Tax prep

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by Landscape Poet, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Here is a question for all of you that are reading this. Do you log the mileage on your vehicle monthly or just yearly. With that said do you take your gas receipts for the truck(s) vs the mileage deduction?

    The last couple of years and this year too it looks like taking the deduction given for mileage is going to be better for me than actual gas receipts for gas used in the truck. But I have a question concerning mileage this year and wanted to see what and how you guys were approaching it, if you know yet.
  2. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I have a home office and separate work trucks and personal vehicles. I take 100% of the works once a year and 80% of the personal vehicle's mileage once a year. I also deduct a huge portion as Office Rent. If the Big boys can have accounts why can't I take every advantage also? Yes that is or should be an advantage to being in business.

    BTW because my trucks are bought and paid for for a long time now, Mileage gives me a better break than actual cost of Gas and repairs etc.
  3. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    See you are in the same boat I am in then Ric. I am not sure if you have reviewed the deductions for this year yet but I just did this morning. Rates have increased from 51 cents for business rate last year to 55 cents this year. The issue I have is for the first time to my knowledge, they are giving a split rate for the year depending on what time the mileage was incurred.

    This year for mile driven before July 1, 2011 - = 51 cents per mile for miles driven after June 30, 2011 = 55.5 cents per mile . This of course is great news for us but I am confused on how they realistically expect us to accurately file this information as I figure most are like us and only record the information once a year. I have always just did it from year to year based off of the previous filings mileage.
    This throws a loop hole in things. I guess I could just split the mileage in half but I really think that is doing myself a injustice as my revenue was significantly higher in the third quarter - which most likely means more miles were traveled...and especially when you consider how little mileage is actually put on during the winter months - especially last year with the weather pattern.

    Just wondering how you and others will approach this now knowing that information. I know your mileage might be a little more steady due to the nature of your part of the industry than say mine..but I imagine you pick up different mileage as you gain one time spray accounts etc during the peak of the season too.

    The mileage used on my personal vehicle will also be skewed as we do carry a notebook in it for recording mileage to and from business related events when used, however, again - I do not write down the dates.
  4. stickleylawncare

    stickleylawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    I record the odometer at every fill up and keep a running tally in excel throughout the year. Just takes a few seconds to write the odometer on the receipt while Im at the pump. I track the mowers, and equipment gas the same way. Its just so I can see how much gas goes to what.

    The truck is solely driving for business. Not sure if that makes a difference, this will be the first year I go to an accountant and make sure things are set for next year.
  5. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I'm not willing to share too much info, but it always surprises me when I add up my expenses for office supplies. I consider my office to be pretty bare minimum yet I typically spend more on it than equipment maintenance/repairs...not something I would have guessed.

    It's also funny how adding a tool when I'm really busy and the cash is flowing nicely seems so easily justifiable, yet in the winter when I'm sitting around counting pocket change I think about how I could have done without it, lol.
  6. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Office supplies are a big one for me too, but I also include postage in that category of expense so every month it gets a little hit even if the office did not purchase anything else per say. Add in Ink Cartridges, envelops, Internet connection, Security software for the CPU and of course a new CPU every so often and there is a pretty mint hidden in the office for sure. My business is still ran out of my home, so the home office gets taken to the max by the accountant and my wife. My wife keeps every receipt for any thing that could be used in the business such as paper towels and the accountant goes through and takes it all off or a % based off the % of the household expected vs business use is. Paper Towels, TP, GoJo, etc etc all adds up for sure....I am just wishing it would add up quicker this year as I am not seeing a figure I am liking too much as of yet. :confused: I am hoping on our first meeting this year she will remind me of lots of stuff I have overlooked.
  7. Mike

    Do you send your customers invoices in an envelope?

    All my customers are billed via email through quickbooks and the send me the check either through a personal check or through their bank. I don't use any paper or stamps this way......just a thought.
  8. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    I do both - however if they have agreed to email they still get a hard copy too. I am old school like that I guess. It would work for a large part of my customer base but some of the old ones do not even have a internet connection so I would still be mailing some.

    I am trying to get converted over to quickbooks. I bought it last year and have failed to spend any time learning it. I will convert hopefully this year - we will see. The biggest thing in my way is that my current program was suppose to convert the information over to quickbooks easy....I have not experienced that so far in the conversion. Everything is too difficult. When I finally have everything laid out - backed up and ready to go for taxes I am going to try to convert everything this year but it is too risky to do so at this point as I can not afford to lose any information in the transfer.
  9. oh yea forgot about the people who don't use email. The one person I have like that hands me the check first week of the month all the time. Yea, Quickbooks makes life much easier, even if you only send half your invoices, that's a lot of saved postage.
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  10. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I deduct actual vehicle expenses, 100% of them because we have personal vehicles for personal use. I'm not sure you can swtich between the two methods, pretty sure I read that you have to pick one and stick with it, but I could be wrong. And I just check my mileage annually, no daily/weekly/monthly log or anything.

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