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Uber, please share the data

Thank you, Uber, for providing me with online mileage on my last two years of tax statements. This really shows an effort on your part to be a true partner to me and my business. In fact, this unselfish sharing of data on your part has proven to be a financial life saver for me! In 2018 I drove 27,000 online miles, lowering my taxable business income by $14,715! Getting this deduction at tax time turned my low paying gig into something financially rewarding.

I remember years ago I was a bit taken back when my tax pro asked me for my mileage log. What the hell is a mileage log I thought? Maybe some kind of holiday ice cream cake you eat in the car? I had no idea what a mileage log was. “Yes” the tax pro said “a mileage log, you do know about the IRS regulations, right?” Oh boy I thought, I’m screwed now! “I’ve never been self-employed before”, I protested, “I don’t know the rules! This isn’t fair, Uber never told me this!” “Let me see what I can do”, the tax pro said.

After some research, my tax pro found a recent Tax Court Case, T.C. Memo. 2018-166, from October 2018 where the judge accepted the Uber tracked online mileage as sufficient evidence of the vehicle expense when no mileage log exists. Thank God! I now have a precedent to claim the $14,715 on my tax return based on the online mileage you kept and so kindly shared with me!

Admittedly, I was extremely upset with you Uber as I was going thru my first self-employed tax return. Why didn’t you warn me when I signed up that I would be totally on my own at tax time? Why didn’t you tell me I was self employed and responsible for my own record keeping? After calming down with a few adult beverages, I realized that you did warn me in the fine print of the contracts I signed with you, but who reads those? Maybe you felt a bit guilty and in 2017 started providing my online mileage to help me at tax time? Now I get it. This is not only a flexible easy way to earn extra money on my own terms, it’s also a business and subject to the same rules as every other business in this country.

For better or worse Uber we need each other. Just like UPS needs Amazon, I need you and your app to put customers in my vehicle. Just like Amazon needs UPS to deliver, you need me to provide the great timely service you so proudly advertise to the public. The success of our respective businesses is truly dependent on each other.

In the spirit of co-dependency, I’ve agreed to allow you access to my phone data. I know this data is important for your business analytics. In the same spirit of co-dependency I’m asking you to share this data back with me. It is great that you give me my mileage at tax time to help with my annual business return, but, as a fellow business you know that we are required to pay estimated taxes throughout the year. Also, I need the mileage data for my own business analytics, just like you.

Please continue your commitment to being a good business partner and give me access to the online mileage you’ve tracked on a daily basis. It would be great to have this info to review after each daily shift. At minimum, I need this information included in my weekly pay statements. Remember, I’ve agreed to give you this data from my phone to strengthen your business for free! A true business partner would share this data back so that both mutually dependent businesses can thrive. We are partners…right?

Check it out, here are two screenshots from the daily and weekly summaries you provide. I modified them to include an example of how to display the mileage (shown as an edit in red).

Screenshot_Daily.jpg


Screenshot_Weekly.jpg
 

Comments

Hbadger

New Member
I'm going to start recording ALL my miles. From the moment I leave my house to the moment I'm home. Apps on or off, doesn't matter. Some areas I would have no reason to be in anyways unless I was there searching foe pax.
 

Asificarewhatyoudontthink

Well-Known Member
Thank you, Uber, for providing me with online mileage on my last two years of tax statements. This really shows an effort on your part to be a true partner to me and my business. In fact, this unselfish sharing of data on your part has proven to be a financial life saver for me! In 2018 I drove 27,000 online miles, lowering my taxable business income by $14,715! Getting this deduction at tax time turned my low paying gig into something financially rewarding.

I remember years ago I was a bit taken back when my tax pro asked me for my mileage log. What the hell is a mileage log I thought? Maybe some kind of holiday ice cream cake you eat in the car? I had no idea what a mileage log was. “Yes” the tax pro said “a mileage log, you do know about the IRS regulations, right?” Oh boy I thought, I’m screwed now! “I’ve never been self-employed before”, I protested, “I don’t know the rules! This isn’t fair, Uber never told me this!” “Let me see what I can do”, the tax pro said.

