Car Allowance vs. Mileage Reimbursement Explained | Which Method Is Right for Your Business?

cars on road, some might be mobile employees

Accurate mileage reimbursements are an important part of any company with mobile employees. With that said, there are several common methods of mileage reimbursement.

Some of the major ones include cents-per-mile, car allowance, fuel cards, and FAVR. Today, we’re going to be discussing the merits and differences between the two of them: cents-per-mile reimbursement and car allowance.

Mileage Reimbursement vs. Car Allowance: What Do They Mean?

Cents-Per-Mile Explained

Cents-per-mile mileage reimbursement is the simplest – and thus more common – method of mileage reimbursement. Employees who use their personal vehicles for work are reimbursed a certain amount of money for each mile driven.

This reimbursement rate per mile can be anything – even nothing! In the United States, there is no federal mandate requiring companies to reimburse their team’s mileage or expenses, though some states have their own specific requirements.

To make things simple, the IRS conducts a study each year on the fixed-and-variable costs of operating a motor vehicle. Using this data, it comes up with a recommendation on what the average driver in the United States should be reimbursed.

Related: IRS Mileage Rate Explained

Costs such as gas prices, insurance, depreciation, and more go into determining this rate. As of mid-2022, the current IRS rate for business mileage is $0.625 per mile.

If a business were to use this rate, that would mean they would be reimbursing their team $0.625 for every mile they drive while conducting business. If they drove 100 miles for their company, they would get $62.50 back from the company.

An important thing to consider is that, unless you reimburse above that recommended IRS rate, CPM reimbursement payments are not taxed. If you reimburse above that rate, the additional payment will be taxed as income.

This method requires your team to fill out mileage logs and submit them to your company to process and approve their reimbursement. Since manual mileage logs are clunky, time-consuming, and inaccurate, we recommend your team use a modern automatic mileage tracker app.

Cons of Cents-Per-Mile

The biggest potential problem that can come with a CPM system is overreported mileage, which can lead to over-reimbursement. According to an internal TripLog study, drivers using manual tracking methods can overreport their mileage by as much as 28%.

Typically, mileage gets overreported when drivers incorrectly fill out their mileage logs, whether intentional or unintentional. They make a poor estimation on how far they drove, and employers end up paying them more than they deserve.

Related: Mileage Guide for Employers

Drivers aren’t the only employees affected by manual mileage logs. Payroll specialists, HR clerks, and others who will be handling those logs are going to have to deal with processing large stacks of paper mileage logs, which can be incredibly cumbersome.

As discussed previously, the best way to avoid overreported mileage is to have your team use a mileage tracker app like TripLog. Schedule a complimentary demo request today to see how TripLog can save your company thousands of dollars and dozens of labor hours per employee every year!

Car Allowance Explained

A car allowance is a fixed amount of money that you give to your team designed to cover the expenses of using their vehicles for work. This is by far the simplest method of mileage reimbursement.

Companies simply set a lump reimbursement sum that they feel is fair and give their employees that sum at the beginning of each month. That’s it!

Cons of a Car Allowance Program

The simplicity of a car allowance program has its benefits, but there are many issues as well. For example, choosing a fair amount of money to provide as an allowance can be difficult.

For many businesses, their employees may drive different amounts. Some employees might drive only a few dozen miles, whereas others may drive hundreds.

If both the employee who drove a dozen miles and the employee who drove 500 miles get a $500 monthly sum, that may result in an unfair system. There’s a good chance you’re going to be underpaying some employees and overpaying others.

Another major issue of car allowance compared to a CPM program is the tax liability. The IRS sees car allowances as compensation rather than a travel reimbursement.

Related: Top 5 Company Mileage Tracker Misconceptions

This means that any money paid to employees as a car allowance is taxable. This also means that your team will see less of the allowance due to it being taxed.

Why is Car Allowance Taxed But Not Mileage Reimbursement?

The main reason why the IRS taxes car allowances is because the business use of these payments are not substantiated. You could substantiate the mileage, but this adds additional complications.

Should My Company Use Car Allowance or Cents-Per-Mile?

At TripLog, we feel the best middle ground between the simpler and more complex methods of mileage reimbursement is cents-per-mile. The main reasons are that it provides drivers with an accurate – and generally fair – reimbursement, and it minimizes tax liability to companies.

Still, one method that might work for one company may not work for another. Deciding what mileage reimbursement method is right for you may be difficult. That’s why the mileage experts at TripLog come in.

Schedule a complimentary live demo with our team to see how our company mileage tracker app and mileage reimbursement solution can help your company continue to succeed. You can also try our mileage reimbursement calculator to immediately see how much you could be saving!

