Top 10 Mileage Log Mistakes

#10 – Handwritten Mess – The mileage log you create must be legible. If you do decide to keep an handwritten log, it needs to be readable by anyone – not just the person who makes the mileage log.

#9 – Creating a Mileage Log in the Past – A mileage log needs to be an exact record of your driving history. Many apps and trackers store a time/date log of your activity which may tip-off the IRS that a log was generated after the fact. ExpressMileage never stores timestamps of mileage log entries or of log generation. Does your app provide the same guarantee?

#8 – Receipt Correlation – The IRS asks for receipts for travel, medical expenses, auto repairs…etc. Using these receipts, they attempt to discredit your mileage log based on discrepancies between these receipts and your log.

TIP: You are not required to provide the IRS with supporting evidence for your mileage log. Verbal support is sufficient. If requested for supporting evidence, tell them you will provide any detail they require – however, you need to know exactly which IRS regulation or ruling the request falls under. Currently, there is NO current IRS regulation or ruling that requires documentation or evidence to support your log.

#7 – Holidays and Vacation – Most people do not work on Federal Holidays and typically take at least two weeks of vacation per year.When you create a mileage log, make sure you account for the days you didn’t work.  Be sure you identify days that you did not work using ExpressMileage’s calendar tool. This will prevent any miles from being logged on those days.   ExpressMileage allows you to instantly remove all federal holidays from your mileage log in a single click!

#6 – Round Numbers – 25,000 Miles?? Reporting mileage rounded to the nearest thousand is a sure-fire way to have Irene the IRS Auditor come knocking. ExpressMileage calculates mileage to the nearest tenth of a mile and does all of the calculations for you. 25,189 miles? Yes, that sounds more like it!

#5 – Identical Distances – The IRS requires exact mileage – not estimates. Driving from Point A to Point B always is the same distance, right? Wrong. A 15 mile drive to a location typically has 5-7% variance of distance depending on traffic, lane changing and alternative routes. Even a straight-shot down the highway for 20 miles varies by 1% due to lane changing. ExpressMileage provides variance capabilities that allows you to create the most accurate mileage log possible.

#4 – Errors in Calculations – Keeping a mileage log is tedious work. Make sure your total mileage claimed matches your mileage log. Be sure every mile claimed is properly documented as per the IRS Requirements. The IRS knows accounting for 30,000 miles on a drive-by-drive basis isn’t easy. ExpressMileage makes it easy to create accurate mileage logs that include start/stop odometer readings, distances, tolls and other expenses in an IRS-compliant format.

#3 – Large Gaps – A mileage log with large gaps between drives or sporadic record keeping is telltale sign of sloppy mileage tracking. ExpressMileage provides a visual at-a-glance calendar which displays your driving patterns and mileage totals. Use this to identify these gaps in your mileage log and avoid an audit.

#2 – Mileage to/from Home – Don’t trigger an IRS by claiming daily mileage between home and your primary work location! Commuting to and from your office each day is a non-deductible IRS event. Business mileage deduction is between two places of work. Self-employed or small business owners who claim their home office as their principal place of business can deduct their travel between their home office and secondary office location.

#1 – 100% Business Usage – Not keeping a mileage log and claiming 100% business use is the #1 reason for Schedule C mileage log audits. Claiming that your vehicle was used 100% for business is an instant red flag. Be smart – create a log that claims a small percentage of personal driving and avoid being audited.

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