As a mobile notary, your work depends on travel. And guess what? All those trips are tax deductible as long as you keep stellar records on tracking mileage for taxes. Here’s how to do it properly:
In order to deduct your mileage, the IRS needs to know:
- Your odometer reading at the beginning of the year
- How many total miles you traveled for work on your vehicle
- Your odometer readings for the beginning and end of each of your trips
Create Your Mileage Tracking Spreadsheet
Ideally, your spreadsheet will have the following column headings:
- Date and time of travel
- Purpose of the travel (a description)
- Where you were traveling FROM
- Where you were traveling TO
- Total miles traveled
Make each of these requirements their own column in your Excel or Google Sheet spreadsheet by typing them into the first row like the image below.
Then freeze the top row so that as you add many rows with the information of each of your trips, it remains there at the top and won’t disappear when you continue adding trips to the sheet. (To freeze the top row, choose “View”, then “Freeze”, then “1 row”)
Freezing the top row will ensure that you are easily able to see what each column is for once you build up a large amount of data entries.
Access your Mileage Tracking Spreadsheet from Anywhere
This spreadsheet can be set-up in Excel or printed and stored in your glovebox, but if you prefer keeping track of things like this from your phone (like we do!) then we recommend using Google Sheets. Not only can you login to Google Sheets from any computer, you can also login through the Google Sheets / Google Drive FREE mobile app – making your tracking available virtually anywhere you have internet access.
Other mobile app options include MileIQ or TripLog, both of which are available on Android and iOS, but are not free like the previously mentioned options.
We hope that these tips help to simplify the process of tracking your mileage. The more organized you are with this during the year, the less stress at tax time. If you’ve followed these steps, we’d love to hear how it’s going. Have you been able to easily track your mileage? Or, if you use another system, share with us how you track your mileage? We’re excited to hear from you.
If you would prefer a template that is setup specifically for tracking mileage for taxes with Excel, not to worry, Microsoft has a template at office.com.
Want to increase your mileage with new clients? Become a member of Notary Jane.
By Notary Jane Staff Writer