DoorDash Top Dasher Requirements: What You Need To Know

doordash driver top dasher program guide

DoorDash offers a program designed to reward and incentivize high-performing veteran delivery drivers. Today, we’re going to discuss the requirements to become a Top Dasher and whether it’s worth it to try and become one.

How Do I Become a Top Dasher?

DoorDash has a few specific requirements for becoming a Top Dasher. The requirements, according to the DoorDash website, are as follows: 

  • Customer rating of at least 4.7
  • An acceptance rate of at least 70%
  • Completion rate of at least 95%
  • 100 completed deliveries during the last month
  • At least 200 lifetime deliveries completed

Related: Top 5 Must-Know Tips For Independent Contractors

How to Achieve These Requirements

Most of the above-listed requirements are fairly straightforward, like achieving 200 lifetime deliveries and 100 completed deliveries in the past month. As for getting a high customer rating, this comes down to getting your goods to your customer as quickly as possible, as well as ensuring to closely follow their instructions and respect their unique needs. 

Your acceptance rate is the rate at which you accept deliveries (or dashes). The app will offer you a delivery, and whether or not you accept to deliver it will determine your delivery rate. Completion rate works similarly; this metric monitors how often your accepted deliveries get delivered. 

On the second day of each month, if these requirements are met, you will qualify to be a Top Dasher.

Top Dasher Benefits

There are three major benefits to becoming a Top Dasher. They are as follows:

“Dash Now” Anytime: As a Top Dasher, you can now dash anywhere, on your own schedule. Regular DoorDash drivers are still required to schedule their hours, or use the “Dash Now” feature during busy times. 

Delivery Priority: If two DoorDash drivers are able to accept the same order, the driver with Top Dasher status will be given priority.

High-value Order Priority: Top Dashers will also get priority over orders with a total value of $30 or more. 

Is Being a Top Dasher Worth It?

At face value, it might seem as though striving to become a Top Dasher is a no-brainer. However, some drivers have found that the benefits don’t outweigh certain issues.

Related: Standard IRS Mileage Rates Increase In 2022

For example, achieving the 70% order acceptance rate can cause drivers to take extremely low-paying orders. If the DoorDash app offers you a $3 order and you reject it, that will count against your order acceptance rate. 

In addition, the perk of being able to drive (or “Dash Now”) at any time may not be the most useful for a lot of drivers, either. Since all drivers can Dash when a given zone is busy, the tangible benefits of delivering when a zone isn’t busy, as possible by being a Top Dasher, may not be high.

Save Money – And Time – In the Gig Economy

The benefits and downsides of being a Top Dasher come down to your style of delivering and the unique challenges your area of delivery forces you to deal with. No matter what, though, gig economy workers like DoorDash drivers only benefit from learning about and taking advantage of as many tools and resources as possible.

One of the most effective ways for drivers to save money and earn more is to use powerful mileage tracker apps like TripLog to track their mileage and business expenses. With six different automatic mileage tracking options, drivers can be confident that they’ll never miss a tax-deductible mile.

Download TripLog on iOS or Android today, or, if you have a team of drivers, schedule a complimentary live web demo to see how TripLog can help your company manage its employee mileage reimbursements. You can also explore our pricing page or try out our mileage reimbursement savings calculator.

Thanks for reading!

Rideshare Insurance Explained – Worth It In 2022?

cars in traffic might be uber drivers who need rideshare insurance

Whether you’re a 10-year vet or someone just starting out, Uber and other rideshare apps can be a solid way to make money, with the right amount of effort. However, a question a lot of gig economy workers might have is whether getting rideshare insurance is worth it.

Today, we’re going to discuss what rideshare insurance is, what your options are, and whether or not the whole thing is worth it in the end.

What is rideshare insurance?

Rideshare insurance is a type of insurance that covers the “business use” of your vehicle. Personal car insurance policies often don’t offer coverage when you’re using your vehicle for work.

Related: Uber Pro Explained: Everything Drivers Need To Know (2022)

That means that your personal policy might not offer coverage if your vehicle is damaged or your passengers are injured when you’re “running your meter”, so to speak. Rideshare insurance is designed to fill that “coverage gap”.

As with anything, it’s important to double-check your personal insurance plan and see whether or not rideshare insurance would be beneficial for your specific needs. A rideshare insurance plan can help keep you from paying high out-of-pocket costs in the event of an accident or injury.

Doesn’t Uber/Lyft/etc. offer insurance?

Yes. As a driver for most of the larger gig economy apps, you’re provided some level of insurance by the company you’re driving for. With that said, some, such as Forbes, describe their coverage as “woefully inadequate”.

