If you’re taking a deduction on your vehicle, either for actual expenses or mileage, you’ll want to make sure your deduction is “audit proof”. To do this you need to prove your deduction by documenting your business usage. And the best way to document it is with a mileage log. But what do you need to log? What is the IRS looking for?
An easy way to remember what you should keep track of is to remember these four “D’s”
1. Distance – how far were you going?
2. Details – where were you going and what were you doing?
3. oDometer – Beginning and ending mileage on your vehicle for the year
4. Drive-time that’s not business – This would be total mileage driven between both personal and business use.
There are apps that can help you with this (MileIQ and certain versions of Quickbooks Online, just to name a few), or you can just track these trips on a spreadsheet.
While it’s not required, another good tip is to save the receipts from when you get your oil changed. These receipts will have the odometer reading on the date of service and provide additional backup to your records.