Long distance jobs are unprofitable

Duane Mitchell

Well-Known Member
Third job last night at 6pm I picked up at the 128 Amtrak on University Ave going to S. Dennis on the Cape. I thought I'd get work on the Cape but no. It was dead there.

The job was 77.27 miles, 1 hour 25 minutes with a fare total of $114.79. Subtract the Uber fee of 25% and I got paid $86.09. Subtract the IRS mileage expense of $.575 per mile, $44.42, and I earn $41.67. BUT, I also have to drive back for an equal expense of $44.43. If I subtract that then I end up with a net loss of $2.75. Yea, it's a "book" loss but that's what EVERY business person uses for numbers.

I did get a job in Plymouth for about $10. So I suppose I can't deduct the entire auto expense for the ride back. Still, even if I went straight down and back I'd be making $86.09 for 3 hours work. That's not bad but for the auto expense. Even the gas cost alone cuts into that. There's no better way to come up with a auto usage number than the IRS auto number.

I think we have to use the Federal Tax figure of $.575 cents per mile. It's one system everyone uses when they bellyache about "profit" and taxes. We deserve to use that number too. We're not a lower class of people. We get to use the same system everyone else does.

The point is Uber needs to increase their mileage rate or we should refuse these jobs. We can refuse these jobs according to Uber regulations. It's time for me to think hard about accepting these jobs. Or ask for more money.
 

dwreck

Member
It all looks bad when you do the math. At the end of the day, that trip did not cost you an entire tank of gas, unless you're driving a Hummer. I just see the mileage deduction as a way to keep money in my pocket when filing taxes. How economical is your car?
 

Duane Mitchell

Well-Known Member
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  • #4
I thought you drove a cab ?
No. That was quite a few years ago.

It all looks bad when you do the math. At the end of the day, that trip did not cost you an entire tank of gas, unless you're driving a Hummer. I just see the mileage deduction as a way to keep money in my pocket when filing taxes. How economical is your car?
My car is very economical but that's no one's business. If you didn't use the IRS mileage number then you'd have to itemize your auto expenses. That can be very tedious for drivers who use their personal car rather than a car that is purchased for and dedicated to this business. That's why the IRS has come up with the number of 57.5 cents per mile. This is what you would come up with on average if you itemized all your expenses. That would include gas, repairs, maintenance, insurance, and usage. The usage is the wear and tear and is the depreciation. The car is not going to last forever so you have to account for the % of the car that gets used up...depreciation.

So on this trip to the Cape I used: gas, % of tires, % of oil change, % of engine wear, % of general wear, and % of insurance. That's business.

Yea, I operate a very economical vehicle but that's nobody's business. The numbers here aren't good and I ain't gonna be treated any different than any other business person.
 
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Bostonken

Well-Known Member
Uber X long distance normal rate sucks. In cab you wish to get long fare every time that is not the case with uber unless there is good surge. Back in June I picked father and son from state street in Boston to Gillet stadium for soccer game. It took me about an hour to get there with modest traffic and my net earning $44 and had to spend another hour to come back empty. Not worth the hassle. With cab it would be easy $70 to $80 . That is why I don't know if future airport jobs would be profitable.
 

Reversoul

Well-Known Member
Why are u subtracting for IRS reported mileage? We get 54 cents (not 57) credited per mile driven when we file.

Unless you're referring to something else.
 

WBdriving

Active Member
Why are u subtracting for IRS reported mileage? We get 54 cents (not 57) credited per mile driven when we file.

Unless you're referring to something else.
It appears it was changed for this year most likely because of the lower gas prices.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2016, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 54 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 57.5 cents for 2015. 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 23 cents for 2015.Dec 17, 2015
2016 Standard Mileage Rates for Business, Medical and ... - IRS.gov
https://www.irs.gov/.../2016-standard-mileage-rates-for-busines...
Internal Revenue Service
 

dwreck

Member
Why are u subtracting for IRS reported mileage? We get 54 cents (not 57) credited per mile driven when we file.

Unless you're referring to something else.
Exactly. He's looking to deep into this. Talking about what kind of car he drives is no one's business. The fact that you took a long trip and are whining about it isn't any of our business either. But you volunteer to pour out your emotions on an open forum. No one is going to go buy the type of car your drive. It's not that serious. Really.
 

Gung-Ho

Well-Known Member
If you have a car that's good on gas say 35mph highway your trip cost you about $11 in gas up and back ignoring your detour to Plymouth. So I'd say you made $75 for 3 hours of work. Actual wear and tear is less during highway driving because of less braking, turning etc...so why worry about an I.R.S. expense guideline. Just be glad you live in this most recent golden age of low gas prices. Just a couple of years ago it was over $4.00 per gallon. What do you think uberx drivers will do if those $4.00 days come back with the rates you're working for now. Enjoy it while it lasts...take advantage of every opportunity for instance you were very close to Sesuit Harbor Cafe and the best lobster rolls outside of Maine. You really would have gone home broke but your stomach would thank you for it.
 

john1975

Well-Known Member
Third job last night at 6pm I picked up at the 128 Amtrak on University Ave going to S. Dennis on the Cape. I thought I'd get work on the Cape but no. It was dead there.

The job was 77.27 miles, 1 hour 25 minutes with a fare total of $114.79. Subtract the Uber fee of 25% and I got paid $86.09. Subtract the IRS mileage expense of $.575 per mile, $44.42, and I earn $41.67. BUT, I also have to drive back for an equal expense of $44.43. If I subtract that then I end up with a net loss of $2.75. Yea, it's a "book" loss but that's what EVERY business person uses for numbers.

