01 Jun Yes, You Must Have a Mileage Log for Your Auto Expense Deduction
When it comes to your tax records, the most important one is your mileage log.
In an IRS audit, the mileage log often creates the first impression of your tax records. Whether you use the IRS mileage rate or the actual expense method, you need a written record that proves your business percentage of use.
Various methods can be used, but the IRS three-month sampling record is the preferred choice for those who know about it. With this method, you keep a mileage log for three months and then apply that the three-month business percentage to either:
- the miles you drove for the year ( mileage method), or
- the expenses you incurred for the year ( actual expenses method)
The three months must be consecutive and must represent your driving pattern.
With respect to keeping your mileage log, you can find very affordable apps–these apps track where you go and where you stop, and that takes away a big part of the record-keeping hassle.
Your first step in proving your vehicle deductions is to have a mileage record of your business use.
If you do not have a mileage log and you are audited by the IRS, the auto expenses will be disallowed!!!