Mileage Log

Everything you need to know about your mileage log including IRS requirements, mileage log software, how to keep a mileage log, free forms/sheets/logs in Excel/PDF/OpenOffice formats.

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FREE: 5 Tricks IRS Agents Use to
Reject Your Mileage Log

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What Makes Us Mileage Log Experts

We have been doing nothing but mileage logs for over 12 years. We have helped hundreds of thousands of people keep and make outstanding mileage logs. We have helped thousands of people successfully defend their state and IRS mileage log audits. Our most common feedback from IRS agents is "That is the best mileage log I have ever seen." We wrote our MileageWIZ software and have supporting and improving it all these years. There is no company in the world that has 1/10th of our experience.

Deduct Driving to Walmart

MileageWiz™ supports and encourages you to use ALL of the possible six ways to get a mileage log tax deduction. With MileageWiz™ you can make sure your car rarely leaves the driveway without it being a tax deduction! MileageWiz™ calls these six ways to get tax deductions: 'IRS Activities' (see below). MileageWiz Videos

Types of Mileage Logs
  • Non-Profit - Get deductions for driving to donate a bag of clothes or to volunteer for ANY non-profit organization.
  • Employee - Get deductions for driving for your W-2 job. But be careful to avoid this common mistake.
  • Medical - Get deductions to the grocery store to buy aspirin or to the doctor or dentist.
  • Moving - Get deductions driving while moving (as long as it is 50 miles away).
  • Job Search - Get deductions for driving to look for a new job.
  • Business - This is the most common and if you pay social security tax, then Business miles save you the most on your taxes.

Create A Mileage Log for the Whole Year

This is the most efficient way to create a mileage log. With MileageWIZ you can sit down and crank out a 100+ page mileage log for the entire year in about an hour. MileageWIZ gives you two great options to do this. One is using Recurrences and the other is the Interview. The MileageWiz Videos show both these techniques.

Keeping a Mileage Log Throughout The Year

We call this Weekly Logging and it takes a bit more discipline than making your mileage log at the end of the year, but you tend to get a bit more accurate mileage log. The 2:27 mark of the Weekly Logging video shows how powerful Weekly Logging is. This feature allows you to quickly copy/paste and entire day or week and then drop/drag to quickly edit it if you like.

100% Business Use... Big Red Flag!

We have heard this a hundred times: "I use my vehicle for 100% business use, so I don't need to keep a mileage log."

Okay.  Sure.  And if you drive a dump truck or a garbage truck, then a reasonable person would believe you.  But if you drive anything else, then you are telling the IRS agent that for an ENTIRE YEAR you...

  • NEVER stopped to buy a gallon of milk.
  • NEVER picked up your kid at school.
  • NEVER went to the movie.
  • NEVER took the 4WD truck camping even though your other car is a Corvette... and you own a 24' camping trailer which you deduct as a second home!
  • NEVER did ANY DRIVING that was not a business purpose.

So... Can you look an IRS agent in the eye and say you NEVER did any of those things?  If so, you should consider a career in politics or professional high stakes poker.  :) The IRS knows that MOST people cannot do that.  Most people cannot stare down an IRS agent and they 'come clean' and end up paying the price.

MileageWIZ™ can create a 100 plus page mileage log really fast, so claim 95% business driving and avoid this red flag entirely.

IRS Mileage Log Requirements

There are three things every entry in a mileage log needs; the date, the purpose, and the miles driven. Now, if you drive outside your normal business area then the destination is required.

As you can see, this is quite different than the example below from Chapter 5 - of IRS Publication 463 - Recordkeeping

Mileage Log

Why does the example have so many more columns like odometer start and stop? The simple reason is the IRS wants your money. Mileage logs give huge deductions and so when the IRS shows an example of a mileage log, they want to make as much of a hassle as possible!