For example, DoorDash offers third-party liability insurance for Dashers, but this “only applies to accidents that occur while the Dasher is on an active delivery” (doordash.com). The coverage isn’t comprehensive.

Related: DoorDash Top Dasher Requirements: Everything You Need To Know

In DoorDash’s case, the company only provides excess liability insurance, meaning it will only page for damages that you cause after your personal car insurance policy’s limits have been used up.

In addition, DoorDash’s policy will not pay for your own injuries or any damage to your vehicle. That’s where rideshare insurance comes in.

Is rideshare insurance worth it?

One user in the Reddit community /r/doordash_drivers tells a story of how they got into an accident while delivering a DoorDash order. Upon telling his insurance company that he was on the job, USAA rejected his claim, forcing him to not be able to “claim much for” their injuries.

A common joke is that various forms of insurance (travel, tickets, video game discs, etc.) are a mere upsell and aren’t worth it. That doesn’t appear to be the case with rideshare insurance.

The general consensus among gig economy communities is that rideshare insurance is worth it to get. This is especially the case if you’re using your car a lot to do gig economy work.

In addition, you can write your rideshare insurance coverage payments off on your taxes!

rideshare-driver-probably-needs-rideshare-insurance

Which rideshare insurance should I get? 

Virtually every major insurance agency has some form of rideshare insurance in its offerings. To keep things simple for you, you could just use the version that your current insurance company offers.

Related: The 6 Best Food Delivery Driver Tips For 2022

Alternatively, you could shop around and see if you could get a better rate on your existing coverage as well. Whether you’ve been in the gig economy for a while or you’re just getting started, taking the time to review your insurance options can only serve to benefit you.

Here’s a chart of some insurance companies and their offerings, taken from Forbes.com:

CompanyProduct namePolicy typesWhat’s covered?
AllstateAllstate Ride for HirePolicy endorsementCovers when you are waiting for a ride request; helps pay the rideshare company’s deductible of up to $2,500 when en route or on the trip
American FamilyAmerican Family Rideshare EndorsementPolicy endorsementCovers when the app is on and waiting for a ride request
ErieN/AAvailable to drivers who put business use designation on auto policyCovers each part of trip
FarmersFarmers RidesharePolicy endorsementCovers when the app is on and waiting for a ride request
MercuryN/APolicy endorsementCovers when the app is on and waiting for a ride to be requested
ProgressiveN/APolicy endorsement or driver must get commercial policy depending on the stateCoverage depends on your state and policy
State FarmN/APolicy endorsementCovers when app is on and waiting for a ride request; also covers when transporting a rider (except liability coverage)
TravelersN/APolicy endorsementCovers when app is on and waiting for a ride request (currently only available in CO and IL)
USAARideshare Gap CoveragePolicy endorsementCovers when app is on and waiting for a ride request

How much does rideshare insurance cost?

Most major insurance companies offer rideshare insurance at very affordable prices. According to MarketWatch, some companies like Geico, Progressive, and Allstate may offer rideshare insurance for as low as $6 per month.

With that said, everyone’s rate is going to be different due to your own personal driver history. MarketWatch claims that for most drivers, the cost will fall under $30 per month.

In theory, you shouldn’t be paying more than ~$75 to ~$350 per year on rideshare insurance. 

Are these costs worth it?

Let’s take Lyft’s $2,500 deductible in the event of an accident. If we were to take a higher-end yearly payment of $350, you would have to drive accident-free for seven years before your yearly payments would exceed that deductible cost. 

Related: Top 5 Tax Tips For Gig Economy Workers In 2022

Do you feel as though you could avoid an accident for seven years, despite spending a significant amount of your day on the road? As a gig economy driver, your chances of getting into an accident are much higher than the average person, so consider that when you make your decision.

What if rideshare insurance isn’t available in your area?

It’s important to note that rideshare insurance isn’t available in all areas. If your insurance company doesn’t offer it in your area, you might need to spring for a commercial insurance policy.

These plans typically have higher liability limits, though their prices are also higher to boot. You could be paying anywhere from around $1,000 to $2,500 or more per year. 

Still, depending on how much you drive or own personal risk assessment, you might want to consider this option if you can’t get a standard rideshare insurance plan. As with anything, it’s important to consult an insurance expert before you come up with a decision.

Other ways rideshare drivers can keep more money in their pockets

Getting rideshare coverage can be an important way for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash drivers to save money. If you get into an accident while on the job, you could lose thousands of dollars without proper coverage.

