Virtually everybody does their taxes once a year when April 15th rolls around. If you’re one of those on-the-ball people, maybe you get yours completed in February. Since you probably file taxes annually, why wouldn’t you track mileage annually?
For my own business, I track my mileage monthly and create a report monthly. I run a software development consulting company called Swift Mako Software. I’m always driving to meet with different clients to work on their development projects so I rack up a fair amount of mileage. I’m the owner of this business, but I’m also considered an employee.
As an employee using his personal vehicle for business purposes, my business can reimburse me at the current IRS mileage rate of $0.565/mile. There’s no need to wait until the end of the tax year to take this reimbursement, you can take it every month or however often you pay yourself.
Even if you wait until tax time to do mileage reimbursements, there are still benefits to tracking mileage monthly. First and foremost, is that it’s habit-forming. Only doing a mileage report once a year can leave you with large gaps where you forgot to track. It can leave you swearing you’ll do a better job next year at keeping track. By tracking monthly and putting a reminder on your calendar on the first of each month, it keeps you honest and engaged in maximizing every deduction.
By opening the miletrack website each month it also keeps me in the habit of tracking the business purpose of each trip. If I wait longer than a month, it’s very easy to forget what a given trip was for even when I’m staring at a map of it. If you’re ever audited, having a nice and complete log full of descriptions and business purposes for each trip puts you light years ahead of the game.
How often do you track your mileage and why? Let us know in the comments.
The IRS has released new standard mileage rates for 2013. You can read more about the rate changes on the IRS Website.
If your current user settings were set to the previous U.S. mileage rates, you have been automatically updated to these new rates. You should login to your account and check to make sure you’re using the latest mileage rates.
Happy tracking in 2013!
It’s been a long journey, but MileTrack GPS for iPhone has finally arrived as a free download. Please spread the word to your friends, contacts, and acquaintances if you’re a MileTrack fan!
We’ve been busy listening to you our users and implementing your ideas to make your tracking experience even simpler. We recently pushed out an update to the online dashboard that allows you to set a timezone for your downloaded reports. Previously, everything was displayed in UTC times. You can login and go to the Shift Gears/Settings page to change this to your local timezone.
Our iPhone App has been in testing the past month and has received good feedback from our testing community. It’s currently “In Review” in the Apple AppStore and should be available as a free download in the next few weeks.
We’ve also been making slow but steady progress on our GPS device that can be left in your vehicle to track mileage. We’re currently having some functional prototypes built that will be used for additional testing as well as device certifications we need before it can be sold publicly.
We’ve already completed a mechanical prototype (pictured right) as well as an electronic bench-prototype to test the functionality. This device can be left in your car, and will automatically upload trips you take to our servers through the Verizon Wireless network. If you take a trip you don’t want tracked, simply unplug the device. It doesn’t get any simpler or more pain-free than that. We’ll also be rolling out some additional features to our website to allow companies to issue the devices to their employees.
There are significant costs involved in moving a product like this from the prototype phase to production. Certifying a device for use on a wireless provider’s network isn’t cheap and engineering costs for plastic injected molds increase rapidly. To get over this hump, we’ll be setting up a Kickstarter project to take device pre-orders, sell some logo gear and even offer an insider track for people who want to be early adopters/testers for our prototype devices. We’ll be announcing this on our email list which is VERY low volume. In fact, I think we’ve only used it once before. If you’re not yet on our email list and want to sign up, you can do so HERE.
As always, thanks for your continued support and happy tracking!
So, you’re an avid MileTrack fan. You enjoy tracking your trips and generating reimbursement reports each month. You also are very organized and like to keep all of your trips labeled with a nice description. After awhile though, it becomes fairly tedious to enter all of those trip descriptions each month. Especially since most of your trips are the same as previous ones.
Sound familiar? If so, you’ll really like a new feature we’ve added to our server. It’s called Automatic Trip Descriptions and you don’t have to do anything to use it. Here’s how it works:
- Every 5 minutes, the server scans your uploaded trips that don’t yet have descriptions.
