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mileage tracking app

Consider using a mileage tracking app to record tax return business miles

Wednesday 2 May, 2018

James Murray, Practice Manager, Visionary Accountants, St Albans reviews the mileage tracking apps available for your mobile phone to record your business mileage.

You can reduce the tax you pay if you drive your own car for business by claiming mileage on your personal annual tax return. The mileage rates that you can claim for 2018/19 are shown below:

Type of vehicle First 10,000 miles Each additional mile over 10,000 miles
Car & vans 45p 25p
Motorcycles 24p 24p
Bikes 20p 20p

What is the easiest way to record your mileage?

It is important that you closely track your business mileage during the year.

HMRC have recommended that you keep the following information in case they need to see it:

  • Date of the journey
  • The purpose (business or personal)
  • The start point and destination, and
  • The total miles travelled.

If you are self-employed and use a simplified expenses calculation in your tax return you should just keep a record of your business mileage but keep a note of your personal miles as HMRC can ask to see it. For anyone using the actual expenses method to calculate business mileage you need to keep a record of both personal and business mileage.

How to record your business mileage

Historically people used to log their mileage on paper, as they would keep a log in their car and update it once they were home. HMRC still allow you to use a paper mileage log, but most people now use a spreadsheet or a mileage tracking app.

James Murray, Practice Manager, Visionary Accountants, St Albans, said: ‘It’s difficult to remember to log all your business drives, and a paper log can be easily destroyed or lost. Business mileage estimates are not acceptable as HMRC expect you to keep accurate records and copies of mileage records for five years after the 31st January deadline submission. Anyone noting their miles in a log will now also have to add them on to the spreadsheet to prepare their tax return which will take them a lot more time.’

How can a mileage tracking app help log your business mileage?

A mileage tracking app will track and store all your business drives automatically so you no longer have to remember to write down all your business journeys. The information will be securely stored in the cloud so you can’t lose it.

James Murray, Practice Manager Visionary Accountants St Albans continued: ‘Using a mileage app will save anyone driving for business a considerable amount of time. All your business trips will be logged securely, so you know that you are claiming for the right amount of miles. There are many different mileage apps available but we recommend our clients look at the MileIQ as it links in with the Xero and quickbooks software we use at Visionary Accountants.’


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