After some research, my tax pro found a recent Tax Court Case, T.C. Memo. 2018-166, from October 2018 where the judge accepted the Uber tracked online mileage as sufficient evidence of the vehicle expense when no mileage log exists. Thank God! I now have a precedent to claim the $14,715 on my tax return based on the online mileage you kept and so kindly shared with me!

Admittedly, I was extremely upset with you Uber as I was going thru my first self-employed tax return. Why didn’t you warn me when I signed up that I would be totally on my own at tax time? Why didn’t you tell me I was self employed and responsible for my own record keeping? After calming down with a few adult beverages, I realized that you did warn me in the fine print of the contracts I signed with you, but who reads those? Maybe you felt a bit guilty and in 2017 started providing my online mileage to help me at tax time? Now I get it. This is not only a flexible easy way to earn extra money on my own terms, it’s also a business and subject to the same rules as every other business in this country.

For better or worse Uber we need each other. Just like UPS needs Amazon, I need you and your app to put customers in my vehicle. Just like Amazon needs UPS to deliver, you need me to provide the great timely service you so proudly advertise to the public. The success of our respective businesses is truly dependent on each other.

In the spirit of co-dependency, I’ve agreed to allow you access to my phone data. I know this data is important for your business analytics. In the same spirit of co-dependency I’m asking you to share this data back with me. It is great that you give me my mileage at tax time to help with my annual business return, but, as a fellow business you know that we are required to pay estimated taxes throughout the year. Also, I need the mileage data for my own business analytics, just like you.

Please continue your commitment to being a good business partner and give me access to the online mileage you’ve tracked on a daily basis. It would be great to have this info to review after each daily shift. At minimum, I need this information included in my weekly pay statements. Remember, I’ve agreed to give you this data from my phone to strengthen your business for free! A true business partner would share this data back so that both mutually dependent businesses can thrive. We are partners…right?

Check it out, here are two screenshots from the daily and weekly summaries you provide. I modified them to include an example of how to display the mileage (shown as an edit in red).

View attachment 292638

View attachment 292639
You realize "online" only counts your loaded miles not your empty (still qualified as work) to the pickup???
Which can be as much as 1/3rd of your total driven miles "for work".
 

melusine3

Well-Known Member
Watch the miles calculated. I know when I was driving for them, then only counted miles that you had butts in seats. I was pretty sure I used total miles driven, which included times when I was on the clock, but empty.
I agree with you. Uber is nothing is not self-serving. In the unlikely event they need to cover our expenses (or whatever), you KNOW they don't want the number of miles driving to pick people up factored in there. Nor the number of miles deadheading back to town. I briefly used a mileage tracking app, but became depressed when it was showing me how little I was making (BUT LOOK AT THE DEDUCTIONS!!!), so I just kept track of my mileage by taking a pic of my odometer at the beginning and end of my shift.
 

KD_LA

Well-Known Member
Author
I agree with you. Uber is nothing is not self-serving. In the unlikely event they need to cover our expenses (or whatever), you KNOW they don't want the number of miles driving to pick people up factored in there. Nor the number of miles deadheading back to town. I briefly used a mileage tracking app, but became depressed when it was showing me how little I was making (BUT LOOK AT THE DEDUCTIONS!!!), so I just kept track of my mileage by taking a pic of my odometer at the beginning and end of my shift.
I tried that too, with several different apps, and each had its own set of problems. I gave up. Now I'm using one 3x5 card per week, to record date/time/start-miles when I leave home to start a shift, and time/end-miles when I get back. Rarely do I steer off a shift, but when I do, I record that also by breaking that day into 2 shift. Data from the cards go in a spreadsheet, and at year's end they get scanned for my records.
 
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