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truck daily log for the end of the year

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by artherjjohnson, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. artherjjohnson

    artherjjohnson LawnSite Member
    from n.j.
    Messages: 5

    this lawnsite is great :waving:

    a little insight on my situation...
    1.i have a full time job that i use my service truck to go back and forth to work in..
    2.i cut grass and fertilize lawns part time :cool2:
    3. i have two trucks...one that is paid for and i think it is fully deprecated
    (had it since 96) and one i am making payments on for about 19 mo. now..
    one is diesel and one is gas

    here is my problem.....
    my guy that does my taxes needs me to make up a log book of the mileage and gas and diesel usage for the year..

    truck one:used $1267.00 in diesel and drove 9277 miles
    truck two:used $1908.00 in gas (which includes gas cans for the equipment) and drove 12735 miles...

    i don't know were to begin... :blush: both trucks are used for personal use..
    since i am making payments on the gas truck i am going to use it as my primary truck (100% right off) were my diesel truck i used to go back and forth to my full time job..

    i did some math
    here is what i came up with..
    1.diesel truck was used for mostly personal use. i used 6900 miles personal ues and 2377 business use.
    2. gas truck was used for 2688 personal miles and 10047 business miles..

    i did lawn work about 215 days last yr. which equals at an adv-rive of about 60 miles of business use each of the 215 days :dizzy:

    i think that will kick up a red flag to the IRS...

    what do you guys recommend ?

  2. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    I think without that actual drivers daily log pinpointing your daily route with odometer readings at both ends (the log to include personal driving days) it would be ill advised to just make up the numbers. Would it send up a red flag? Probably not as you mileage does not seem out of ordinary. However, in an audit the charges against your income would not be allowed as you do not have an accurate log.
  3. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    Sodking is right...
    we keep 2 logs in the truck...but you must keep them updated every day or they are worthless

    1 is for logging job times/materials used/and other notes as necessary(we log every mow job everday of the season along with the landscape job details)

    the other 1 is a mileage log and you can buy these at Staples or any biz supply store. Before we even start every morning the mileage is noted and then at the end of the day we complete the log as we know approximately how many miles between jobs. And each week if you have a set route, the mileage for your grounds maintenance travels should be consistent week in week out else that might throw up a red flag if you were audited.

    This may seem tedious to do everyday but you get used to it and it takes very little time.

    My accountant prefers not using mileage reimbursement as he says I make out better by instead using the actual costs of operating a vehicle (fuel,oil, car washes, repairs etc). I guess its the preference of you or your accountant which approach you use. Hope this addresses your question.
  4. artherjjohnson

    artherjjohnson LawnSite Member
    from n.j.
    Messages: 5

    thanks guys...
    you would think there is a computer program that you can buy to make up a quick log to get out of a jam like this one...
  5. beransfixitinc

    beransfixitinc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    and another thing.. you SHOULD NOT be mixing your gas records. If you put gas in cans for your equipment, that is considered off road use and you can get that stinking gas tax amount back at the end of the year. You should be keeping seperate records for your equipment fuel.
  6. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    yep thats true...good point you make
    we just run the debit card twice if we are doing vehicle and non vehicle gas fillups..then just make a note on the receipt
  7. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    Pocket PCs are more expensive than Palms but Excel can export to your desktop easilly. The cheapest way is to just buy a log book from Office Max, Staples where ever in the future and everynight synchronize and back up onto DVD or CD-RW or Flashdrive. There are dedicated mileage programs truckers use but that is overkill I think for what you need.
  8. PR Fect

    PR Fect LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,076

    Art, I would not worry about a IRS " red flag " as long as you are honest and have good records and it looks like you are and do. Take the gas truck for the full year, all miles all year. Forget about the diesel and the other 2 thousand some miles. It sounds as if you may have put that many personal miles on the gas truck anyway, so its a wash overall. Its nice to get as much as we can out of the IRS but don't get greedy. The big thing is the way you keep record needs to change for next year. The guys have gave you some good ideas. We are small also and part time. What I do is use a local gas card good at several stations in my area. The gas station gives us a different numbered card for each truck and one for the mowers and gas cans. I right the miles on the gas slip when we fuel and each month the gas company send us a itemized list of what went where for free when they bill. We do not get the road tax back for the mower gas because it only amounts to $45 a year and is a pain, but we could and have the records to do so.
  9. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    You can use a gps system like @road to track all the miles you drive. Is also a good way to keep track of employees.
  10. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    I find it hard to believe that you logged over 12,000 miles working part time unless you drive 30 miles out each day to cut grass. I only say this because you said you have a full time job and only cut part time. 60 miles a day after work seems unbelievable.

    By the way gas usage is one of the reason I use a diesel truck. This way I know by the receipts which is off road usage.

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