Trip Log: Business Mileage Calculation Tool for Tax Deduction

For decades, the only way to keep records of business mileage was by hand. Employees had to use notebooks to write down the details about every single trip and hand them over to the field managers for record keeping. It may not seem like a difficult task at first, but it turns into a massive challenge when all drivers have to write down each and every one of their trips during their shifts. Thanks to modern technology, businesses have a much easier way to deal with the daily challenges and streamline their operations: GPS tracking systems.

Business managers can keep detailed mileage logs without any help from drivers or any outside source with the help of the reports generated by the tracking software. Managers can distinguish the business and personal trips by simply checking the delivery schedules, job order lists and client meeting schedules against the trips taken by the company vehicles. Fleet tracking systems give the managers access to a plethora of information about their vehicles, drivers, and their trips. They are equipped with sophisticated features such as Trip Log that provides all the necessary information HMRC demands from companies.

Fleet managers have to keep track of business miles in a way that is compliant with HMRC rules. HMRC requires companies to track the business mileage carefully and have documentation to back up the mileage deduction claim. This process is done by keeping a mileage log that includes; trip mileage, the dates of the business trips, the origin and the arrival points and purpose of the trip. With Trip Log feature, fleet companies have to do their business mileage calculation accurately and keep detailed records of their business trips with ease. All the mileage data is stored on our cloud-based tracking servers which the executives can access with a mobile device or a computer on-demand.

There are also APPs that can be used to track and log the trip mileage, but the downside of standalone APPs is that every employee has to own and use a smartphone for every trip they make. They might seem easier to use on paper but dedicated GPS tracking systems will always be superior compared to other solutions when it comes to mileage tracking.

What is a business mileage deduction?

HMRC allows companies to deduct a portion of their business expenses from their taxes if they use a vehicle fleet for business purposes. Companies can claim mileage deductions for any business trip regardless of the distance. The standard mileage rate is issued every year by the HMRC. The rate is calculated to reimburse companies for business-related car expenses like gas, maintenance costs, insurance and registration fees. Fluctuations on the market such as the changes in gas prices are taken into consideration before determining the mileage rate, that is why it is subject to change annually.

 

Type of vehicle Rate per business mile 2018 to 2019
Car For tax purposes: 45 pence for the first 10,000 business miles in a tax year, then 25 pence for each subsequent mile
Motorcycle 24 pence for both tax for all business miles
Cycle 20 pence for both tax for all business miles

Source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rates-and-thresholds-for-employers-2018-to-2019

 

If a company car travels 100 miles a week for business purposes, you’re looking at a potential mileage deduction of £2.340 at the end of the year. Considering even the small businesses have at least a few cars in their fleet, it can quickly rack up to tens of thousands of pounds of mileage tax deduction every year. The more a company claims mileage deductions, the less they pay in taxes which means more profits in return. It is important to deduct only a vehicle’s business use when filing taxes for reimbursement. Claiming mileage tax deduction for trips that are not for business purposes is a crime and may cause HMRC to audit your business.

Reporting mileage done by company vehicles for tax reimbursement is one of the simplest ways to reduce the income tax bill of a company and every company that operates a vehicle fleet need to make sure they are claiming all of the mileage deductions available. At the end of the day, it is for the benefit of the company to check the trip reports carefully, and the tax deductions can save a significant amount of money that can be used to reinvest in the company. Planning ahead is one of the key factors for a company to be successful. As with any other aspect of a business, mileage tax deduction is beneficial if you know the details and how to get the best outcome. If you have a fleet of vehicles and workforce that spend a lot of time on the roads, mileage deduction can be a serious contributor to reducing the operational savings.

Company owners tend to ignore most of the business trips that can actually be deducted. These trips can vary from short trips between offices to supply runs or even driving around for odd jobs. One of the key traits of being a successful business owner is working hard but also working smart. Maximizing tax deductions for every expense can provide a company with a clear advantage over its competitors. The additional paperwork may look like a hassle for management but fleet companies that are not tracking their mileage, regardless of their size, are literally throwing money away.

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