As a home business owner, I’m constantly looking for ways to make my admin less work. One of the biggest deductions (under the US tax system at least) you can get as a small business owner, is for work-related travel, including miles driven with your own car. However, to claim that deduction you need a solid mileage registration system. Doing it by hand was never going to work, so I started looking into apps.
After reading some reviews of different apps, I decided to give MileIQ a try. And I love it.
MileIQ has a setting where it automatically registers all your drives, as long as you have your phone with you obviously. The only thing you have to watch out for, is that it may also register a walk or run as a drive, but you can easily delete these. It then shows you all your drives and asks you to classify them as personal (with options like medical, commute, etc., some of which can be tax deductible as well) or business.
On your phone, this ‘classifying’ is done with one easy swipe. It’s literally a one second effort, which I love. You can also use their website on your desktop to classify. This is the easiest way to set up extra subcategories within the main categories of personal and business. If you drive to church twice a week for instance, you can create a subcategory ‘church’ and classify those drives as such. This helps you keep oversight.
Another handy feature is that you can tag certain destinations (‘home’ for instance) so they’re easy to recognize. I’ve tagged my son’s school for instance, since I pick him up at least twice a week from school. You can then categorize all drives with that destination as personal, which saves you the effort of classifying them.
If you use more than one vehicle, this is not an issue since you can assign a vehicle to each drive. You can also add notes to a drive, or log parking fees and toll charges. A link to a map shows you exactly what your starting point was and your destination, in case you forgot where you went on a certain day.
After a month is complete, you can create a monthly report that shows you exactly how many miles you’ve driven and how many of those were personal or business related.
The keyword for MileIQ is easy. There is no effort involved in setting it up or using it. Plus, it works flawlessly as far as I can tell. I honestly wish there were more apps that worked this well with so little effort!
The first 40 drives are free, which is an awesome way to try it out for free. After that, you can choose to either pay a monthly fee of $5.99 or a whole year for $59.99, both with unlimited miles. I chose the last option and ‘earned’ my money back after the first month of logging miles!
If you’re driving both personal and business miles with your car, this app is the perfect solution to keep track. It’s a foolproof method, as long as you have your phone with you. In case you forget, you can also add drives manually by the way, which is of course a bit more work but will complete your registration.
You can try MilesIQ for free and if you like it, simply upgrade to the paid version. If you use this link, you’ll receive a 20% discount!