Mileage logs are vitally important for truckers when it comes to tax season. Proper mileage logs can help avoid audits and help truckers get their maximum deductions without problems. The IRS will accept logbooks, mileage sheets and mileage logs in both physical and digital form.
That being said, truckers should keep their mileage logs for a minimum of 5 years after they’ve occurred. For this reason, it may be more beneficial for drivers to create a digital log that they can then keep on a flash drive or external hard drive for later reference if needed.
The best mileage logs are extremely detailed and can provide the IRS with a lot of information. A great mileage log will include the dates of the trip, places you drove, purpose of the trip (shipping, moving, etc.), your cargo, how much cargo, who the cargo was for, who you delivered to, when you left, when you arrived, every fuel stop, how much fuel you used, and who you met at the end of your delivery. It’s also important to log your odometer readings before and after the trip.
It’s important to make your records as accurate as possible, so it’s recommended that you log as you go. Failure to do so can lead to IRS audits and creating the records after the fact can lead to missed deductions and possibly owing the IRS money.
If manual logging is too time-consuming or difficult, there are digital applications and services that will track mileage and fuel costs for you.