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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.
 

SkidRow

Well-Known Member
I have more than one car, so 100% of my miles on my business use vehicles are deductible. I also keep a daily handwritten log [...]
My written logs always have many more miles on them than what Uber and Lyft have reported.
Yup. Keep a small Filofax binder in the drivers door. Once in the morning, once in the evening, I write down the odometer reading. Works and it's simple. No need to complicate it with technology.
 

Darrell Green Fan

Active Member
The amount of ignorance regarding the business mile deduction among drivers still astonishes me. It's simple, get another app and track every mile from the second you turn on the app. As posted the Uber app will not track the dead miles. And you run both Uber and Lyft the miles obviously overlap, so their report is useless. So get another app, then to be safe as some auditors will insist on this and their word is final, get in the habit of stopping and starting the tracking as you close out each ride to document each ride individually. If done correctly, and depending on how many dead miles your area requires, you should pay little or no income tax.
 
Last edited:

p38fln

Member
I have more than one car, so 100% of my miles on my business use vehicles are deductible. I also keep a daily handwritten log, because that's the ONLY log that stands up in court with nary a question about validity (been there, done that).

If you rely on GPS and an app, you will spend money to get a smaller deduction. If you don't get it, you probably never will. Technology is a crappy crutch.

My written logs always have many more miles on them than what Uber and Lyft have reported.
Absolutely, the IRS (both federal and state) is full of a bunch of old accountants that don't entirely trust electricity. They MIGHT be willing to use a calculator rather than an adding machine, so long as it's the adding machine type that prints an automatic journal of every calculation and they certainly aren't going to use anything as complicated as a computer.

They will take handwritten logs over a GPS device every single time, even if you can prove the GPS was tamperproof while the handwritten logs were just whatever you felt like writing down.

DOT officers, on the other hand.... totally opposite philosophy :smiles: Glad we don't deal with them in the rideshare business.
 

Darrell Green Fan

Active Member
Unless your hand written log consists of each ride broken down, and it does not as no driver has the time to do that, no you are not 100% protected. I strongly disagree that a hand written log will be better documentation than an app that has every ride broken down. That makes zero sense, the driver can write literally anything on a hand written log, the app is much better proof.
 

Cary Grant

Well-Known Member
Unless your hand written log consists of each ride broken down, and it does not as no driver has the time to do that, no you are not 100% protected. I strongly disagree that a hand written log will be better documentation than an app that has every ride broken down. That makes zero sense, the driver can write literally anything on a hand written log, the app is much better proof.
Your opinion is irrelevant, and your ignorance of the tax forms is manifest.

Schedule C, question 47b. Go read it.


I have attorneys with work experience at the Service around the corner from my office, and 30+ years of filing Schedule C and K-1s, with deductions for the business use of personal automobiles. I've been audited over and over. My handwritten log, when pulled out, gets a hand wave, and the auditor moves on to the next question of the examination because I have met the burden of § 274(d).

On the other hand, those with a printout? Be it homemade, or from an app, they may fail to meet the burden of evidence under the Code. 47b is the red flag. They get roto rootered. I've seen it. It's hilarious. Lazy folk pay more. Invariably, they did their own taxes, or used some discount storefront. No qualified professionals were involved, so they don't have anyone that can represent them before the Service and defend their failure to document by hand.
 

Darrell Green Fan

Active Member
Your opinion is irrelevant, and your ignorance of the tax forms is manifest.

Schedule C, question 47b. Go read it.


I have attorneys with work experience at the Service around the corner from my office, and 30+ years of filing Schedule C and K-1s, with deductions for the business use of personal automobiles. I've been audited over and over. My handwritten log, when pulled out, gets a hand wave, and the auditor moves on to the next question of the examination because I have met the burden of § 274(d).

On the other hand, those with a printout? Be it homemade, or from an app, they may fail to meet the burden of evidence under the Code. 47b is the red flag. They get roto rootered. I've seen it. It's hilarious. Lazy folk pay more. Invariably, they did their own taxes, or used some discount storefront. No qualified professionals were involved, so they don't have anyone that can represent them before the Service and defend their failure to document by hand.
Thanks for the reply, it was so nice to read that I am ignorant.

I'm just going by what my tax professional has told me, this is not just my opinion. She told me in 2 instances she had rideshare drivers who did nothing but record the start and stop odometer on a hand written log, then the total miles and dates. In both instances they were rejected. She said to protect yourself it's best that you log each ride with an app.

I have no idea why a hand log would be more acceptable than a documented itemized report, can you help me understand that without the name calling or is that too much to ask of you?
 

Cary Grant

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the reply, it was so nice to read that I am ignorant.

I'm just going by what my tax professional has told me, this is not just my opinion. She told me in 2 instances she had rideshare drivers who did nothing but record the start and stop odometer on a hand written log, then the total miles and dates. In both instances they were rejected. She said to protect yourself it's best that you log each ride with an app.

I have no idea why a hand log would be more acceptable than a documented itemized report, can you help me understand that without the name calling or is that too much to ask of you?
You clearly used a discount storefront, or you're just a lying troll. Moreover, you failed the one test required: Reading comprehension. Therefore, you are beyond redemption and cannot be cured. Dismissed.
 

Darrell Green Fan

Active Member
You clearly used a discount storefront, or you're just a lying troll. Moreover, you failed the one test required: Reading comprehension. Therefore, you are beyond redemption and cannot be cured. Dismissed.
Are you always this friendly or did you eat shit for breakfast? Every word I posted was true, why exactly would I take the time to lie to strangers on a message board? My tax person manages an H&R Block office, she's been doing this for a long time. I'll take her word for it, if you don't believe me I really don't care. But others may find it helpful, I'd hate to see drivers lose this deduction over a hard ass that insists on a breakout of each drive. .