Related: 7 Ways Uber & DoorDash Drivers Can Save On Gas In 2022

Here at TripLog, we’ve also been helping mobile gig economy workers earn more money for over a decade. If you’re not tracking your mileage, you could be losing thousands of dollars every year in mileage deductions.

Learn more about how TripLog’s mileage tracker app can help you save thousands of dollars on your taxes! You can also download the app on iOS or Android for free.

How Employees Working From Home Deduct Their Mileage

triplog commute to work from home deduct mileage

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, only 1/5 of adults in the United States worked from home. That number has since jumped to nearly 3/4, with over 1/2 of them stating they would prefer to continue working from home after the pandemic ends (Pew Research Center). 

With major companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon permanently overhauling their work-from-home policies, it’s likely that workplace culture is going to take a dramatic shift, one that will last well beyond this current coronavirus outbreak. But if those employees working from home need to travel to a client from their house, how will mileage reimbursement work for them?

Mileage Reimbursement Rules

When an employee drives from their (non-home) office to conduct business, the rules are clear – this is considered deductible mileage according to the IRS. Personal commuting expenses, on the other hand, cannot be deducted, period.

For instance, if you are driving from your house to work in the morning (or vice versa in the evening), you can’t deduct that mileage. Personal commuting expenses also refer to taxis, Ubers, busses, subways, etc.

Pre-COVID, even if employees traveled directly from their personal residence to a work-related appointment (a client meeting, plumbing work, etc.), this would be considered a commute, and thus not be reimbursable.

Mileage Reimbursement Working From Home

With that said, the line gets fuzzy when your house is now the location of your office. Let’s say your team has all started working from home with no intention of returning to the old ways of office work and you are told to meet a client on the other side of town.

Would the drive you took to get there count as a commute, as you’re driving from your house to where you are going to work? Or would it count as business, since you’re going from your place of work to go conduct business?

triplog deduct drive from home office to client work meeting

You Can Deduct A Drive From Your House, If…

All that needs to be made clear – and well-documented – is the fact that the employee’s home office counts as an official office location for the company. When that is established, the drive between the home office and, say, a client can thus be deductible.

It would be good to review your state or municipality’s local regulations as well. For example, the State of Washington has very specific requirements on how mileage reimbursement works when employees travel from their home office to conduct business.

At Home Expense Reimbursement

What about expenses other than mileage? Say an employee needs two monitors and was provided such at the office, but their home isn’t as well-equipped for office work. While companies aren’t technically required to reimburse employees for purchases made that will affect their business, there are certain restrictions.

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, if accrued expenses related to business would cause an employee to earn a net less than minimum wage, the business will need to reimburse them, at least to the point where their net earnings would be at or above minimum wage.

If your at home employees earn or are close to the minimum wage, it is your company’s responsibility to reimburse them. That includes when they use their personal assets.

If they needed to purchase a more expensive Wi-Fi plan or a more ergonomic chair and those purchases could bring your team member down below minimum wage, your company is obligated to reimburse them.

How TripLog Can Help

TripLog’s suite of tools are a powerful way for companies to track their team’s company mileage and expense reimbursements. With accurate GPS-based tracking methods and six different autostart options, businesses have been able to streamline their approval process and cut down manual reporting time 10x.

To learn more, schedule a free web demo today, or check out our pricing page to get started. You can also use our mileage reimbursement calculator, and drivers can download TripLog on iOS or Android.

Make More Money With Uber: 9 Must-know Tips (2022)

uber driver driving on the road

As inflation continues to heat up, everyone’s beginning to become more conscious about their money. Today, we want to help Uber drivers, as well as other gig economy workers, find ways to earn more, cut costs, and save money.

Making More Money With Uber Tip #1: Offer Drinks and Snacks to your Clients

This is a tip that may require some initial investment, but will almost certainly give a boost in your earnings. You can go to Costco and buy a variety box of 51 snacks for just $35, or swing by your Kroger and get a variety pack of 28 chips for $15.

To keep drinks cool, you can buy insulated boxes or bags on Amazon for relatively cheap. You can try this method for a while and see if your tips improve enough to cover the costs of the snacks and drinks. For some drivers, they might see a significant increase in tips using this method.

Related: Are You an Independent Contractor or an Employee?

If you were to buy that Costco box, each snack would cost about $0.69. If someone were to take one of those snacks, ask yourself if you would expect them to add at least an extra dollar to whatever they would have tipped otherwise.

This can also help you if you’re concerned about your star rating. Uber is very strict on how low your rating can get before they take disciplinary action.

Having at least small complimentary small waters might be the boost a trip needs to go from a 4 to a 5. You can also write these purchases off as a business expense on your taxes!

