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Keeping A Detailed Mileage Log


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I teach piano both at my home and other people's homes now and every year I'm kicking myself for not keeping a detailed mileage log so I can deduct it from my taxes.  Anyone know of any apps or anything to make it easier?  I just don't see myself writing down my odometer reading every single time I stop.  I'm running kids from one place to another, multiple errands at once, etc.  I would probably lose the log somehow too! 

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I teach piano both at my home and other people's homes now and every year I'm kicking myself for not keeping a detailed mileage log so I can deduct it from my taxes.  Anyone know of any apps or anything to make it easier?  I just don't see myself writing down my odometer reading every single time I stop.  I'm running kids from one place to another, multiple errands at once, etc.  I would probably lose the log somehow too! 

 

The best way is to get a small mileage book and keep it in your car.  It is much easier than to try reconstructing.

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I teach piano both at my home and other people's homes now and every year I'm kicking myself for not keeping a detailed mileage log so I can deduct it from my taxes.  Anyone know of any apps or anything to make it easier?  I just don't see myself writing down my odometer reading every single time I stop.  I'm running kids from one place to another, multiple errands at once, etc.  I would probably lose the log somehow too! 

 

I also deduct medical miles from my taxes... i.e., I keep a calendar of all my appts, etc.  I have a list of my doctors and the RT miles for a visit... I also keep my EOBs from my insurance, which lists the date of service, etc.  At tax time I simply go through my calendar for appt dates, match up the EOBs, figure the miles for each doctor visit on my worksheets, and summarize for each doc for the year, and keep as backup for what I turn in for tax purposes.  I had approx 1500 med miles, which helps (my docs are from 40 to 175 RT so it's worth it to turn it in for tax deduction).  I'm just careful to be able to have good back-up info.

 

The same when I had my business... seven gift shops along the coast carried my greeting cards... so I kept a record of my miles... and that too was worth it...

 

GG

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Smart, GG!  The EOB thing is a good idea.

 

About keeping a paper log - I drive all over the place with my kids, often running behind, with children fighting, baby crying, etc.  No matter how good my intentions are, the chances of me writing down my odometer reading at each stop are not high.  *sigh*  I wish I had a commuter car for just business - that way I would know all of my miles were business and it would be much easier to reconstruct if needed.  I only go to others' houses on Mondays and go about 70 miles total each week. 

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Could someone invent some kind of gadget that yells at me when I turn my car off?  "WRITE DOWN YOUR MILEAGE!!!!" 

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Smart, GG!  The EOB thing is a good idea.

 

About keeping a paper log - I drive all over the place with my kids, often running behind, with children fighting, baby crying, etc.  No matter how good my intentions are, the chances of me writing down my odometer reading at each stop are not high.  *sigh*  I wish I had a commuter car for just business - that way I would know all of my miles were business and it would be much easier to reconstruct if needed.  I only go to others' houses on Mondays and go about 70 miles total each week. 

 

This is easy to reconstruct... get a regular calendar with the large squares for each date... on the day you go to others' homes, mark them on the calendar (my calendar hangs on the inside of a kitchen cupboard... all my appts are listed on it and I look at it every evening for the next day)... measure the mileage from your house to theirs RT... at the end of each month, make a summary by date, time, where/who, payment, and miles.  Back-up would be the payment record for each client for each month.  At the end of the year you have a record of all your earnings/miles for taxes.  (Just be sure this type of record is sufficient vs actual odometer readings).

 

GG 

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Now, if we could just claim for all the time used to jump through the hoops that the IRS puts up so that we can get back some of the money they stole, no, extorted , no,  deducted, yes that's the correct term,  from us.

 

Take it up with Congress. Congress is the one who makes the tax laws. The IRS only enforces those laws.

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There are tax laws and then there are tax regulations. For those that need a visual , here is a chart that shows what the public are up against thanks to Congress and their bureaucratic assistants.Please ignore all reference to politics.

http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/politicalcalculations/2014/04/13/2014-how-many-pages-in-the-us-tax-code-n1823832

Edited by strappinglad
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I teach piano both at my home and other people's homes now and every year I'm kicking myself for not keeping a detailed mileage log so I can deduct it from my taxes.  Anyone know of any apps or anything to make it easier?  I just don't see myself writing down my odometer reading every single time I stop.  I'm running kids from one place to another, multiple errands at once, etc.  I would probably lose the log somehow too! 

 

Just figure the miles for each trip; assume you do the same trip in the same manner each time.  If that is 15 miles round trip and you do that eight times per month then you have 15 X 8 = 120.  Do that for your entire list of students and their respective weekly lessons.  At the end of each week, create a summary of your trip mileage totals.  Look at Microsoft Excel templates for business expense forms; and it will do the rest for you.  Then total each month.  It does not take that much time and you don't have to have the exact mileage for each trip.  Don't try to game the system; be fair and you won't have problems. For repetitive trips this works well.

Edited by Storm Rider
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I would have no problem adding up all of my business miles because I know my schedule, but if I were to be audited, the IRS would expect a record of every trip I took, personal and business.  I found a nifty gadget on Amazon that tracks you by GPS and makes it easy.  It has great reviews.  :D  It's powered by the adapter in your car and then you can sync it to your computer once in a while, enter some addresses for it to remember, and then which things were personal, business, commuting, etc.  :D  I think I'll buy it and write it off as a business expense.

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