Today TaxMama hears from Kona in Hawaii, who inquires, “Do you know where I can get a mileage log book? You know, So I can log my business miles. Better yet, tell me what’s required and I’ll design one with my computer.”
Hi Kona, Since practically everyone who needs to log mileage has one, what I like to recommend is your appointment book. That’s what I use.
All you need to do is to write the beginning odometer reading on the first page of the year, and the ending reading on the last page of the year. Then, just enter all your appointments in
the book as you go along.
You can put the mileage onto each page every day. Or if you don’t do it until the end of the month, or the end of the year, it will still be easy to fill in the numbers. After all, you have the information about where you’ve been. So, my philosophy is, you maintain the book or electronic record anyway, why keep two documents?
There’s one good reason. If you ever get audited, you’re going to have to turn your mileage log over to the IRS to examine. You probably want to keep your privacy. No doubt there are lots of other notes in that book, some private!
So, just create a spreadsheet with your computer in either a word processor or a spreadsheet program. Use these headings for the columns:
Date (where) Start From Destination (or Go To) Distance Total Miles Gas Park Tips Pay Phone Tolls Other
Remember to enter info for all cash payments, valet parking, tips, etc. And as long as you have
This for the mileage, why not also add columns for meals, entertainment and travel while you’re at it.
Incidentally, did you know that your office supply store has 13 column accounting pads? You can use those instead of a computer, too.
And, remember, you’ll find answers to questions about recordkeeping and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At TaxMama.com
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Small Business Taxes Made Easy :: Read Chapter 8 for tips on Vehicle Expenses