How Should You Track Mileage for Work and Taxes?

Written by mBurse Team Member   |   Apr 20, 2020 7:15:00 AM
2 min read

If your organization tracks employees' business mileage for tax purposes or reimbursements, it can be a tedious process. With the new generation of mileage trackers like our mobile app mLog, mileage capture is a breeze. 

Why you need a mileage tracker for business and taxes

While individual employees cannot deduct business mileage on their tax returns for the years 2018-2025, independent contractors and business owners should still track mileage as part of their business expense deductions. Employers that reimburse for vehicle use can deduct these payments as long as they keep an IRS-approved log of the employees' mileage to substantiate business use. 

Convenience and accuracy are the two most important elements in choosing the best way to record and calculate mileage for work. No one enjoys the tedious process of manually entering dates, locations, and purposes of trips and then having to figure out the amount of mileage. Using Google Maps to manually derive trip data takes time that most people would rather spend on mission-oriented tasks.

The accuracy of reported mileage is also very important. However, a time-consuming logging process can work against accuracy. When employees have to fill out Excel spreadsheets or enter trip data manually in an expense system, it can be easier for drivers and approving managers to cut corners. 

4 benefits of mileage tracking apps like mLog

The current crop of mileage apps eliminate most of the time spent tracking, logging, calculating, reporting, and approving employee business mileage. For example, our mileage tracking app, mLog, allows a driver to automate mileage tracking, edit trips as needed, and submit mileage for approval with just a few taps and swipes on a phone or tablet. All this happens in real-time, the most IRS-compliant way to record business mileage.

Let's look at the benefits of today's best apps to track business miles.

21st century mileage capture

  1. The best mileage tracking apps save time with ease of use.

Convenience and ease of use are crucial benefits of technology. People who drive as part of their jobs already use their mobile devices as portable work stations. Being able to quickly complete a boring administrative task ranks high on anyone's list of ways to improve their job.

When exploring the various mileage tracking apps available, it's important to ensure that the user experience is seamless and intuitive and that it allows for both automation and customization. The best apps simply require an initial set up and then automatically track mileage, allowing the driver to go back and edit out personal trips if they forget to pause the app beforehand.

  1. The best mileage trackers save money with accuracy.

Any organization that pays a mileage reimbursement can find costs spiraling out of control as a result of over-reported mileage. Over-reports are not necessarily a sign of employee dishonesty, though. Often they are a result of time-saving measures.

Busy sales reps, for example, may estimate mileage, reducing their administrative time in favor of more time spent on sales. Reducing the time required to report business mileage will reduce overestimates and lead to more accurate, affordable results.

The latest mileage trackers use GPS to track the vehicle's location automatically, ensuring accuracy. In its automatic setting, mLog starts a trip when a vehicle reaches 5 mph and stops it automatically when the vehicle arrives at its destination.

  1. The best mileage apps facilitate effective work habits.

Effective employees form habits that facilitate their best work. They keep their contacts and addresses organized, plan effective routes, and manage their time well. A well-designed mileage app will include features that make these habits more convenient for employees.

mLog provides a Smart Address Book to keep trip information organized and readily available for future use. Combined with mLog's route planning tool, a driver can plan out his or her day, start driving, and leave the app to do the rest. Plus, if your organization uses CRM software already, the app will facilitate employees' effective maintenance of customer contact information and trip information.

  1. Mileage tracking apps can integrate seamlessly with existing technology.

Many organizations already have made significant investments in CRM software and expense management systems. A good mileage tracker will communicate with the CRM in order to input client information and track productivity of trips. Companies with low CRM-adoption rates among employees can boost those rates because now CRM use is automatically tied to their mileage reimbursement.

The best mileage trackers also interface with existing expense systems so that calculations go straight into the system to generate vehicle reimbursement payments. Employees appreciate not having to fill out multiple forms and spreadsheets or access more than one technology platform.

Stop overspending on your car allowance or reimbursement

What about privacy concerns for GPS mileage apps?

Because real-time mileage logs rely on GPS, it can raise concerns about privacy. This is perhaps the most important issue in determining the best way to track mileage for work. Employees don't want to be monitored, and employers want to keep their employees' trust.

The best mileage trackers are designed to allow for complete separation of business travel and personal travel. The employee should have confidence that only business mileage gets reported to their manager. In other words, while mileage is tracked in real-time, it is not reported in real-time. The mLog app allows employees to edit out personal trips, stops, or detours before the mileage is reported to the employer's systems.

Choosing the best way to track mileage for work and tax purposes

At mBurse, we are always looking to stay innovative in offering the best options available for organizations and employees to calculate and record business mileage. Our new and improved mileage app, mLog, is available for Android via the Google Play store and for iOS via the Apple App Store. We are currently offering a 30-day free trial of our mLog app.

Get your free trial or demo now

Aside from our GPS mileage tracker, mLog, we also offer a CRM mileage log that allows you to integrate automated mileage capture with your existing CRM software. Or, if you are not yet ready to adopt the latest mileage tracking technology, you can obtain a Smart Spreadsheet that includes an enhanced formate that removes self-reported mileage.

Click here for a mileage log demo or click below to take an in-depth look at current trends in business mileage tracking so you can make an informed choice about the best mileage tracker for your business. For a more in-depth look at rules for IRS-approved mileage logs, tax deductions, and mileage tracking technology, read our ultimate guide below.

Everything you need to know about mileage tracking

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