Tax Time! Ask me anything about Ride-share Taxes

UberTaxPro

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Thanks , yes, I see the actual mileage. But I was hoping not to manually log my trip mileage. Thinking about taxes. I need to track 'paid' mileage versus total miles driven. I'm able to track my total miles driven by resetting my odometer daily and logging that number. And Ideally, I would be able to get total 'paid' miles from Uber.
You're not alone, everybody tries to find a way around keeping a contemporaneous mileage log! It's really not that hard once you make it a habit. I use triplog in manual mode, all I have to do is remember to hit a button on the triplog app whenever I start/end a trip on the Uber app.
 

FLKeys

Well-Known Member
Thanks , yes, I see the actual mileage. But I was hoping not to manually log my trip mileage. Thinking about taxes. I need to track 'paid' mileage versus total miles driven. I'm able to track my total miles driven by resetting my odometer daily and logging that number. And Ideally, I would be able to get total 'paid' miles from Uber.
For tax purposes why do you need to track paid miles? All miles driven for Rideshare, paid or not, are deductible.
 

UberTaxPro

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In addition to what you're used to bringing you can start with these:

1. U/L tax records like 1099's and tax summaries from your online account
2. Vehicle information: Make, model, date placed in service. Mileage info...business and personal. Lease or own?
3. Expenses: like cell phone, purchased items for pax like water bottles, interest on car loan etc...
4. Coffee and doughnuts for the tax preparer
 

Amos69

Well-Known Member
I have an interesting situation.

First thank you for the time you spend advising drivers on their tax rights.

In Jan of 2019 I bought a lease return 2019 vehicle for RS service only. In Feb it went into service as it was properly licensed. I did finance it. In March I paid off the loan so I no longer had Gap insurance due to the paid off note. It was totaled in a no fault accident in early march. It was in RS duty for a little less than 3 weeks and miles on it were better than 80% RS duty. ( would have been more than that with continued service).

I replaced it with another 2019 lease return rig upon settlement. All in all I lost $5,379 on the purchase settlement , repurchase.

Should I claim costs on the first 2019 or mileage exemption? Since I need to represent the lost monies on the original purchase it has been a point of discussion here.

Thanks again.
 

UberTaxPro

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I have an interesting situation.

First thank you for the time you spend advising drivers on their tax rights.

In Jan of 2019 I bought a lease return 2019 vehicle for RS service only. In Feb it went into service as it was properly licensed. I did finance it. In March I paid off the loan so I no longer had Gap insurance due to the paid off note. It was totaled in a no fault accident in early march. It was in RS duty for a little less than 3 weeks and miles on it were better than 80% RS duty. ( would have been more than that with continued service).

I replaced it with another 2019 lease return rig upon settlement. All in all I lost $5,379 on the purchase settlement , repurchase.

Should I claim costs on the first 2019 or mileage exemption? Since I need to represent the lost monies on the original purchase it has been a point of discussion here.

Thanks again.
The TCJA has eliminated all personal casualty losses except for federal disaster areas. So you'll be limited to claiming the business % of the loss. You'll figure the loss on form 4684 part B and report the loss on form 4797.

Your adjusted basis (usually the cost) of the vehicle is what will determine your deductible loss. Adjusted basis is decreased by depreciation and there is a depreciation component built in to the SMR. Your tax preparer should work the tax numbers using both methods to see which way works best for you. Be very careful of depreciation recapture issues in future years should you decide to expense the vehicle using bonus depreciation and/or section 179 deductions in the current year.
 

LADryver

Well-Known Member
I have an interesting situation.

First thank you for the time you spend advising drivers on their tax rights.

In Jan of 2019 I bought a lease return 2019 vehicle for RS service only. In Feb it went into service as it was properly licensed. I did finance it. In March I paid off the loan so I no longer had Gap insurance due to the paid off note. It was totaled in a no fault accident in early march. It was in RS duty for a little less than 3 weeks and miles on it were better than 80% RS duty. ( would have been more than that with continued service).

I replaced it with another 2019 lease return rig upon settlement. All in all I lost $5,379 on the purchase settlement , repurchase.