We have been doing nothing but mileage logs for over 12 years. We have gone head to head with hundreds of IRS agents. We've gone to their boss, their bosses boss, all the way up the food chain. The IRS likes to make you think they interpret these rules, but they do not. The rules are interpreted in tax court and we have studied the cases involving mileage logs. And in every case, the basic requirements are always the date, the purpose, and the miles driven plus the destination if it's out of your normal driving area. It is to bad that the myth created by the IRS example above is propagated by so many tax professionals, IRS agents, and all over the internet.

Another important requirement is that the mileage log be made contemporaneously. Many tax preparers and IRS agents have all sorts of crazy interpretations of what this means. We have heard everything! This word has been interpreted in tax court to mean: 'before the memory of the driving fades'. However, you can use 'any form of permanent memory aide while making your mileage log '. So by 'any' they mean emails, an appointment book, deal files, pictures, calendar, text messages, ... you name it! Now, if you use these memory aides it in NO WAY requires you to show them to an IRS agent to 'validate' your log. This is one of the tricks we describe in our free guide '5 Tricks IRS Agents Use to Reject Your Mileage Log'.

MileageWIZ makes it almost impossible to create an non-conforming mileage log. It has built in default purposes which cover you even if you are lazy. It warns you if you don't assign a purpose to every day of driving in the Interview Wizard.

Common Mistake With Unreimbursed Employee Deduction

Making a poor mileage log is NOT the most common way to lose this deduction and get hit with a huge tax bill. The most common way is forgetting to get a letter from your employer stating that they require you to drive and that they do not reimburse you for it. We have had hundreds of clients over the years space this off and then get audited after they have left the company or worse yet, after the company no longer exists! You can be audited for your mileage log for up to three years after filing, so get your letter before making the deduction.

You claim this deduction on Form 2106 which then flows into your Schedule A. Also, keep in mind that unless your Home is your 'principle place of business' (see Mileage To and From Home below) as an employee, then driving to/from your home NOT deductible and should not be included in your mileage log.

Mileage To and From Home

Everyone uses their home office for other things besides business! But beware: seemingly innocent questions like "Do you use your office as a spare bedroom?" must be answered very carefully. There are three requirements to deducting driving to/from home for business activities: 1) regular use 2) exclusive use 3) principle use. The regular part is pretty simple. Exclusive doesn't mean you don't have another office, it means that space IN your house is exclusively used for business. So no storing Christmas wrapping, or parking exercise equipment, or a hid-a-bed. The principle part means your home office is where you perform 'administrative or management' tasks, most of the time. You can have another office and occasionally perform minimal administrative tasks. IRS Publication 587 near the top in the section titled Exclusive Use explains this.

Mileage Log To And From Home

As you can see above, if the IRS Activity Type is Business or Employee Driving, then MileageWIZ asks you the proper question and takes care of the details relating mileage to/from Home. Also, if you only use Routes with Recurrences or the Interview Wizard then the issue is cleverly avoided. However, make sure and understand the rules above before heading off to an audit!

My Mileage Log is Being Audited

If this is your situation, then you have come to the right place! Make sure and sign up to receive the '5 Tricks'. They can save you thousands of dollars with a few minutes effort. Also, make sure and read this page because we explain a number of other common mistakes. If you buy MileageWIZ today, then we will take a look at your mileage log (if you like) and alert you to the dozens of mistakes that can kill you during an audit.

Free Printable Mileage Logs - PDFs and Spreadsheets

Yes, we have these. Before clicking the links below, we suggest you glance at the other topics on this page. There is a lot of useful information that could protect your thousands of dollars of deductions.

Free Mileage Log Sheet - Spreadsheets in Excel and OpenOffice format.

Free Printable Mileage Log - These are in PDF and PNG (picture) format.

How much is MileageWiz™ Per Year?

If you purchase the full pack then MileageWiz™ is a little more than $8 per year. This is a small price to pay for something that can save you 11 hours of tedious effort while protecting giving you peace of mind and protection.

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