Are you deducting the miles you drive for business? Are you logging them accurately or automatically? If not, you're losing 58.5 cents (IRS rates) per business mile. If you drive a lot for your business, you cannot afford not to deduct your business miles? With the 2008 Business Mileage Deduction of 58.5 cents per mile, and with gas prices at record levels, it’s really a no brainer!

GPS Mileage Logger

Manuel E. Fernandez | Vulocity

December 2008

GPS Mileage Logger

3Author: Manuel E. Fernandez, Vulocity

Are you deducting the miles you drive for business? Are you logging them accurately or automatically? If not, you're losing 58.5 cents (IRS rates) per business mile. If you drive a lot for your business, you cannot afford not to deduct your business miles? With the 2008 Business Mileage Deduction of 58.5 cents per mile, and with gas prices at record levels, it’s really a no brainer!

Any mileage logging tools are tax deductible and will help you reclaim every cent owed to you. It can pay for itself in just a few days of driving and will ensure you are able to deduct every mile that you are entitled to claim for business, medical or charitable purposes.

The IRS defines deductible mileage as the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. So you basically have to prove through a mileage log that the mileage traveled was for one of the above activities which may include half of your commute home if you stop in to visit a client or scout around for some prospective clients.

It can help you, or your small business reclaim your fuel costs and even reduce costly employee vehicle insurance. With gas prices fluctuating, it's important to keep your fuel and transportation costs down, and take advantage of any tax deductions related to driving that you can. It pays for itself in no time!

If you drive a lot for your business, a gadget called the Mileage Logger automates tracking your mileage. All you have to do is log into the secure servers and designate which trips were business, personal, medical etc.  A fully IRS compliant mileage log is then available for you to download, or export into your financial software anytime.

 

Mileage Rate Charges
Purpose 

  Rates 1/1 through 6/30/08 

  Rates 7/1 through 12/31/08 

Business

50.5

58.5

  Medical/Moving    

19

27

Charitable

14

14

 

Utilizing a built in GPS receiver and a cellular connection, the device starts logging your miles as soon as the GPS detects movement of the vehicle. Once the vehicle has been stopped for more than five minutes, it logs the trip and sends the data via the GSM cellular network to company servers.

The device is about the size of a small cell phone and comes with a 6 foot long OBD II connector (On Board Diagnostic Terminal) to mini-USB power cord. While the device CAN be operated without being plugged in for up to 10 hours, it is recommended that it be plugged into the vehicle at all times to ensure the strongest GPS and Cellular network signals. In addition to automatic mileage logging, you also have the option of purchasing emergency notification and on demand vehicle tracking features as well.

After returning home or to the office, you'll be able to log into the website and sign in with your secure account and generate a trip report. The servers automatically converted the GPS data into physical addresses for the starting and end points of each trip, along with the miles driven and other data. There you can mark the type of trip whether it was for personal, business, charity or other purposes along with a comment of your choosing. There is a small monthly cost associated for the cellular data service that makes this device work so well.

 

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If the average small business owner drives 20,000 miles per year for business, at the current rates this represents a 20,000 miles x $.585 = $11,700 deduction off of their taxable income. This could make the difference in tax bracket easily.

Once installed you simply drive. When vehicle movement is detected and logging commences, the device will give a short series of beeps letting you know it's working. There are manual stop and start buttons on the device should you need to manually record a trip or go into an area where GPS reception may not work such as a tunnel or parking garage.

If being able to log your business miles accurately and deducting 58.5 cents (IRS Rates) per mile isn't enough, the Mileage Logger also doubles as a GPS Tracking Device.

 

2.jpgThis means you can keep tabs on your teen drivers.  Cell phones work great when your teen responds to them, but its tough being a parent and not knowing exactly where your child is at all times, especially after they get their driver’s license. Parents need real time locations of where a teen is driving to and what their driving behavior is like.

Employers spend countless dollars on employees who drive their vehicles and need to know where they are traveling while on the clock. Most insurance companies offer discounts for vehicles equipped with tracking devices and depending on your insurance company, you may be able to get a reduced premium for having a GPS tracking device installed - consult with your agent.

If you drive in the course of daily business for meetings, sales calls, client visits, etc., how can you afford not to take the mileage tax deduction?

 


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