Should I claim costs on the first 2019 or mileage exemption? Since I need to represent the lost monies on the original purchase it has been a point of discussion here.

Thanks again.
You bought a car, financed it along with GAP insurance, then paid it off a month later after you placed this exclusive-business use vehicle into service. But alas, after three weeks it was totaled, in a no-fault accident. Even though it's intention was exclusive business use, you placed only 80 percent of use as business. You bought another car to replace this one. You mention a settlement. You do not say if the settlement was directly for the car based on cash value or if there was a settlement for a different reason. You mention that there was a loss and you are seeming to factor the replacement car into it. A loss could only apply to the vehicle that was totalled. The replacement car is its own situation. You do not say how many miles you put on the totalled vehicle. If your settlement was for cash value I do not understand why you would have had a loss at all. Cash values of used cars are valid for thirty days. You did not have thr car long enough to face a deduction from its cash value, much less a five grand plus. What was the loss? As for your costs, it makes sense to consider that in three weeks you can only earn one month of depreciation, the insignificant amount of interest, etc. so you can do the math for the business miles and see how they measure up. When you explain where the loss comes from, being this was a business loss, I could help you understand how to reflect it, that is, 80% of it.
 

percy_ardmore

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click the ubertaxpro.com link and send me your name and email and we'll talk
Who did your 2018 taxes?
I made like 15000 on uber and 200000 on my regular job. Own 2 house and 4 cars. Property tax about 11000. Paying my baby mom 2000 a month. I take care of my eldest parents in my home. I win some money at the casino and lose more. Can you file my tax for 160? I'm in DC.
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And my uber mileage is around 40000 miles.
The .58 mileage deduction alone will result in Schedule C loss. Did you receive gambling income forms from places where you won? You can't deduct more gambling losses than winnings, only zero out your winnings. I assume you itemize Schedule A with 2 houses, 2 mortgages (?), 2 RE tax bills.
 

LADryver

Well-Known Member
You're right about the CSV's but you can see the mileage from the view if you click on the trip ID #:
Get rhe monthly summaries. They stand out from the other statements. csv above mentioned is good income tally in its own right. It is a Journal.
 
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ctdude6969

Active Member
Asking for my buddy who also drives U/L that didn't make the $20,000 or the $600 to get either 1099 forms. He asked me if the companies send your earnings break down to the IRS.
 

itendstonight

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I make use of the instant payoff quite a bit and the .50$ really does add up. Are these tax deductible?! Would hate to pay a tax on these stupid fees!
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Although a mileage log you keep every day is the best way to substantiate your car expenses, it isn’t the absolute only way. If you fail to keep a log, you can reconstruct your mileage records in the event of an IRS audit. However, reconstructed records are inherently suspect and must be backed up by other corroborating evidence with, in the words of the Tax Court, “a high degree of probative value.” It's very difficult to get a reconstructed log accepted by IRS administration, but not impossible. From what you've described you might have enough probative value to re-create a log.
You've got two options that keep you within the law:
1. Bite the bullet as you say
2. Spend the time to re-create your log. Be sure your log is backed up with corroborating evidence with a high degree of probative value. Deduct the business miles shown on your log. You might want to consult a tax pro to be as sure as possible that your log will pass muster at an audit.
How would the IRS know if the log was done throughout the year as one did rides or was reconstructed at the end of the year?
 
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UberTaxPro

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I make use of the instant payoff quite a bit and the .50$ really does add up. Are these tax deductible?! Would hate to pay a tax on these stupid fees!
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How would the IRS know if the log was done throughout the year as one did rides or was reconstructed at the end of the year?
Yes the .50 charged on their end is a business expense and deductible. As a general rule, remember that bank fees from personal bank accounts are not deductible, fees from business accounts are deductible.