Regarding Schedule C Question 47 who is to say "written" means hand written? A cash register receipt is considered written documentation so how on earth would a printout from an app not qualify? Certainly more reputable than a hand written log where you can just put anything.
 
Last edited:

jenijazz

Active Member
To OP's point: If U/L are tracking our data, then we should be able to get it from them. They could provide a simple data dump (in a CSV file or similar) that we could then put in a spreadsheet with time, miles, pay breakdown, etc. Sure I could track it on my own, but I'd rather my "business partners" provide it upon request since they're tracking it all anyway...
 

Darrell Green Fan

Active Member
To OP's point: If U/L are tracking our data, then we should be able to get it from them. They could provide a simple data dump (in a CSV file or similar) that we could then put in a spreadsheet with time, miles, pay breakdown, etc. Sure I could track it on my own, but I'd rather my "business partners" provide it upon request since they're tracking it all anyway...
Again the Uber/Lyft miles do not account for dead miles, and that's a huge number that needs to be captured. . Even if they did running 2 apps at once will result in the same miles being recorded by both Lyft and Uber so they will not be inaccurate. The best way is to get an app and record them outside of the Uber/Lyft app. Then get in the habit of stopping and stating it when you close a ride to be safe with regard to an audit.

As I said above Schedule C Question 47 simply asks if you have written documentation. To assume that means a hand written log is kind of idiotic.
 

Eric Rebuff

New Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #36
Thanks for the replies. As others have stated it is good to track your own mileage. However, what I’m asking for is the data that Uber has of my driving while the app is online. Is that all the mileage I drive that can be expensed, no. Would it be helpful, yes. Would it hurt, no.

The data could easily include a map limited by your own time/date selection. This could be insightful to review routing. It could also include info like:

....
3.6 miles no passenger
2 miles en route to passenger
7.2 miles with passenger
3.7 miles en route to passenger
Cancel
2.8 miles no passenger


The log could go on like this and include totals:
Time without passengers 2 hours 20 minutes
Time with passengers 4 hours 10 minutes
Miles looking for PAX 34
Miles enroute to pickup 28
Miles with passengers 92


I think your letter got sent to the wrong address.

You'll need to resend it here:


1455 Market St #400, San Francisco, CA 94103
Welcome to 2019, paperless technology.

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.
As I said, for 2017 they started providing all miles while app is online. A nice improvement! What I’m asking for is that same data but more than once a year. Anyone heard of quarterly estimated taxes?

Has anyone here ever been audited for a tax year during which you worked rideshare?
I’d be interested to know this too. Though it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to audit those that make very little after expenses.

You need to track your own mileage. If you rely solely on Uber's numbers, you are shorting yourself by a vast amount.

Get an app on your cellphone, like TrackMyMileage. Put in your start mileage when you hit the road and your ending mileage when you go off the air. All those miles that you drive to get to a passenger, or coming back from a long haul without a passenger, are deductible as well. Uber only counts miles when you have a rider in the car.
They actually count all miles while the app is on. I agree with tracking miles oneself. But why not also have the data from Uber?

32hours for $440. Oh my god. Is this for real? You're running a car for under $10/hr. Dude.
$13.75 per hour gross. Yes it’s kind of gross. Are you doing better?

QUOTE="Asificarewhatyoudontthink, post: 4733422, member: 113583"]
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".
[/QUOTE]
Wrong. They are reporting all miles while the app is on in the annual tax summary. I’m asking for that data more than once a year.

To OP's point: If U/L are tracking our data, then we should be able to get it from them. They could provide a simple data dump (in a CSV file or similar) that we could then put in a spreadsheet with time, miles, pay breakdown, etc. Sure I could track it on my own, but I'd rather my "business partners" provide it upon request since they're tracking it all anyway...
Thanks for reading my article and for your reply.
The amount of ignorance regarding the business mile deduction among drivers still astonishes me. It's simple, get another app and track every mile from the second you turn on the app. As posted the Uber app will not track the dead miles. And you run both Uber and Lyft the miles obviously overlap, so their report is useless. So get another app, then to be safe as some auditors will insist on this and their word is final, get in the habit of stopping and starting the tracking as you close out each ride to document each ride individually. If done correctly, and depending on how many dead miles your area requires, you should pay little or no income tax.
Wrong. The year end tax summary provides all miles while the app is online. I’m simply asking for access to that data more than once a year.

Start and stop a third app before and after each trip. I reaaallly doubt anyone does that accurately.
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.
 

kdyrpr

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
68 trips and $16 in tips. That's unbelievable. Seriously.....nobody would believe that.
 

uberAlofCAL

New Member
Thank you, Uber, for providing me with online mileage on my last two years of tax statements.......
***are you being facetious?!!***
I agree with everyone else: track and submit your own accounting of miles to the i.r.s. -- Uber only provides miles when you are officially driving a passenger. If you are like everyone else, you drive around a little bit in between -- when looking for trips. If you drive 20 miles to a downtown area where a high amount of trips, count those 20 miles! Basically install an app, or jot down what your starting and ending mileage is. (*Uber lists only the miles when driving a passenger so won't feel horribly about how much gas you are using -- how much wear and tear on your vehicle. Once you realize their motivation for the lower listing of milage, you'll be on your way to record properly).
 

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