Mileage Log

Cars were built to last a long time, this is provided you take good care of the vehicle and maintain it. The speedometer, mileage counter, fuel log, etc., are all necessary elements of a car or motorcycle that help to analyze the state of the machine. According to many people, mileage details seem rather irrelevant, but there is a reason it is present on dashboards. Below we will go over ‘what is mileage log’ and the various benefits and properties that are associated with it. To aid in understanding, you can use templates that are available for free.

What is mileage log?

Tracking one’s mileage tends to be more important for those who are using their own cars for business purposes. Just because you use your own car for company purposes does not mean that they will remunerate you for every mile driven. There needs to be substantial proof of the exact miles driven for that company trip or endeavor. This is where a triplog becomes important. If you do not have time to create a log or write down details of your trip every day, it is always possible to download readily available and pre-formatted templates to aid in tracking whatever is necessary.Many will state that an IRS mileage log is unimportant for tax purposes, but every year it is required to present a statement for the previous year; at this point, both the log and its format becomes very important. IRS or Internal Revenue Service issues tax forms for taxpayers and others. Remember that paying taxes is necessary, and every part of it counts, especially when you’re filing to claim deductions from administration. With access to the internet, attaining mileage logs is a simple process. You can download and sync them with all devices for ease of access.

Mileage Log Format

If a company is sending you on a business trip, it is naturally understood that they reimburse you for the cost of transport that is used. If there are multiple trips that need to be made, either the company will provide a car or mode of transport, or they will specify the use of public or personal transport. In the case of using public transport, a vehicle mileage log will not be necessary. However, if personal transport is being used, the organization provides a transport log. Though, often times, you may be asked to create your own log.Instead of struggling to organize and formulate a triplog, search for one that suits the required format online. There are a variety of templates available online for personal and office use. It can make tracking mileage, rates, and business trips so much easier. Below is the general format of a mileage tracker:The main label should state the motive of the sheet. In this case, “Mileage Tracking and Reimbursement” is sufficient.
  • Below that the company name should be printed.
  • Your name and other details should be present.
  • Start and end date of the log.
  • Price of fuel per mile.
  • Number of miles covered.
  • Total reimbursement to be covered.
  • Start and end of the odometer.
These are the details that should be present in the log. The log itself just needs a few details, as follows:
  • The date.
  • Purpose of the business trip.
  • Start of the odometer.
  • End of the odometer.
  • Miles covered.
  • Other necessary notes about the trip.
This is the basic format that any mileage log template follows. You can easily avail of these online, download, print and use them at your own convenience. Once printed, the template can be folded and kept in the car to be filled whenever necessary. It can also be saved to a phone or other device and details can be filled in whenever convenient for printing later.

How to use a mileage tracking log

Mileage tracking is not only important for tax returns for employees but small business owners, nonprofit organizations and other non-reimbursed businesses. Money can be easily saved if little bits of information like this are properly filed and managed for each month or year. A mileage log form is simple and easy to use for each person. But one must always remember to keep it handy so that no information is forgotten or lost. Here is how each category of office personnel can use a mileage tracking log:

For Employees

Employees have the easiest method of tracking their mileage and business. Companies usually require each individual employee to maintain a log for computation at the end of the year. Employees can simply download a mileage log template in any format that is preferred, that is, PDF, MS Excel or MS Word. Each of these templates can be printed out or kept on phones and tablets to be filled in as and when required. The templates can be easily customized with as much or as little detail necessary; choose between multiple fonts, designs, borders and other formats.

For Nonprofit or Charitable Use

While this is a more complicated, you may customize your template as per your requirements. Before you do so, it is critical that the specifics of the vehicle mileage log are obtained from the IRS rules and regulations. Their policies are varied and complicated – understand the details before you apply for a return. A template can assist with easy segregation of liabilities and costs that you have incurred for which you will be duly reimbursed.

For Business Owners

Small business owners need to save money wherever possible, they too need to keep a track of their mileage so that they do not incur more than necessary on expenses. Employers have two ways through which they can deduct mileage expenses. These are via the Standard Mileage Deduction Method and the Actual Car Expenses Deduction.

