The Unpardonable Sin in an IRS/FTB Audit

Mileage Log Required for Vehicle Tax Deductions

When it comes to your tax records, there’s one record that you really must keep, and it’s easily overlooked. It’s the mileage log. In an IRS audit, the mileage log often creates the first impression of your tax records, and not having a good log is the biggest unpardonable sin of an IRS/FTB audit. Whether you use the IRS mileage rate method or the actual expense method, you need a written record that proves your business percentage of use.

  Various records can be used, but the IRS three-month sampling record is the preferred choice for those who know about it. With this method, you keep a mileage log for three months and then apply that three-month business percentage to either the miles you drove for the year (mileage method), or the expenses you incurred for the year (actual expense method).

  The three months must be consecutive and must represent your driving pattern. Otherwise you must keep the mileage log for the entire year.

  Technology & APP’s: With respect to keeping your mileage log, technology has made your job a lot easier. You can find very affordable apps that work with your smartphone, such as Mileage Expense Log, Mile IQ, and Trip Log. These apps track where you go and where you stop, and that takes away a big part of the record-keeping hassle. Make sure you also add the business reason for the stops. This takes a few minutes, but it’s critical. Don’t skip this step.

  If you would like an example of what a mileage log should look like, feel free to contact Bob at (805) 264-3305.

Robert W Craig, EA Tax Services
431 2nd Street, Suite 3
Solvang, CA 93463

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Home Budget Worksheet

CLICK HERE to download an Excel file for a Home Budget Worksheet. It will take you to a site. Enter email/username and password as follows:

Password: client

When you get there, click the DOWNLOAD button and save it to your computer. Be careful not to alter cells in the Excel spreadsheet that add up columns or rows. There is usually a 0.00 or a number in these cells.

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Free Tool For eMailing Large File Attachments

Tired of the headaches of trying to send large files or email attachments? Ready to stop burning files onto a CD and sending via overnight couriers?

CuteSendIt is a simple software-as-a-service (SaaS) tool. Just use a web browser from anywhere with internet access, create an email message and attach your files, and then you send it to any valid email address.

Try CuteSendIt today for free. Go to They also offer optional, low-cost paid plans for additional benefits.

This is a free service which I have used a number of times and it works great. I am not affiliated with the company in any way, and I do not receive compensation for this recommendation.


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