How to Keep a Mileage Log to Claim Motor Vehicle Expenses

If you have used one or more of your vehicles to earn enterprise profits over the past yr, you may declare the associated prices as a commercial enterprise cost to your earnings tax within the U.S. And Canada with the aid of the usage of a mileage log. (What Motor Vehicle Expenses Can You Claim on Income Tax? Information what fees you could claim and the way to declare them.) But as always, in case you need to deduct those costs, you want a good way to substantiate your declare with proof within the shape of an car mileage log book.If you have used one or more of your vehicles to earn enterprise profits over the past yr, you may declare the associated prices as a commercial enterprise cost to your earnings tax within the U.S. And Canada with the aid of the usage of a mileage log. (What Motor Vehicle Expenses Can You Claim on Income Tax? Information what fees you could claim and the way to declare them.) But as always, in case you need to deduct those costs, you want a good way to substantiate your declare with proof within the shape of an car mileage log book.

How to Keep a Mileage LogBoth the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) kingdom that maintaining an correct logbook of business travel maintained for an entire year is the great evidence you can should help your motor automobile expense claims.
The following information ought to be recorded inside the log e book each time the vehicle is used for commercial enterprise functions:
the date,the place to begin,the destination,the purpose of your journey;the automobile starting mileage,the car ending mileage,the total miles (or kilometers in Canada) pushed.Sample Mileage LogMileage log books are typically available at workplace deliver shops or you can use the following template which can be copied right into a Word, Excel or similar office report with the aid of deciding on the text and the usage of copy/paste (the usage of Windows, outline the text to be selected with the mouse, and hit CTRL-C to replicate and CTRL-V to stick).
Vehicle Mileage/Expense Log Year__________ Odometer on Jan. 1 _____________Date Mileage Start Mileage End Mileage Total Business Purpose Park$ Tolls$ Other$      Automatic Mileage TrackingManually entering experience statistics in a log e-book is tedious, particularly in case you make numerous commercial enterprise journeys. Fortunately there are numerous mileage tracking programs available for Apple and Android smartphones that employ the phones GPS to hold tune of every mile/kilometre pushed for enterprise functions.

For a small month-to-month charge the app will log your business journey information and permit you to down load a mileage summary your tax return. Some of the extra famous mileage tracking apps consist of:
MileIQ (IOS and Android)Mileage Expense Log (IOS simplest)TripLog (IOS and Android)Business Use Versus PersonalBoth the IRS and the CRA are vigilant approximately immoderate claims for business use of private vehicles – claiming maximum or all of your car mileage for business use is a positive manner to draw extra scrutiny from the tax authorities and a probable audit. (See 10 Red Flags That Will Get Your Canadian Small Business Audited.)
Therefore when it comes time to say your motor car commercial enterprise fees, you’ll need to realize what number of non-enterprise related miles or kilometres you drove, and the easiest manner to do that is to discern out what number of overall miles or kilometres you’ve pushed over the direction of the year via evaluating your car’s odometer analyzing on the cease of the tax year to what it become at the start of the 12 months.
Then, as soon as you have got your facts for the yr, to calculate your motor vehicle prices declare you want to tally all the miles/kilometres you’ve driven for business use over the path of the 12 months.

Your private use is then the entire mileage for the yr minus the business mileage.
Good News for Canadian Taxpayers – You Can Use a Simplifed CRA Mileage Log as ProofThe Canada Revenue Agency now allows small business humans to reduce down on their logbook document retaining and use a 3-month pattern logbook to extrapolate commercial enterprise use for the complete yr.
To use a simplified logbook:
You need to have formerly maintained a mileage log for one complete 12 months to set up a base 12 months’s business use of a vehicle.You must have saved this logbook for one entire yr in 2009 or a later year.Your enterprise use of your automobile for the year you are using the simplified logbook must be inside 10% of the results of your commercial enterprise use of your automobile you recorded for the bottom year.The CRA also says that agencies could have to reveal that the usage of the car in the base year remains representative of its ordinary use.
All of these things being genuine, you’ll then be able to maintain a logbook for just 3 months after which calculate your business use of vehicle by using multiplying the business use as decided within the base year by way of the ratio of the pattern period and base year length, by means of the use of this formulation:
(Sample yr length % ÷ Base year period %) × Base year annual % = Calculated annual enterprise use
Notice that to try this, you’ll must recognize what your commercial enterprise use percent become for the precise three month duration in the year that you are the use of as a base yr so that you can compare it in your new pattern yr length.
So if, as an example, I have saved a simplified CRA mileage log for January, February and March of last tax yr, I additionally want to realize what my percent of business use of my car became in January, February and March in the course of my base year when I kept a mileage log for the whole 12 months.
Here’s an instance:
Suppose that I kept a simplified logbook for the primary three months of the year and find that my enterprise use of automobile percent is 64%.
I move lower back to my whole complete year mileage log for the 2015 tax 12 months, which I’ve chosen to use as my base 12 months, test the statistics for January, February and March, and locate that my business use of car percent at some point of that point became 68%. My percentage of the use of my automobile for business purposes for that entire base yr became 70%.
Then, applying the method to extrapolate my three months of statistics in my simplified logbook to cowl the complete year:
(64% ÷ sixty eight%) x 70% = sixty five%
So sixty five% is the yearly enterprise use of car percent that I am claiming the use of my simplified logbook records – a figure with a purpose to be suitable to the Canada Revenue Agency as it falls within the 10% allowable variety of version.
For greater information about claiming enterprise prices associated with the usage of your automobile to earn commercial enterprise profits, see What Motor Vehicle Expenses Can You Claim on Income Tax in Canada?
Vehicle Purchase Expenses and Capital Cost Allowance in CanadaIf you have got sold a automobile to apply on your business, you’ll also want to examine Motor Vehicle Expenses Related to Buying a Vehicle, and How to Claim CCA (Capital Cost Allowance) on a Vehicle Bought for Business Use which explains the way to write off the price of your automobile through Capital Cost Allowance.

 

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