As a rideshare driver, you need to have an accurate accounting of your mileage for tax purposes. Logging your miles with mileage tracker apps helps you run your rideshare business. When you know how much you’re making and spending on gas, you can efficiently compute for your tax write-off and get the most out of your income.
Keep in mind that you are an independent contractor, essentially making you a small business owner. You can benefit from IRS deductions given to small business owners. The most significant tax break for independent contractors is for miles driven in the course of your work. Every single time you drive somewhere for work, you are entitled to an IRS deduction.
Uber and Lyft Mileage Tracker
Uber and Lyft will track your mileage for you, but they only track the miles driven from the time you accept a ride to the drop-off. There are far more miles deductible, and if you aren’t tracking those miles, you are leaving a lot of money on the table. You should be tracking from the time you turn your app on until you turn it off. You can also deduct your miles when you drive to the carwash, gas station, or grocery store to buy supplies used in your rideshare business.
You could always use a pen and paper but…
Sure, the pen-and-paper approach works. But it leaves a lot of room for problems. It is so easy to forget to write down your mileage at the end of a shift. There’s also the risk of misplacing your trusty notebook. Fortunately, there are many apps to simplify your life and make tracking your miles effortless.
After trying out different Uber driver apps, I have come up with what I consider three of the best mileage tracker apps on the market. All these offer unique features. Your choice, obviously, would depend on your needs.
The first app is a multipurpose tax services app. It doesn’t only have a very user-friendly mileage tracking system. It also has several useful features. You could log all expenses related to driving, including oil changes and maintenance. The best benefit of Stride Tax is that unlike many of its competitors, it is still completely free.
The main features of the Stride Tax app include mileage tracking through GPS. It reminds you to track your miles while you are working. This ensures you are recording all work-related miles. Also, the app creates reports in an IRS-approved format, making your record-keeping more convenient.
Stride Tax gives tips and suggestions to make sure you are getting all available write-offs. Also, it is compatible with most tax software. In a nutshell, this app goes beyond tracking your mileage. It makes record keeping and tax filing easier for rideshare businesses like yours. You won’t have to worry about IRS thinking you’re cheating on your taxes.
Stride Tax users insist that the app is more accurate than their competitors, making sure you aren’t cheated out of a random mile from time to time. One of the best features of this app is the flexibility to make it work for you. Since the app is compatible with a variety of tax software, it can make filing your taxes easier. You could file your own taxes with the Stride Tax app reports or give the information to your tax specialist. The reports are versatile enough to use in any way you need them.
Why I like It
I’m impressed with how simple it is to use the app. The layout was appealing and user-friendly, making it convenient to navigate than many of the other apps I tried. I also like the many functions this app provided and appreciated the advice and tips I received.
While the Stride Tax app is not as popular as its competitors, it has earned a spot in my top three mileage tracker apps because of its simplicity, features, flexibility. It’s a big plus that you can use the service for free. Stride Tax is an excellent choice for tax purposes.
MileIQ app is one of the best mileage tracker apps made for rideshare drivers. Its major benefit is the fact that you could get it as a complimentary service if you’re a Microsoft Office 365 subscriber.
MileIQ is easy to use. You could sync the app across all your devices, making your data available not only on your smartphone and tablet. You could access your data on your computer and laptops too. The app runs in the background tracking all your driving. It also lets you add more vehicles to your account. You could track all your mileage regardless of how many cars you use.
The app allows you to distinguish between business and personal miles. It is as simple as swiping across your screen. Also, it offers some customization. You could add several purposes, locations, and even work hours.
To generate a report, you just have to tap on your phone. The app will instantly show you a snapshot of your driving habits. You can also customize the reports by date, location, events, etc. Additionally, you can access your reports on your synced computer dashboard. With the variety of reports you could make using MileIQ, it’s definitely one the best mileage tracker apps you could use to get the biggest tax write off possible.
If you don’t use the Microsoft Office 365 business management software, you can still use MileIQ for free for up to 40 drives a month. If you’re not ready to spend on mileage tracker apps but would like to move from the pen-and-paper technique, MileIQ is the app for you.
Once you have reached that 40-drive threshold it is free to upgrade. There are two paid options for those who need to record more than 40 drives a month. The unlimited options offer a $4.99 per month plan billed annually at $59.99. For those who are not interested in a year-long commitment, Mile IQ also offers a monthly subscription for $5.99 per month, billed monthly.
Why I like It
I like MileIQ for its ability to sync across all my devices. Additionally, I appreciate the variety and personalization of reports I can create from my laptop.
Log-Book is available for iPhone. Unfortunately, there is no Android version available for this app. Log-Book is just as the name suggests: easy. The best thing about the Log-Book app is that it works with a simple tap to start your trip and another simple tap to end your trip with the ability to put in a quick note or explanation.
Log-Book works by tapping the green button when you start your trip and tapping the red button at the end of the trip. It is a bit simplistic when compared with other options available on the market. But, those of us who are not technologically savvy will find this app a no-brainer. It is an ideal app for part-time drivers who only want to track their mileage and don’t need the advanced features that other mileage tracker apps offer. Log-Book generates reports by emailing them to your computer and is compatible with Excel or Numbers. The reports are easy to use and understand at tax time.
Log-Book’s simplicity is also one of its biggest downside. You can only track one vehicle. Additionally, you can’t track other driving expenses in the app. Log-Book is only a mileage tracking app and nothing more. It is the technological equivalent of the notebook-and-pencil method of tracking. Instead of GPS, Log-Book uses odometer readings.
Why I Like It
Log-Book costs 99 cents to download with no ongoing charges. It is a very simple, useful app for logging your mileage.
Writing Off Mileage is Essential to Managing Rideshare as an Actual Business
Rideshare drivers put on a lot of miles throughout the year. Getting your well-earned tax deductions for those miles is imperative to keeping your business afloat. Consider the scenario of a rideshare driver who drives 200 miles a day, five days a week for 50 weeks. That adds up to 50,000 miles a year. Using the IRS mileage deduction of 54.5 cents a mile, that comes to $27,250. It is extremely important to keep an accurate mileage log to write off your mileage on your taxes. As you can see in the above scenario, it can be a quite substantial amount.
Tax deductions are an essential part of bookkeeping for any business, but tracking them can be a daunting task. Thankfully, technology has provided us with some options to make this a much easier feat, allowing you to retain as much of your earnings as possible.
Keeping a log of your mileage for tax purposes has been a challenge for as long as taxes have been complicated. But with our smartphones and GPS, this task has become relatively simple.
Mileage Tracker Apps Helps Every Uber and Lyft Driver Maximize Their Income
Mileage tracker apps are some of the most helpful apps for rideshare drivers, however, weeding through the abundance of options can be as confusing as the tax code itself. You’ll find many good mileage apps to help you treat your rideshare hustle as a business. Each of these apps has its own strengths and weaknesses. If you don’t know where to start, this short list of choices could help! You can’t go wrong using any of these apps, but you definitely need to use one of them.
It’s never too late to start tracking your mileage and taking advantage of all the deductions the IRS allows for your business.