Owning your own company comes with a lot of perks — as well as a lot of headaches. It is all too easy to throw money out the window when trying to grow your company. The government has tried to give incentives to those who dare enough to go out on their own. One of these incentives that pays off come tax season is tracking the miles you put on your personal vehicle for business purposes.
Why do I need to track my miles?
The IRS allows you to deduct the mileage for business purposes. It does not let you deduct your commute but provides you a deduction since you’re using your vehicle for business purposes. The following are a list of some drives that can be deducted:
- Customer visits
- Trips between offices
- Drives for errands and supplies
- Traveling between temporary job locations
You need a record of all your miles to calculate your deduction and submit the record with your tax filings. If you do not have a record, you will not be able to get the deduction.
How do I track my miles?
You must be meticulous when it comes to tracking your miles. A great tool to invest in is a business mileage tracking log. This is how to keep track of your business mileage versus your personal miles you place on your vehicle.
You need to include the following items:
- The date of the travel
- Places you drove for business and the purpose for your trip
- Your mileage
You will then use the rates in cents provided by the IRS to determine how much of a deduction each trip you take. At the end of the year, you’ll add up the total to include that on your tax statement.
There is one device we all already have in our cars — a USB charger. So why not double up on this little device's function? While you are saving yourself the panic of a low battery warning with this dual USB charger, you’ll find that this is more than just a USB phone charger.
The ZUS Smart Car Charger packs a punch with swift battery charging, as well as a built-in car finder. No need to wander parking garages after a long business meeting, aimlessly looking for your car. Best of all, this little device will log your miles! Although, you’ll still need to keep track of the date of each trip and the purpose. There’s no way you’ll remember that one trip to a customer’s office that happened in January when you’re filling out the log in October.
Other Advantages to Logging Your Miles
Monitoring your mileage is so important for your business, and not just for the write-offs. Having this information helps you to be able to track your time spent total on your job. It helps you set up your cost analysis for your work, which helps you evaluate your worth and how much you should charge for your service.
One other advantage of monitoring your business mileage is because you will be able to better assess how much money you are going to need to set aside for your vehicle’s maintenance.
Another great device to take the guessing game out of your vehicle’s health is using an OBD2 monitor in your vehicle. This simple device is so easy to use—it only involves plugging the device into your car, and you will have the information you need to keep your car running at its maximum performance. The ZUS Smart Vehicle Health Monitor will tell you about upcoming maintenance needs, indicate why your check engine light is on, and through the app, it will offer up causes and solutions from your vehicle's computer system.
So if you are looking to start your own company or looking to maximize your profits, remember to log your mileage and make sure you’re accurate with the ZUS Smart Car Charger. Having this information in a simple-to-use app will save you time (and money) when tax season comes around again.