Mileage Log Checklist: Your Guide for Submitting Your 2023 Log

January 25, 2024

Navigating the tax season can be daunting, especially when it comes to compiling your mileage log. At MileageWise, we understand the importance of having a reliable, IRS-Proof log. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive checklist enriched with useful FAQs to guide you through the process. Let’s dive into the essentials you need to consider for your 2023 mileage log.

mileage log preparation checklist

1. Completeness and IRS Compliance

Self-Check for Completeness: Begin by scrutinizing your existing mileage log. Does it include all your business-related trips, complete with dates, destinations, purposes, and mileage? The IRS requires meticulous records, and missing details could lead to lost deductions or compliance issues. Here’s a list of the required details:

  1. Accurate Dates and Times:
    • Record the date and time of each trip.
  2. Detailed Trip Purpose:
    • Specify the purpose of each trip (e.g., client meeting, supply run).
  3. Complete Start and End Locations:
    • Include the exact starting point and destination for each journey.
  4. Exact Mileage:
    • Document the miles driven for each trip. Use your vehicle’s odometer or a reliable GPS tracking system.
  5. Separate Business and Personal Use:
    • Clearly distinguish between business and personal trips.
  6. Regular Updates:
    • Update your log regularly (ideally daily or weekly) to ensure accuracy.
  7. Consistent Record Keeping:
    • Use the same method for logging throughout the year to maintain consistency.
  8. Retention of Supporting Documents:
    • Keep receipts, calendars, and appointment books that corroborate your trips.
  9. Annual Summary:
    • Prepare an annual summary of the total miles driven, including business, commuting, and personal miles.
  10. Vehicle Information:
    • Include details of the vehicle used (make, model, year) and when it was placed in service for business purposes.

Identifying and Filling Gaps: Examine your log for any inconsistencies or missing entries. It’s not uncommon to overlook trips or to have incomplete records. Identify these areas and fill them to ensure a robust, IRS-Proof log.

FAQs:

  • Q: How often should I update my mileage log?
  • A: It’s best to update your log regularly, ideally daily or at least weekly.
  • Q: What if I forget to log a trip?
  • A: Add the forgotten trip as soon as you remember, with as many details as possible.

2. Maximizing Deductions

Exploiting Every Deductible Mile: Are you sure you’re claiming all the miles you’re entitled to? Business, medical, charity, and even some moving-related trips can be deductible. Understanding these categories ensures you don’t miss out on valuable deductions.

FAQs:

  • Q: Are commutes between home and work deductible?
  • A: Generally, commutes are not deductible. Exceptions exist for temporary work locations or a home office qualifying as a principal place of business.

     

  • Q: Can I claim mileage for mixed-purpose trips?
  • A: Yes, but only the portion of the trip that is for business purposes is deductible.

3. One-Stop Information Hub

All-in-One Resource: We’ve consolidated all the necessary information about mileage logging in one comprehensive resource, namely, our website. This approach eliminates the hassle of sourcing information from multiple places, streamlining your mileage log process.

FAQs:

  • Q: Where can I find updates on IRS regulations for mileage logs?
  • A: The IRS website and our MileageWise resources are regularly updated with the latest information.

     

  • Q: What are the common mistakes to avoid in mileage logs?
  • A: Common mistakes include not recording every trip, insufficient details, and mixing personal and business trips without proper documentation.

4. The Google Timeline Method for Mileage Tracking and Reconstruction

Innovative Tracking for Retrospective and Backup Logs: The Google Timeline method is a forward-thinking approach to mileage tracking and restoration. If you’re not using it yet, now’s the time to switch it on following these steps. This method will help you recover “lost” trips, and will also significantly enhance the accuracy and detail of your 2024 log, making next year’s tax preparation much smoother.

FAQs:

  • Q: Can the Timeline method help me recover past trips in 2023?
  • A: Yes, this is the best way to unearth long forgotten trips. Trips that got recorded by Google Maps can easily be importend into MileageWise that’ll turn those records into an IRS-Proof mileage log. 

     

  • Q: Can the Timeline method replace logging with a mileage tracker app?
  • A: Our recommendation is that you use Google Timeline as your backup tracker. It obviously doesn’t offer as many features as a dedicated mileage tracker, but it’s still useful to have a secondary tracker working in the background in case tracking stops via your app for various reasons such as your internet connection is poor, or your phone battery runs out.

     

  • Q: Can the Google Timeline method help with filling larger trip gaps?
  • A: Technically yes, but if it wasn’t switched on, then we’d rather recommend using the AI Wizard that can convincingly populate larger trip gap periods using patterns and samples from your previous driving habits and the list of your clients. 

Turn Google Timeline Records into Mileage Log

5. Expert Assistance in Tax Preparation

Guidance from Professionals: Tax preparation can be complex, but our team is here to assist. Whether it’s understanding the nuances of mileage deductions or ensuring your log meets IRS standards, our experts are a call away.

FAQs:

  • Q: Can MileageWise represent me in an IRS audit?
  • A: While we provide documentation and guidance, direct representation typically requires a licensed tax professional.

     

  • Q: How can I ensure my mileage deductions are maximized legally?
  • A: Consult with our experts who are familiar with the latest IRS rules and can offer personalized advice.

Tax Preparation Service

6. Defense Service

Preparation for IRS Inquiries: In the event of an IRS audit or inquiry, our defense service provides the support you need. We help you present a well-documented, compliant mileage log, offering you confidence and peace of mind.

FAQs:

  • Q: What documentation will I need for an IRS audit?
  • A: You’ll need a detailed and accurate mileage log, receipts, and any other relevant documentation to support your claims. Our experts will also use your Google Timeline records, if Timeline was switched on before.

     

  • Q: How quickly can I access support in case of an IRS inquiry?
  • A: Our team is available for immediate assistance during business hours, with prompt responses to urgent inquiries.

Prepaid IRS Mileage Log Audit Defense Service

7. The MileageWise Mobile App

Effortless Tracking On-the-Go: Our mobile app revolutionizes the way you track your trips. It’s designed to be intuitive, efficient, and fully compliant with IRS requirements. By starting to track your trips now with any of our 3 automatic methods, you can avoid the headaches of manual logging and ensure a smoother process for your future tax seasons.

FAQs:

    • Q: Is the app compatible with both iOS and Android devices?
    • A: Yes, our app is designed to be compatible with a wide range of smartphones.

       

    • Q: How secure is the data entered in the MileageWise app?
    • A: We prioritize data security with encryption and secure data storage practices.

Download MileageWise’s automatic mileage tracker app from Google Play or the App Store & try it for free for 14 days. No credit card required!

8. Saving and Referencing

Accessing Information Easily: Bookmark this guide for quick reference. Having this checklist at your fingertips can be incredibly useful, especially when you’re on the move or need to confirm a detail quickly. You can also easily initiate a chat right from within the app itself.

9. We’re Here to Help

Personalized Support: Our team is always ready to assist with any questions or concerns you may have. Whether it’s a query about the app, a specific entry in your log, or general advice, we’re here to support your mileage logging journey.

By following this detailed checklist, you’re not just preparing a mileage log; you’re ensuring that your log is comprehensive, compliant, and optimized for maximum deductions. With MileageWise, make this tax season your most efficient and stress-free yet.

Similar blog posts