Tracking Business Mileage

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Tracking Business Mileage

For 2014 the rate is 56 cents per mile.

For 2015 the rate is 57-1/2 cents per mile.

The IRS requires that you keep a record of your business travel if you want to take a deduction on your tax return.  See:  IRS Topic 510 Business Use of Car.

You have a choice of the Actual Cost method, or Mileage rates.

The Actual Cost method require detailed records of all operating expenses (gas,oil, maintenance/repairs, etc) of the vehicle and of the mileage put on for business and personal use.  Primarily business use, and total mileage for the year.  Subtracting the total business miles from total miles for the year gives you the personal mileage.  It is only necessary to keep detailed records of the business travel.  When using the actual cost method you do not get to deduct the mileage rate in addition to that.

The Mileage method involves just taking the business miles travelled and multiplying by the current mileage rate, as above.

In most cases the mileage method gives the largest tax deduction and requires far less administrative details.

Click here for a mileage worksheet for use with either of the methods.

Did you forget to keep track of your mileage last year?  You can reconstruct it.  Use Google or Bing  maps if you have your business calendar of when and where you went.  The map apps will give you door to door mileage.  This method takes more effort than keeping track in the first place, but for those of you who forgot . . . this is an alternative.  You can do this for a year or two, thereafter it may raise a red flag with the IRS.  Donít make it a habit, and save yourself a lot of work, keep a mileage record.

See mileage rates for 2015 and past years here.

 


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