* Gridwise does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for information purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before filing your return.
It’s easy to make mistakes. And, if you’re new at rideshare or delivery driving, it’s really easy to miss out on some things all drivers need to know. As a driver, tracking mileage is super important. Why? Well, because as a gig driver, you are entitled to deduct the cost of your vehicle’s wear and tear —which is based on your mileage—from your taxable income.
This can result in huge savings on your tax bill. This Gridwise post gives you an idea of some of the numbers involved and how the IRS mileage rates compare from one year to the next. With the possibility of deducting 58.5 cents per mile for the first six months of 2022, and 62.5 cents per mile for the last six months of the year, you can see how tracking miles for taxes is a smart thing to do.
Even as a rookie driver, you have most likely racked up a whole lot of miles over the year. Obviously, from now on, you’re going to want to be meticulous about keeping a mileage log for taxes that accounts for each and every mile you drive in support of your gig. There are different ways of doing that, as this Gridwise article shows, and you’ll want to put them into practice for 2023. What can you do right now if, say, you forgot to log miles for Instacart or neglected to keep mileage records for your Shipt gig?
Recreating mileage logs the IRS will accept
If you find yourself asking “What if I didn’t keep track of my mileage?” the first thing to do is a “don’t.” Under no circumstances should you panic. While it’s true that you might have missed some of the miles you could have used to add to your deductions, you will still get a chance to create a mileage log for taxes.
You’ll have to come up with a reasonable and verifiable mileage estimate, of course. For instance, it wouldn’t be acceptable to use your total mileage for the year, because you’ve most likely used your vehicle for personal as well as business-related purposes. Mileage accrued for personal purposes is not tax deductible
Still, there are some ways to backtrack and put together mileage records that are good enough to please even the seemingly unforgiving IRS. They require you to bear the burden of proof and back up any claims you make about mileage used for business. The IRS statement on this policy can be found in this article. You will need to make a statement that is as truthful as it is accurate, so be very virtuous here!
The task of recapturing Uber, Lyft, or DoorDash mileage taxes drivers, but it can be done. You can start by going to the apps you drive for. In almost every case, they will have recorded the miles you clocked while you were rideshare driving and/or delivering. This is a good start, but it isn’t going to cover everything.
You’ll be missing the miles you drove in between your trips, as in leaving your car’s home base and making your way to where you get business, and driving home from a far flung food or passenger drop off. How can you recover your records of these miles? Here are some suggestions:
- Start with the mileage listed on the tax statement provided by your driving or delivery app.
- Take one month’s worth of trips, and calculate the mileage between trips (hint: access your trip logs in the apps you use). Then multiply by 12, or as many months as you drove for the year.
- In a similar way, calculate the mileage you accumulated driving to and from the places where you began working during an average month, and multiply by the appropriate number of months.
- Add on any trips you may have taken that were directly relevant to your rideshare or delivery work. These might include driving to the car wash or detailers, traveling to shop for equipment or supplies, or returning a cell phone or hat one of your passengers left behind.
- Describe how you put together your calculations and how they fulfill the burden of proof.
Avoid rookie mistakes: Track each and every deductible mile
So you missed some deductible miles this year, and now you have to do a whole bunch of work to figure out how to track miles for taxes. Get on top of tracking your miles ASAP with Gridwise’s top rated mileage tracker.
When you download the Gridwise app, you’ll see how it
- tracks your mileage automatically. All you need to do is log in at the beginning of your shift and log off when you’re done driving and delivering for the day.Let Gridwise log miles. The app captures every mile you travel on your trips and all the mileage you rack up in between.
- takes the pressure off. You won’t even have to think about looking through all your trips, estimating the miles you drove in between, and performing annoying calculations. Gridwise takes the stress out of your mileage tracking tasks.
- lets you keep more of your money. When you are able to track each and every mile eligible for deduction, you reduce your taxable income and hold onto as much of your earnings as possible.
- provides tons of features, offers, and support. Gridwise has been designed by drivers for drivers. Take advantage of income-boosting driving aids, special deals and discounts for drivers, and important information such as airport activity, traffic alerts, and weather reports.