Many people who are full-timing are doing some sort of mobile business or freelance work along the way. If you have a RV-based business as a freelancer, you may be familiar with the perils of trying to track business-related mileage for business expense related tax deductions.
Miles driven to a job assignment that are not considered a commute should be tracked and logged as a business expense. A relatively new app, called MileIQ, can track automatically these miles, and produce ready-to-go IRS compliant reports for you.
MileIQ is a California-based product that was released in 2013. It is compatible with iOS or Android platforms and integrates easily into other software like Quickbooks, Concur, and Freshbooks.
Once installed and set up, the app runs in the background on your smart phone—no need to plug anything in or turn anything on. It senses if you are driving and automatically tracks the starting location, route, miles, and end location of each trip—you do not have to remember to start or stop the app.
At the end of the trip, the driver is prompted to categorize the trip using a swipe function with the app. Once the app is initially set up, editing trip data has to be done through logging into the website. The data is then compiled into forms that are synced to the current IRS mileage rules and regulations.
Users of the app find it very easy to set up and use, and more convenient that other mileage tracking methods.
If you have typical work hours, you can set up the app to track any trips during your set business hours automatically as business trips. MileIQ can also track trips in multiple vehicles.
Downsides of the app are that it isn’t the ideal set-up for those businesses with more than one traveling employee, and does not allow for trip-related expenses (parking, fuel, tolls, repairs, etc.) to be added.
For users making 40 trips or less each month, the app can be downloaded for free. For more frequent trips, users can upgrade to a premium version for less than $6/month (which may also be a business expense write-off).
The MileIQ website estimates that by using the app to track business mileage, the average user deduction is about $6,500/year.
Other mileage tracking programs to consider are Triplog, which works really well if you have a small business team to track, and Self-Employed by Quickbooks, which is a great all-in-one accounting program that seamlessly meshes with other Quickbooks applications. Both allow for real-time mileage tracking and tracking driving purposes and offer a range of options to allow for different user needs.