The IRS is at all times on the hunt for straightforward deductions to disallow, and car bills are a perennial favourite of auditors. Retaining observe of enterprise miles can be one of many least favourite of duties of a lot of our shoppers.
In case your shoppers are audited by the IRS, they might want to produce mileage information. At a minimal, the auditor will likely be searching for documentation of the mileage, function and the date of every journey. Will their mileage information cross scrutiny?
The Low-Tech Resolution
For many years, the usual for monitoring mileage has been a paper log with documentation of odometer readings, dates and descriptions of every journey, however few folks take the effort and time to document each single journey.
Some IRS auditors enable taxpayers to reconstruct their mileage information from appointment calendars. Nevertheless, counting on this back-up technique can imply lacking out on deductions for journeys to the put up workplace, workplace provide or last-minute journeys to satisfy with a buyer that weren’t recorded of their calendar. And, your consumer could land an auditor who gained’t enable retroactive reconstruction of mileage information.
Expertise to the Rescue
A neater solution to doc their mileage is with a smartphone app. Utilizing the telephone’s built-in GPS system, these apps document the date, location and mileage. All of the consumer must do is categorize the drive as enterprise, medical, charity-related, commuting or private. This technique is accepted by the IRS.
On the finish of the yr, these apps create stories that may be exported and emailed. There are fairly just a few mileage apps to select from, right here is a few steerage you’ll be able to cross alongside to your shoppers:
- Price – Most have a free, however restricted model. The free model is perhaps sufficient in case your shoppers don’t drive a lot for enterprise, or in the event that they’re solely monitoring charitable or medical miles.
- Ease of use – Typically these apps detect when a drive begins and ends, and permit the consumer to label favourite areas as “house” or “work.” They’ve some mechanism for classifying drives as enterprise, medical, charitable or private. For QuickBooks® customers, selecting an app that instantly interfaces with their accounting information is an enormous plus.
- Influence on the telephone’s battery – Utilizing a telephone’s GPS generally is a large drain on the battery, so most have some mechanism to restrict that use.
- Simple integration with QuickBooks — Over within the Intuit® App Retailer, you’ll discover quite a few apps that combine instantly with QuickBooks; simply seek for “mileage.” For shoppers who file Scheduled C with none W-2 staff, QuickBooks Self-Employed could also be an possibility; it has a built-in app to document mileage.
These apps all work within the background, so after set up and preliminary setup, all of your shoppers have to do is periodically classify the recorded drives … and also you’ll hear no extra excuses for incomplete or nonexistent mileage information!