It's a judgement call on their part and they'll look for inconsistencies in your log that could show it isn't contemporaneous. In the old days when everyone used paper and pen they would questions logs that used the same pen or pencil for the entire log. Who hangs on to the same pen for a whole year?
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Asking for my buddy who also drives U/L that didn't make the $20,000 or the $600 to get either 1099 forms. He asked me if the companies send your earnings break down to the IRS.
Tell your buddy that income is taxable whether or not you get a 1099. If your buddy is thinking off not reporting the income because of no 1099 he might want to re-think that idea. The 1099 is the only form U/L would use to report your income to IRS but remember the IRS has the right to examine U/L books. They can subpoena electronic records, including quickbook files from business owners. And I'm talking about the actual computer files, not just print outs of what you want them to see.
 
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FLKeys

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I've been driving for 18 months now and I have used the same pen the entire time. It is just now started running out of ink so I replaced it with the same exact pen. So my entire written log is all with the same ink. Are you saying I should use different pens?

Bic Pivo pen with Blue ink. It is a great pen, never had one fail, writes on moist, dirty, and or oily paper. Keep it clipped in the spiral binder of my log book so it is always there. Have a back up in my glove box.

My day job has been using them for at least 15 years now and our guys out in the field write invoices and other documents in so me pretty crappy conditions outside and they never fail.
 

UberTaxPro

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I've been driving for 18 months now and I have used the same pen the entire time. It is just now started running out of ink so I replaced it with the same exact pen. So my entire written log is all with the same ink. Are you saying I should use different pens?

Bic Pivo pen with Blue ink. It is a great pen, never had one fail, writes on moist, dirty, and or oily paper. Keep it clipped in the spiral binder of my log book so it is always there. Have a back up in my glove box.

My day job has been using them for at least 15 years now and our guys out in the field write invoices and other documents in so me pretty crappy conditions outside and they never fail.
No I'm not saying that! The reason I mentioned it is because when I was a kid I watched some adults making up mileage logs for an audit. They were making the logs from scratch (not contemporaneously) and one of them placed an assorted group of pens and pencils on the table and insisted that the guy switched pens/pencils every so often! I was about 15 years old but have always remembered that!
 

DrivingBela

New Member
Hello all, I’m new to Uber/Lyft and just started driving in December 2019. I have some questions that I have yet to find the detail in other responses, I’m in Florida if that helps to get my answers.

1-as a driver, do we need to keep track of all our mileage separately or does U/L send u a detailed listing of this? Like is there a yearly summary printable dash board that will show everything so I can use while preparing my taxes? Also what about the times we turn off the app to drive to different locations or back from a long journey?

2- what about gas expenses and maintenance? Should I be saving all my gas receipts and car maintenance receipts so I can deduct for my taxes?

Being this is the beginning of the year, I wanted to make sure I’m tracking everything correctly.

thanks for your help
 

FLKeys

Well-Known Member
Hello all, I’m new to Uber/Lyft and just started driving in December 2019. I have some questions that I have yet to find the detail in other responses, I’m in Florida if that helps to get my answers.

1-as a driver, do we need to keep track of all our mileage separately or does U/L send u a detailed listing of this? Like is there a yearly summary printable dash board that will show everything so I can use while preparing my taxes? Also what about the times we turn off the app to drive to different locations or back from a long journey?

2- what about gas expenses and maintenance? Should I be saving all my gas receipts and car maintenance receipts so I can deduct for my taxes?

Being this is the beginning of the year, I wanted to make sure I’m tracking everything correctly.

thanks for your help
Read this thread, it has been covered multiple times. You will not get a straight answer, you will get opinions.

1. My opinion is keep a daily mileage log of every trip you do. The report from Uber will only include online miles. Other miles are also deductible. It seems tedious, however if you have a system in place it only takes seconds to do.

2. You only need receipts for everything for the IRS if you plan on taking actual expenses. Most drivers will come out better taking standard mileage deduction so you would not need these receipts. You will need receipts for other deductible expenses that are not covered by standard mileage deduction.

Having receipts for all of your expenses helps you calculate the true cost of operating your vehicle. You need to know the true costs of operating your vehicle so you can really know if you are making any money. Just because money is going into your bank account does not mean you are making money. You need to look at the big picture including wear and tear on your car.