If you’re reading other blogs and articles and they mention services like Cargo or Vendy and they sound too good to be true, then trust your intuition. Those articles are outdated and those companies don’t even exist anymore!

Making More Money With Uber Tip #2: Explore Your Insurance Options Again

If you haven’t revisited your insurance since you started driving for Uber, it’s definitely something you should consider. Not only could you be saving more money month-to-month, but getting the right plan for your line of work can save you huge amounts in the long run if you get into an accident.

If you’re brand new to Uber, you may not even realize that rideshare insurance is its own specific thing! If you’re planning on doing Uber long-term, investing in rideshare insurance is something most drivers seem to recommend.

Related: 7 Ways Uber & DoorDash Drivers Can Save On Gas In 2022

Uber also provides some level of insurance for their drivers. Review Uber’s insurance offerings and see whether you feel like you need more robust coverage.

What Does Uber’s Insurance Cover?

Here’s a rundown from Uber’s website on how Uber’s driver insurance works:

Offline or the Driver app is off

  • Your chosen personal insurance company and coverages apply

Available or waiting for a ride request

Uber maintains the following auto insurance on your behalf in case of a covered accident:

Third-party liability if your personal auto insurance doesn’t apply

  • $50,000 in bodily injury per person
  • $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident

En route to pick up riders and during tripsUber maintains the following auto insurance on your behalf in case of a covered accident:

  • $1,000,000 third-party liability
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury and/or first-party injury insurance²
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision³
  • Up to actual cash value of car with a $2,500 deductible 

Check Uber’s website for additional details and clarifications. Once again, it’s worth taking the time to discuss with your insurance company what your options are, as well as shop around other companies and see if you can snag a good deal.

Making More Money With Uber Tip #3: Track Your Mileage With an Automatic Mileage Tracker App

Did you know that every mile you drive can be deducted on your taxes? At the current IRS rate of $0.625, you could deduct that much on your taxes per mile!

Depending on how much you drive, you could see savings of thousands of dollars come tax time. Many drivers choose to track their miles with pen-and-paper methods, but these can be extremely time-consuming and inaccurate.

We recommend using a modern mileage tracker app like TripLog. TripLog automatically starts tracking your mileage when you start driving and stops when you stop.

In addition, TripLog lets you scan receipts via OCR to help track other deductible expenses and easily organizes your trips between business and personal. Simply put, if you’re driving in the gig economy, a mileage and expense tracking app is an absolute must and can save you thousands by the end of the year.

uber driver sitting in car holding phone

Making More Money With Uber Tip #4: Take Advantage of Surge and Other Promotions

Uber has several ways that drivers can earn more per drive straight from the app. Arguably the best method is by taking advantage of Surge pricing.

How Surge Pricing Works

The way Surge works is simple – if there’s a lot of demand from passengers but not enough drivers to cover that area, Uber applies a multiplier to that area. You could be earning 2x, 3x, 4x, or even 5x more during a Surge!

There’s no way to know for certain whether or not you’re going to experience a surge. That said, there are general tendencies and ways to predict when one might happen.

How to Find a Surge

For example, on Friday and Saturday nights in the city you can expect to find many people looking for rides home after drinking. Predictable scenarios like this where many customers might need a ride all at once are prime spots for a potential Surge.

Times when people are going to and from work also tend to provide some Surge bonuses. You can expect days where there’s a football game or a concert to also provide plenty of Surges.

The best drivers try to plan their schedules around these Surges. Do whatever you can to fit as many rides during a Surge as possible.

Other Uber Promotions

Surge boosts aren’t the only promotion Uber offers to help save you money. For instance, Uber Quest is a way that Uber has gamified the process. 

One example Quest could be to earn an extra $40 for completing 40 trips in a week. Check the “promotions” section of your Uber app and see if there are any quests for you to complete.

Uber Boost is another promotion, similar to Surge. There’s also Uber Pro, which is a tiered rewards program.

Making More Money With Uber Tip #5: Use Another Gig App At the Same Time

Hey, you’re already in your car, right? There are plenty of other gig apps that you can take advantage of on top of Uber.

Related: 4 Best Tips For Road Warriors

If you want to stick with rideshare, Lyft is another big player that many people use as well. Curious about food delivery? Uber Eats keeps you in the Uber ecosystem and apps like DoorDash and Grubhub are very popular as well.

If Uber rides are starting to dry up, consider having another app open. Be careful, though, because if you get two offers at once, you may need to decline one. Some apps are more stringent on declining an offer than others.

