Do you ever drive a car for business, medical or charitable purposes? Have you moved in the past year? If so, you might be eligible for valuable tax deductions.
The Internal Revenue Service allows you to deduct a certain amount for every eligible mile you drive. So if you qualify for and claim these mileage deductions, you’ll keep more of your money out of Uncle Sam’s pocket.
For example, for tax year 2017, the IRS’ standard mileage rates for deductible driving expenses are:
- 53.5 cents per mile driven for business
- 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
- 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
You can learn more about these write-offs in “Tax Hacks 2017: Don’t Miss These 16 Often-Overlooked Tax Breaks.”
Of course, the IRS won’t take you at your word. If you want to write off eligible mileage, you must log eligible miles.
In the past, that meant tedious manual record-keeping of your odometer readings and driving purposes. Technology has since simplified — if not practically automated — this process.
Mobile apps like the four detailed below handle much of the record-keeping for you. That means you can claim applicable mileage deductions with minimal effort.
This type of app can be costly. However, all of the following apps offer a free version or are bundled free with software programs you might already have. Additionally, they are all available for both Android and Apple iOS.
Cost: MileIQ is a free download that offers 40 drives a month. You can upgrade the app for unlimited drives, which costs $5.99 a month or $59.99 a year.
Details: Both the free and paid versions of MileIQ include automatic mileage tracking, meaning the app automatically detects when you’re driving and automatically tracks your miles every time you drive. When you finish a drive, you just swipe your phone screen to categorize the trip as personal, business, medical, charity or a customized category.