Also get a rideshare endorsement on your insurance policy, it is worth the extra money.
 

itendstonight

Well-Known Member
No I'm not saying that! The reason I mentioned it is because when I was a kid I watched some adults making up mileage logs for an audit. They were making the logs from scratch (not contemporaneously) and one of them placed an assorted group of pens and pencils on the table and insisted that the guy switched pens/pencils every so often! I was about 15 years old but have always remembered that!
So are the first miles of a shift tax deductible? I keep seeing a lot of conflicting answers. For these scenarios:
A) I mostly turn on the app and most of the time I get a ride so the miles I start are to a pick up. Are they commuting?
B) Turn on destination filter and no ride so start driving and get one a few miles in. Are any of those miles deductible?
C) A Lyft scheduled ride in the morning. App off and driving toward to the pick and turning on when it’s time. Are the off app but going to the ride miles deductible?

Thanks
 

Hornplayer

Active Member
Some comments on keeping logs of each ride.

I'm a relative newbie, I started ridesharing in Jan. 2019. When I started, I got the app "Triplog" from the App Store (iPhone), and I'm very glad I did (Took the advice of "UberTaxExpert", thank you again UTE!). For $4/month, it keeps track of every "trip" you make. There's a free version, but for me that one doesn't do enough.

Here are some "typical" examples of ridesharing trips:

1.) When a ping comes in, I accept it, push a button in Triplog to tell it I'm starting a trip, and push another (that I previously set up) to tell Triplog the purpose of the trip is to drive to a rider's starting location. Then I drive to the rider's pickup location. This ends the first trip. I push the button in Triplog to end the trip. Also push the Uber buttons telling it I'm picking up the passenger.
2.) As the rider is getting in my car, I push the Triplog button telling it I'm starting a new trip, and push the button telling Triplog I'm driving an Uber passenger to his destination. Drive to his dropoff point, push the Triplog button saying I'm ending that trip, also push the Uber buttons saying I'm dropping off the passenger.
3.) Then I push the Triplog button saying I'm driving to an area where I usually get many pings, maybe a mile or two. Drive there, stop, push the Triplog button saying I'm ending that trip.
4.) Go back to Step 1 above. Lather, rinse, repeat.

So for one passenger, I usually log three trips on Triplog: 1.Get a ping and drive to the pickup point, 2.pick up the passenger and drive him to his destination, 3.Drive to a place where I hope to get another ping.

Trip 3 is obviously optional. Often I just hang around near where I dropped him off and wait there for the next ping, I try to minimize driving without a passenger. But if I'm way out in the boonies, I might drive to a more populated area.

Notice that only one of these three types of trips, is done with a passenger aboard. But all three are trips I'm doing for the purpose of my business of ridesharing. I've gotten advice (on this forum and elsewhere) that because of that, all three trips are tax-deductible miles. VERY important when April 15 rolls around. You can double your tax deduction, or more.

Triplog let me set up several notes when I first started using the Triplog app. I mentioned them above. "Driving to a many-pings area", and "Driving to pick up a passenger", and "Driving the passenger to destination". It would be way too much hassle to type all that stuff in again and again, every time a passenger gets in or out. Triplog can save such statements as "Tags", and when you start a trip on Triplog, it shows you a list of your recent Tags, you just click on one of them. Very quick and handy. I got used to using them quickly after a few riders.

In Triplog, the above procedure is called "Starting a trip manually", I click a button for each start and stop. Alternatively, Triplog can "Start a trip automatically" - when it senses you stopping for more than a few minutes, it automatically stops the trip; and when it finally senses you start up again, it starts a new trip. It can't simply stop a trip every time you stop of course, stoplights etc. would play hell with your log, so it waits for a long stop. But I worried that sometimes a passenger might jump in quickly and off you go, and it wasn't a long enough stop that Triplog might not automatically stop the trip, thus running two trips together. So I don't like to use automatic trip starting and stopping.

Now that the calendar year just ended, I logged in to Triplog on my phone again, and got them to email me a big file containing every trip I logged in the year 2019. VERY nice. Got it in about ten seconds. Each trip contains the tag I clicked on for it, plus times, dates, places, distances etc.

The usual disclaimer: I don't work for Triplog, and have no relation with them, except as a very satisfied customer.
 
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