Making More Money With Uber Tip #6: Take Advantage of the Uber Passenger App

No, we’re not suggesting you pick yourself up as a customer! The Uber passenger app actually lets you see where other Uber drivers currently are.

The driver app doesn’t show this. By doing this, you can go to an area that might have less competition from other drivers.

cars driving on the road in a big city they might be uber drivers

Making More Money With Uber Tip #7: Switch to a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle

Obviously, buying a new car isn’t the simplest task. With that said, if your goal is to save money in the long run, ditching your gas guzzler for a hybrid can be a great way to save money. 

For example, a 2008 Prius will get 48 MPG in your city whereas a 2007 Camry will only get you 24 MPG. Saving double on gas is no joke in the long run, especially considering the high gas prices as of late.

One Uber driver in San Diego just this past June stated that he was spending $260 on gas per week. Adding up over 52 weeks gets you $13,520 per year. Assuming they were driving that Camry, they could be saving a whopping $6,760 per year just in gas – more than enough to cover the costs of swapping cars, and then some. 

Switching to an electric car cuts out the need for gas entirely! While driving an electric car brings its own unique advantages and disadvantages, if you can find a way to get one at a good price, you definitely are going to save money in the long run. 

Related: Tax Tips for Lyft, Uber, and Other Rideshare Drivers

Remember that driver spending $13,520 per year on gas? If they switched to an electric vehicle, they could pay it off just on gas savings alone after a few years of driving. Plus, you’d be helping the environment!

With all of this said, electric vehicles do have a high upfront cost, and you will have to consider charging the vehicle and whether that’s feasible for your current situation. Still, switching to a more fuel-efficient vehicle can be a great way to see long-term cost savings.

Making More Money With Uber Tip #8: Be Professional and Respect Your Clients

This one should be a no-brainer, especially if you’re going for that much-need 5-star rating, but it’s worth discussing here. Going above and beyond and providing your clients with a 5-star worthy trip requires some genuine effort on your part.

Ensure that your car is clean at all times. Don’t smoke in your car and have a small bag for garbage. Keep an air freshener in your car in case you get a smelly passenger or if your garbage bag starts to get full.

Offering small perks like an aux cord and phone chargers are the absolute minimum, but you can offer drinks and snacks as we discussed earlier as well.

Make sure you’re courteous and professional. In regard to chatting with your clients, we recommend following their lead. If they seem interested in talking, feel free to engage, but if they’re quiet or stay on their phone, respect their privacy as well.

Making More Money With Uber Tip #9: Stick to the City and Learn The Area

Cities are going to get you far and away the most business. Even if you need to commute from a more rural area, you’re still going to earn significantly more than if you were to stay in your town.

If you’re brand new to rideshare, driving in a big city for extended periods of time can seem intimidating. Get a feel for the driving culture and pay attention to the nuances that come with every city.

Over time, you will learn what are the best areas to drive in and the best practices in regard to navigating your city. There are plenty of rideshare resources that offer information and tips specific to just about every major city, so look into those as well.

Related: Rideshare Tax Guide: What You Need To Know For 2022

We hope you find these tips helpful as you navigate the tumultuous – but often highly rewarding – world of the gig economy. As we said earlier, one of the best ways you can earn more is through using a modern mileage tracker app.

Download TripLog for free today on iOS or Android and start saving thousands on your taxes!

Mileage Reimbursement Explained | How To Set Up a Mileage Reimbursement Policy for Your Business

company mileage reimbursement plan setup

If you have mobile employees, setting up a company mileage reimbursement policy is a must. With that said, not every company has a policy in place, and if they do, their policies are often inefficient.

Outdated pen-and-paper mileage tracking methods cost companies thousands of dollars and countless labor hours every year. It doesn’t have to be that way. Today, we’re going to discuss why mileage reimbursement policies are important, and how you can easily set one up.

What Does Mileage Reimbursement Cover?

“Mileage” refers to any expenses incurred when an employee uses their personal vehicle for work. Think of tasks like meeting with clients and going out for office supplies.

If they’re using their personal vehicle to conduct business for your company, they’re subject to getting reimbursed. Some potential expenses that can be covered by mileage reimbursement may include:

  • Fuel
  • Oil changes
  • Insurance costs
  • General maintenance
  • Car depreciation

Keep in mind that certain things are not covered by mileage reimbursements. For example, employee commutes are typically not reimbursed.

How Much Should You Reimburse For Your Employee’s Mileage?

Determining what rate to reimburse your team can seem tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. It all comes down to what’s fair.

