Deducting business mileage

This is the first of many posts “from the other side of the desk”:

The other day I heard a tax professional (whom I will call Mr. K) complaining about a situation he had with a new client.  The client wanted a deduction for business mileage, but he didn’t have a log.  “Oh, I drove about … 4,600 miles”, said the client.  (Probably got that number off the ceiling too.)  Mr. K explained to the client that estimates are not allowed; written proof is required.  Mr. K looked over the client’s prior year tax return and asked where the mileage info came from last year.  The client angrily replied that his previous tax preparer always provided the numbers, and made sure he paid a low amount of taxes.  (Oh joy…one of those.)

The upshot was that the client departed midstream and it was Mr. K’s turn to be upset — he lost an hour of time he’ll never get back.

My clients know better than that.  Tantrums don’t impress me.  I have thrown people out of my office for less.

Why?   Think fraud, tax evasion, outright stupidity and as my colleague frequently says, an inflated sense of entitlement.  But with commercials running all through tax season saying “you DESERVE a refund”, as if a refund is some sort of participation trophy for filing – I suppose it’s to be expected.

So, I thought today is a good day to remind taxpayers about a mileage log.  It’s so easy to do it correctly.  It takes just seconds to notate your miles every time you drive for business.  This will make tax time a breeze, save you a ton of money, and you will have records that will stand up to the IRS.  Don’t wait until tax season or worse, a tax audit, to scramble.  (That’s like writing your book report due today on the bus on the way to school.)  Start your log today.

I posted a cheat sheet at covering exactly what you need for a bulletproof mileage log.  Visit the website and get your free download today.

Want more help?  Get on the list for our upcoming ebook including a done-for-you mileage log with all of the information you need to stay IRS-compliant.  We’ll break down the two different ways you can report your mileage expenses, how to deal with an IRS audit for your mileage, and other great tips.  You’ll get first dibs when it comes out, AND a coupon code if you email me now.  No obligation.  Email me at

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