like so... Start: 124 Main St. Chicago, IL End: 568 Poplar Rd. Milwaukee, WI Total Mileage: 563 miles Purpose: Deliver package Of course, this works and it's accurate. Monotonous, yes, but accurate regardless.
Everlance Automatic Mileage Tracker: You want easy? How about this. You start driving and then when you're done with the drive you swipe left or right to classify the trip as either business or personal? No kidding, that's it. You just completed an entire trip, accurately logged and ready to start again at a moments notice. Even better? You can view the entire route on a map and see exactly how much the trip was worth! Try that with a paper logbook!
Winner: Everlance. This one is about as clear-cut as it gets. Not only is Everlance easier to use for tracking destination and purpose but you also get the entire route overlayed on a map and the total amount of your savings on one simple screen.
Whether you use a paper mileage logbook or an automatic mileage tracking app like Everlance, the IRS doesn't care. What they want to see is accurate, compliant record of each trip.If you prefer to keep records on paper, or your company requires reimbursement & expense reports to be submitted on paper, then Everlance may not be for you.
If, however, you're looking for a faster, better way to automatically track business mileage & expenses all while keeping it 100% IRS-compliant, then Everlance is simply the best option available. Want to learn more about Everlance? See how it works and download Everlance for free on iOS or Android devices.
We help people save time and money. At Everlance, we're on a mission to empower mobile workers and businesses. That sometimes leads us to generalize tax information. Everlance team members are not certified tax professionals. If you need help with your specific tax situation, please reach out to your tax advisor.