I did get a job in Plymouth for about $10. So I suppose I can't deduct the entire auto expense for the ride back. Still, even if I went straight down and back I'd be making $86.09 for 3 hours work. That's not bad but for the auto expense. Even the gas cost alone cuts into that. There's no better way to come up with a auto usage number than the IRS auto number.

I think we have to use the Federal Tax figure of $.575 cents per mile. It's one system everyone uses when they bellyache about "profit" and taxes. We deserve to use that number too. We're not a lower class of people. We get to use the same system everyone else does.

The point is Uber needs to increase their mileage rate or we should refuse these jobs. We can refuse these jobs according to Uber regulations. It's time for me to think hard about accepting these jobs. Or ask for more money.
The mileage amount is very generous and no where close to actual expenses and depreciation. Plus you get a tax benefit of these book expenses. For example if I drive 50,000 miles for Uber my mileage deduction is close to 30,000. Figure 5k for gas, 2k for car maint, and 3k for depr and that's about 10,000. Well below the 30,000. Additionally, the 30,000 depending on your tax bracket saves you close to 10,000 in taxes so you get back your costs in taxes saved.
 

Duane Mitchell

Well-Known Member
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  • #11
What I really make or what anyone really makes is not the point. We need to make more, that's the point. The rates are so low that I don't look forward to long distance jobs. I should. This is America. You work harder and you make more. They've sucked all the oxygen out of the room. This is why I stick with Fasten. Their commission would only have been $.99. I would have made $114.79 - $.99 = $113.80. The difference between the two is $113.80 - $86.09 = $27.71! That's a lot.
 

Ubernic

Well-Known Member
It does not cost you the entire IRS deduction to drive your car, especially freeway miles. Freeway miles are extremely easy on everything in your car, so your per miles expense on the car goes down. On top of that, if you are getting 30mpg at current Boston gas prices you spent less than $5 each way, meaning your gas was less than $10. You said you got paid $86.09, but made only $2.75, so if you take the $10 for gas that brings you down to $76.09, if you only made $2.75 that would mean taxes and car wear and tear cost you $73.34 at least. I don't buy that, after the IRS deduction your taxes wont cost that much, and you definitely didn't wear your car out that much, especially on the freeway.

Be thankful for the long ride, you did fine.
 
What I really make or what anyone really makes is not the point. We need to make more, that's the point. The rates are so low that I don't look forward to long distance jobs. I should. This is America. You work harder and you make more. They've sucked all the oxygen out of the room. This is why I stick with Fasten. Their commission would only have been $.99. I would have made $114.79 - $.99 = $113.80. The difference between the two is $113.80 - $86.09 = $27.71! That's a lot.
Turn off uber app, turn on fasten app, problem solved
 

CapeCodDriver

Active Member
I think we all agree the rates are too low. Since the ride started in Boston you got paid Boston rates. The fare in reverse would've been $163...that would've made it worthwhile in my opinion. Someone posted a few weeks ago about a 3-hour round trip fare and I ran through the numbers... came out to $35 an hour after expenses...mostly highway miles, and total peace and quiet for half of that. I'm all about long-distance runs if they start at the right rates.

My personal opinion is that using the IRS deduction doesn't give you an accurate picture because you're ignoring the tax free nature of that income. For example, let's say I've been driving for two years and know my car costs me $.32/mile to operate. But I get to deduct $.54/mile. So that means I pocket $.22/mile that the IRS never considers exists. So I have my books for tax purposes, but I also know at the end of the week how much of that check they deposit is going to my vehicle, and how much is for keeping.
 
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2500hd

Well-Known Member
Wow! That takes some stones for someone to expect to catch an uberx from Westwood to the cape. I've told people to screw when they wanted to go to Scituate from row 34 on Congress..2 couples in their 40s . They were incredulous when I had to jump out and order their cheap arses out of my car. I won't even drive from Boston to Malden because of all the dead miles. I only drive Approx 10 weeks per year in the winters but that's just to get out of the house basically .I always wondered who drives these people to their unreasonably far distances after I give them the boot.
 

Duane Mitchell

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  • #17
At the same time using the IRS rate is disingenuous because you're ignoring the tax free nature of that income.
Nothing disingenuous, it's business, these are the numbers. Uber says they're great when in fact they aren't always so great.

Nobody knows what anybody's costs are. Neither does the IRS so they have come up with this number. In 2016 it's $.54, it was $.575 last year. It's one size fits all meant to cover all costs and simplify reporting. It's the only way to do it on a national scale. I don't know anyone who itemizes expenses in this business as a part timer. If I am capable of operating my vehicle at less than the IRS rate then that's my profit, I earned it, that's America and it's no one's business. The general public should not be thinking that it's all good money and they should not be thinking that long jobs are something we should look forward to.
 
Nothing disingenuous, it's business, these are the numbers. Uber says they're great when in fact they aren't always so great.

Nobody knows what anybody's costs are. Neither does the IRS so they have come up with this number. In 2016 it's $.54, it was $.575 last year. It's one size fits all meant to cover all costs and simplify reporting. It's the only way to do it on a national scale. I don't know anyone who itemizes expenses in this business as a part timer. If I am capable of operating my vehicle at less than the IRS rate then that's my profit, I earned it, that's America and it's no one's business. The general public should not be thinking that it's all good money and they should not be thinking that long jobs are something we should look forward to.
Thanks for the info, you are helping a lot of uber drivers
 
Wow! That takes some stones for someone to expect to catch an uberx from Westwood to the cape. I've told people to screw when they wanted to go to Scituate from row 34 on Congress..2 couples in their 40s . They were incredulous when I had to jump out and order their cheap arses out of my car. I won't even drive from Boston to Malden because of all the dead miles. I only drive Approx 10 weeks per year in the winters but that's just to get out of the house basically .I always wondered who drives these people to their unreasonably far distances after I give them the boot.
Me
 
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