Standard Mileage Deductions

This means that a number of deductions are calculated by multiplying the miles by the IRS rate of deductions. This does not usually include gas, car maintenance, and other insurance expenses. Every mileage log form is different depending on the terms and conditions of the rate of deduction that is operation. Availing of a professional template for this particular IRS mileage log is not difficult since there aren’t very many conditions or factors that you need to keep a track of. A simple, minimalist template will suit the purpose.

Actual Car Expenses Deductions

If you’re wondering ‘what is mileage log’ and how can it be useful this is where you receive an answer. In some cases, everything from repairs, gas, maintenance, and all aspect of a car that can be itemized is taken into consideration for reimbursement purposes. Hence, you must use an updated template in order to keep a track of every change or renovation that happens. The person is reimbursed 100% for using the car; however, the catch is that the car must be solely used for business purposes.

Tips for Tracking Mileage

Using a mileage tracking log template makes it easy to remember all these tips. They will assist you in noting and filing your logs at the end of the year. The templates are easily available for download at the click of a button.
  • It is always preferable to avail of professional or skilled minds when it comes to the complicated section of filing for returns and organizing your logs.
  • Understand the differences between standard mileage deductions and actual car expenses.
  • Never make the mistake of confusing and mixing the two types of deductions - knowing when to use which method of calculation is critical.
  • Your commute to and from work is by no means calculated in any mileage log form. You are already being paid to work, including transportation and other factors. IRS does not recognize this type of deduction.
  • If you are changing your job, and the specifics of business trips changes then the nature of your deductions may also change. It is crucial to understand the rules when switching between standard mileage deductions and actual car expenses.
  • As an employee, there are rules and regulations that you need to heed to.
  • One of these rules states that if you are already reimbursed by your company for transportation then you are not allowed to apply for mileage returns.
  • In the case of a mistake or a lack of record, make an educated estimated based on online mapping systems to determine your mileage. Include other information and a print out of your records as well.

Major Mistakes to Avoid

Many times, even with the use of a mileage log template people make some basic mistakes that can be avoided. In order to reduce the number of mistakes, ensure that your template is customized according to your needs. Below are some common mistakes that must be avoided at all costs:

Do Not Procrastinate

Instead of filing and tracking their mileage on a regular basis, many try to cram in a years’ worth of information in one day when filing for tax returns. This is where templates are useful, you can print out any template you like, and depending on the deductions you will be receiving, keep it with you in the car or on your person. Track your mileage on the odometer before and after each business trip.

Incorrect Information

One of the biggest mistakes most users of templates tend to make is including incorrect information in their vehicle mileage log. It is very important to comprehend the required details for input. To do this, go through the specific rules, regulations, and conditions clearly stated by the IRS. The templates available online are meant to assist anyone trying to keep a regular track of their mileage details. Use it to your advantage so that mistakes such as these can be avoided. Misinformation can lead to deductions being entirely rejected by the court. This will result in loss of substantial funds for individuals.

Too Many Errors

Common mistakes can lead to some rather lethal outcomes. Most people tend to calculate their commute expenses along with mileage expenses. This can lead to a complete cancellation of their log. Before noting any input, ensure that it is legal, required and will be reimbursed by the IRS. Use simple and hassle free templates and logs to track every detail to ensure that no mistakes are made. If there are any, they may be easily corrected.

How Can Templates Be Useful?

With busy home lives and work lives, no one has the time to sit and compile a detailed triplog. Leave it to the experts to create the perfect template. These templates can be useful for a number of reasons; these reasons are stated below:
  • Readily available online.
  • Curated by experts who understand IRS requirements.
  • Available in multiple formats include MS Word, MS Excel, and PDF files.
  • Can be edited as per requirements.
  • Templates can be printed whenever necessary.
  • They do not take up a lot of space. Carry them in your pocket or keep them folded in your car.
  • Get ready-made templates for both standard mileage deduction and actual car expense deduction.
  • They are absolutely free of cost!
Avail of the best IRS mileage log templates on the internet! You can use them as per your convenience without the slightest hindrance. Never miss another tax day or lose out on any remuneration. These templates are easy to understand and even easier to use!With all of these benefits, it is hard to resist such a tempting offer. So what are you waiting for?
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