Gas receipts for tax purposes?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by johntx14, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    while I appreciate what you guys are saying I have an accountant for one reason and one reason only.

    so I don't have to mess with doing the taxes and knowing anything about that stuff. I just want a guy who says I need this, this and that and just does it. and right now that's what I have. he tells me what he needs and I give it to him.

    it's the accountants job to keep up with the law. not mine.
  2. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    I would ask him why he's not getting you every deduction.

    He will probably say that you didn't furnish him with gallonage or receipts, but a good accountant, knowing the business your in should have asked you.

    It's a CREDIT, not a deduction.
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  3. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    maybe I will but as I said I have an accountant so I don't have to keep up with or pay attention to that stuff.
  4. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 829

    I personally find that on my diesel truck, expenses plus fuel is fairly close to mileage. It may vary a little each year, but overall it is a wash for me. Mileage may be slightly more sometimes. But, I just take expenses because I look at the mileage log as one more thing to keep track of. Expense receipts just go in the pile to be entered in the computer, and it's done. Plus the larger your operation (and the more trucks), the more people you are depending on to keep up with mileage logs. Such a pain. I found myself having to go back to the truck and look at my routes and trying to write in a week or more of mileage. Just turns out to be a headache for me.
  5. britsteroni

    britsteroni LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 334

    I am an accountant. That's why I was trying to help you. If you don't want to listen, fine. People are trying to help you save money, not learn the tax code!
  6. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    Why are you keeping mileage logs on a work truck?

    Work trucks are for work 100% of the time.

    Personal vehicles are for personal (non-business) use.

    If you stick to that, there is no need to log anything. Just keep gas receipts.

    It is so much easier that way, and there are NO mistakes.
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    The truth is the IRS requires a mileage log even when you expense the work vehicle. The reason you don't hear more about it from accountants is accountants know better than to try to convince you to do it. If you are ever audited the auditor can require your mileage log books. Then you get to recreate them.

    You'd be surprised at how often supposed work only trucks get used for personal travel. Here's a good example:

    Tommy has a shop that is one mile from his house. Tommy drives his work truck everywhere he goes. What Tommy doesn't realize though is that the one mile trip from his house to his shop is not deductible. As soon as Tommy left his shop to go home the truck's true purpose went from business to pleasure.

    There was a guy here at Lawnsite a couple of years ago that did some very creative numbers juggling. He and his wife jumped into his company truck, drove 300 miles to pick up personal furniture and then stopped at an auto parts store to buy spark plugs for his mower. Then he drove home and marked the entire trip down as business. Right. The auditors weren't born yesterday.
  8. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    relax dude,

    why get so upset if someone doesn't follow your advise. I don't know you or anyone else on this site from Adam.

    I prefer to stick with what my accountant says and does. a person I've met in person and have come to know and trust.

    besides in my last post I said I'd mention it to him, did I not?

    it's more than just the tax code I'm not interested in. I don't have the first clue about how to do my taxes. when I worked for someone else and all I had was w2 forms yes. but with my own business I don't know where to begin nor do I care to know.

    I just give the accountant what he asks for. I have no idea why he needs the info he gets from me. I just know he needs it to figure my taxes and that's good enough for me.

    I'm not interested in saving every last penny I can. if the easier way is costing me a little so what. it's pretty easy to just give him what he asks for and move on.
  9. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    While that is likely true, my truck is a work truck. Used only for work, and bought by the business, and registered in the business name, with commercial insurance. It's a 2004 that just clicked over to 30K miles last month!

    It's the landscapers driving their chromed up $70K Denali "work" pickups down to the OBX a couple times a summer that they're after.
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  10. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    I do agree that in your particular case you probably wouldn't throw up a red flag for mileage. They have averages for every type of business there is. Say there was a company that did $40,000 worth of business and logged 25,000 miles doing it. That might throw a flag. They also probably look at inconsistencies in reporting such as wild fluctuations in mileage from year to year.

    I know that my mileage is pretty consistent with my gross income. As my income goes up and down so does my mileage. It took them a while to process my return this year. Longer than usual. I know that they were having software issues for a while. But my return took longer to process than what their software issues account for. I suspect it was pulled for an internal audit and they didn't find anything worth asking me about.

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