In the United States, the IRS tries to make it easier by offering a mileage rate that is based on “an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile” (IRS.gov). The standard mileage rate for 2022 is 58.5 cents for business mileage.

Related: IRS Mileage Rate Explained | How Is The Standard Mileage Rate Determined?

In most states, this rate is optional, however. If you as an employer can prove that the expenses your employees incur are less than the recommended IRS rate, you are able to pay them the rate that you think is fair.

If you choose to do this, tread carefully, as this method can leave you liable if you’re under-reimbursing. Your employee’s net pay can fall below the minimum wage.

Other Mileage Reimbursement Methods

With that said, what’s fair for one state may not be fair in another. A reimbursement rate used by a tech company in San Francisco may not make as much sense for a small business in rural Oklahoma.

If, for example, you feel as though the IRS rate won’t be fair for your region, your business can implement a fixed and variable rate (FAVR) program. If your rate is higher than the one set by the IRS, your employee will have to pay taxes on the additional income.

Are Companies Required to Reimburse Mileage?

In most states, mileage reimbursement is not a requirement. The IRS does not have any federal regulations that force companies to offer reimbursement programs.

With that said, most companies choose to use the standard IRS mileage reimbursement rate. In addition, some states have their own laws and regulations regarding mileage reimbursement.

Consult your local jurisdiction’s laws to ensure you’re following the correct guidelines. For readers and company owners not living in the United States, be sure to check your government’s requirements on expense reimbursements as some of this information may not apply.

driving car for work needs mileage reimbursement

Why Your Company Should Develop a Mileage Reimbursement Policy

There are two major reasons why you should develop a mileage reimbursement policy. First, it helps in attracting top talent by ensuring the company will make good on any company-related expenses that are incurred by the employee. Second, it allows the company to reduce its tax exposure by identifying valid business expenses that it can write off.

Employee Mileage Reimbursement: The Data

Without a modern mileage tracker app, employees generally use paper mileage logs. This requires the driver to pull out their mileage logbook, grab a pen, and manually enter the necessary information.

Drivers spend around 2 minutes per mileage entry using pen-and-paper logs. An automatic mileage tracker like TripLog cuts out that time almost entirely.

If drivers make multiple trips throughout the day, these minutes add up, with a typical driver spending an average of 58 hours a year filling out manual mileage logs.

Related: IRS Mileage Commuting Rule: What Businesses Need To Know

In addition, TripLog found that, within a three-year period, 28% of all manual mileage claims are overreported, costing companies an average of over $1,800 per driver. TripLog’s app cross-references manual reports with Google Maps, ensuring accurate mileage reporting.

How To Implement a Mileage Reimbursement Policy

To take advantage of the benefits of implementing a mileage reimbursement policy, a company must ensure certain things are in place to meet all IRS requirements. An accountable plan is one such necessity.

If you choose to use the standard mileage rate, you will need to set up an accountable plan. An accountable plan outlines reimbursement and expense allowances for employees. This will ensure that your reimbursement is tax-free.

When setting up an accountable plan, companies must ensure they meet three specific criteria:

  1. Your employee’s expenses must be business-related.
  2. The employee must provide a timely and detailed expense report.
  3. The employee must return any payments that were more than the reimbursement within a reasonable timeframe.

To Ensure Accurate Reimbursements, Employees Must Track Their Mileage.

As stated above, employees need to provide timely and detailed expense reports. These reports should differentiate business mileage from personal mileage.

The Problems With Manual Mileage Reimbursement Methods

For decades, companies have had their employees fill out manual mileage logs. This requires them to pull out a paper mileage log and a pen and manually jot down information like odometer readings.

Oftentimes, the employee will have to present a stack of receipts, forcing your company to invest more time in sorting and organizing expenses. In an internal study, TripLog found that drivers spend about 2 minutes per stop filling out mileage logs.

One TripLog client found that their drivers were spending eight hours per month just on manually entering their travel.

Approximately 19% of all expense reports have errors, and companies lose around 5% of their revenue to fraud. Manual expense reports leave companies significantly more prone to errors and fraud.

Related: Manual Expense Reports: The Hidden Costs

Automatic Mileage Tracker Apps Make Mileage Reimbursement A Breeze

By switching from pen-and-paper to an automatic mileage tracker app like TripLog, companies can save untold amounts of money and time. Drivers get a sleek, modern, and fast way to track their mileage and expenses, and business owners and admins get access to our comprehensive web dashboard.

mobile employee using car for work will need mileage reimbursement

TripLog automatically starts tracking your team’s trips the moment they start driving and stops when they stop. With one easy swipe, they can classify the trip as business or personal.

