Driving for Uber can be a good way to earn money. But, don't get bit during tax time by forgetting to claim your miles. Here's what you need to know about an Uber mileage log or how to claim mileage as an Uber driver.
You're classified as a self-employed worker when you drive for Uber. That means Uber doesn't withhold taxes for you. It's also your responsibility to pay your own Self-Employment Tax. But, being self-employed also means you can write off many costs that W2 workers can't. This can include valuable things like the mileage deduction.
Yes. The IRS lets you deduct 53.5 cents per business mile for 2017. All of those miles are considered business miles when you drive for Uber. While 53.5 cents may not seem like a lot, it can quickly add up. At the end of the year, that can lead to a deduction worth thousands of dollars. Remember, the more deductions you have, the lower your taxable income is and you'll have to pay less in taxes. That means more money in your pocket.
When you take the mileage deduction, the IRS wants a contemporaneous record of your drives. This is commonly called a mileage log. Your mileage log must include:
You'll also need to record the starting odometer reading of your vehicle for the year. The IRS also wants to know your commuting miles and non-commuting personal miles.
I know what you're thinking: Doesn't Uber provide me this? Uber does provide a log of trips but it only includes trips with passengers. This report doesn't capture the drives between pickups and these are deductible. That's why many savvy Uber drivers rely on mileage-tracking apps like MileIQ to create automatic mileage logs for them. Not only can they ensure they're getting the largest deduction they're entitled to, they can also write off the cost of MileIQ because it's a business expense.