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Old 10-03-2006, 04:16 AM
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JimLewis JimLewis is online now
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 6,402
Quote:
Originally Posted by toasty22
How do you guys keep up with your mileage for tax reasons?

Do you write how many miles each truck went every day, week or month?

Thanks.
Your wording is a little concerning. Because when you say, "each truck" it seems like you're talking about multiple trucks. And the IRS is very clear; if you own operate more than one vehicle in your business, you are not allowed the "standard mileage" deduction. You MUST use the "Actual Expenses" method of deduction.

For those of you who just have one work truck then a mileage log is all you need to maintain. But for the rest of us who are running multiple trucks, you are not allowed to take advantage of the mileage deduction.

Trust me. I know from personal experience. The year 2003 was the first year I found this out. And since then I've been saving every receipt and using the "Actual Expenses" method of deduction. But in 2002, I had used the "standard mileage" deduction for several trucks. After I found out about the rule, I was hoping I'd never be audited and it would all just blow over. But as luck would have it we were audited in 2005, and the only thing on the entire audit that the government found, was this. So then they go back and remove that deduction. Then you have to pay the tax you would have paid had you not taken the deduction, plus 3 years interest. Yah...lots of fun. For me, the fun ended up costing us just over $10,000. Not a fun mistake to make.

Learn from me and don't make the same costly mistake.

Incidentally, that was also the last year I did my own taxes. And had I known what I know now, hiring a killer CPA would have been my first move in business. My CPA has saved me more money than I could ever pay him. You guys who are trying to get financial advice here on lawnsite and trying to figure it out all on your own are foolish. Trust me, you'll never find all of the great deductions that a good CPA will find you. Just pony up the extra dough and start getting sound financial advice from the experts.

For more on the topic of mileage deductions, read this article;
http://www.quicken.com/cms/viewers/article/taxes/53304
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Jim Lewis
Lewis Landscape Services - Oregon
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