- It then scans previous trips you’ve made that have been described and tries to find the latest matching trip based on the starting and ending locations. (if you took a different route, no problem!)
- The description along with the type of trip is copied to the UN-described trip along with a *
- When you run your reports, instead of labeling every trip, you just have to go through and validate any *’d trips.
Let us know what you think of this new feature: support[at]miletrackgps.com, or drop us a note in the comments.
-The MileTrack GPS Team
We’ve recently made a switch from Google to Mapquest to display our trip maps. On Sept. 2nd, 2011, Google deprecated their Flash API. This means that for 3 years, they’ll continue to support it, but after that… no promises.
Instead of waiting around, we’ve decided to be pro-active and made the switch to Mapquest’s Open Street Map API.
Send us your feedback on how the new mapping api works for you.
As I’ve mentioned several times, the MileTrack team is focused on creating a new tracking device that you can leave in your car. We’ll be partnering with Verizon Wireless so that the device can log trips in real-time.
The device is bench-prototype complete. It’s been taken on trips sitting in the passenger seat for several weeks now with stellar results. We’ll soon be starting the process of miniaturizing the device and finding manufacturers for the prototype phase. Drop us a note on our Contact Us form and tell us a bit about your mileage usage patterns if you’d like to be considered for beta testing the new device.
We recently received a request from a customer asking us to raise the bar in regards to our slogan of “Pain FREE Mileage Tracking”. He had two “lazy” salespeople working with him that need everything in the Android app to just work automatically. Here is an excerpt of his enhancement request:
Your philosophy of making things easier is along the lines of our business process, but in the interest of making our sales reps even lazier than they already are, I ask that you consider a feature enhancement to enable automatic logging of trips once a certain speed/distance has been exceeded and the phone is being charged (most our people don’t go for jogs with their laptops in tow).
Steps to Reproduce:
Find a really lazy salesperson. No, seriously. The 2 individuals I directly support haven’t filed a mileage expense report since the beginning of time. They are leaving over $1000 a month on the table, and they both say that not having to be bothered is worth it.
We get a fair number of enhancement requests, but this one really struck a chord with our development team. I mean, Why COULDN’T everything be triggered and uploaded automatically? The current process for logging a trip looks like:
1.) Plug phone into car charger.
2.) Launch MileTrack GPS app.
3.) Press Menu->Start Trip
4.) Drive to destination.
5.) Press Menu->End Trip
6.) Choose YES button to upload trip
7.) Choose Menu->Exit
8.) Unplug phone from car charger.
Version 1.2.4 has been released live on the Android market and it has a new feature called “Automatic Tracking”. It’s enabled by default once you upgrade to 1.2.4. If you don’t like it, you can disable it from the Settings screen. Due to this setting, we’ve reduced the process for logging a trip:
1.) Plug phone into car charger
2.) Drive to destination
3.) Unplug phone from car charger
MileTrack GPS 1.2.4 will recognize when your phone has been plugged into power. It immediately turns on and starts listening for movement. If the speed exceeds 5mph, a trip log is automatically started in the background (no need to launch the app at all). When MileTrack recognizes that power has been lost and it has an in-process background trip log, it will automatically stop the trip and begin uploading it to the miletrack servers.
Enjoy the new update and thanks for your continued support!
Our most-requested feature is the ability to add a trip manually in MileTrack. Either you’ve forgotten to log a return trip, or remembered to start logging half-way into a trip. In any case, our users have been clamoring for this ability for some time now.
In order to use this new feature, simply click on the Add Manual Trip button, enter the trip information and Save.
We’ve pushed out a change that allows you to edit descriptions directly from the map screen. You can move from trip to trip without leaving the map in order to add descriptions. In case you’re curious, the trip I delete during the screencast is actually a plane trip. Our takeoff speed was 180mph and cruising speed was around 500mph.