Then, right from the app, employees can submit their reports directly to your admin team for reimbursement. You can even deduct your team’s first and last trips (i.e., their commutes) from their mileage reports.

TripLog’s web dashboard holds all of your team’s mileage reimbursement information in one convenient place. With detailed analytics and reporting capabilities, you can see where your money is going, as well as approve or reject expense reports.

Mileage Reimbursement vs. Mileage Allowance

As we know, every business is different and one size may not fit all. It’s worth pointing out the major differences in reimbursing employees for their mileage & expenses vs. providing an allowance.

When companies provide an allowance, employees receive their funds beforehand and can use them for travel without having to wait. With that said, this method can result in fraud and unintentional inaccuracies.

Requiring employees to submit mileage expense reports can reduce the instances of fraud and inaccuracy, but it increases the paperwork. For many companies trying to reduce fraud and keep a tighter rein on their expenses, it can be a more attractive option.

Choosing mileage reimbursement has its disadvantages, but companies can leverage technology that automates the entire process.

How TripLog Can Help With Mileage Reimbursement

Effective mileage tracking and reimbursement solutions such as TripLog can cut the time and effort needed to put in place a mileage reimbursement policy. TripLog is by far the market’s best mileage reimbursement solution.

TripLog provides a smart mileage reimbursement solution not only to small and midsized companies but also to larger enterprise-scale organizations.

Related: Is Mileage Reimbursement Considered Taxable Income?

Our intuitive web dashboard allows administrators to manage approvals, supervisors, mileage, and more. The dashboard allows companies to easily set up their accountable plan and mileage reimbursement policy.

TripLog’s Mileage Reimbursement Features

TripLog’s easy-to-use app allows for many set-and-forget auto start options. In addition, TripLog’s web dashboard gives business owners and administrators access to insightful data, such as month-by-month mileage, fuel use, busiest hours, and more. 

Complete and total control via the comprehensive dashboard allows company administrators to tailor mileage reimbursement details whenever IRS requirements or company policies change.

TripLog provides companies with a competitive advantage by helping them to make mileage tracking a more efficient, manageable, and transparent process.

Download TripLog for free on iOS or Android, or schedule a complimentary web demo today.

Uber Pro Explained: Everything Drivers Need to Know (2022)

woman sitting in car might be an uber pro driver

If you’re driving for Uber, you know that every dollar counts. To help drivers earn more money, Uber has implemented a rewards program called Uber Pro.

To qualify for Uber Pro, drivers need to meet certain standards. When they are met, you are able to start reaping the rewards.

Related: 7 Ways Uber & DoorDash Drivers Can Save On Gas In 2022

With that said, some drivers feel as though the benefits aren’t worth the effort and sacrifices required in order to meet Uber’s standards. Today, we’re going to discuss what Uber Pro is, how drivers can achieve it, and whether these benefits are worth your time in the first place.

What Are the Rewards for Uber Pro?

Uber Pro is a tiered rewards program designed to provide high-performance Uber drivers with certain benefits. The tiers start at Blue and then go to Gold, Platinum, then Diamond.

Uber Pro Rewards Partner (Blue) Tier

All Uber drivers Uber Pro Partner tier members get access to the following benefits:

  • 1.5% cash back on gas at most gas stations
  • 3% cash back at Exxon and Mobil gas stations
  • Up to 25% off car maintenance
  • Consecutive trips promotions

Note that there are no requirements to get access to the Partner tier. All Uber drivers, at minimum, can access the above benefits.

Related: Top 5 Tax Tips For Gig Economy Workers In 2022

Uber Pro Rewards Gold Tier

Uber Pro Gold members get upgraded versions of those previous rewards as well as some new ones. Here are the Gold tier rewards (differences between the Partner and Gold tier benefits are bolded):

  • 3% cash back on gas at most gas stations
  • 4.5% cash back at Exxon and Mobil gas stations
  • Up to 25% off car maintenance
  • Consecutive trips promotions
  • Recognition in the riders’ app
  • Quest promotions
  • See trip length for long trips that are in the direction the passenger is going
  • Priority support
  • Free 24/7 roadside assistance

Uber Pro Rewards Platinum Tier

  • 3% extra on time and distance rates
  • 4% cash back on gas at most gas stations
  • 5.5% cash back at Exxon and Mobil gas stations
  • Up to 25% off car maintenance
  • Consecutive trips promotions
  • Recognition in the riders’ app
  • Quest promotions
  • See trip length for all trips
  • Priority support
  • Free 24/7 roadside assistance
  • 100% tuition coverage for Arizona State University online

Diamond Pro Rewards Platinum Tier

  • 6% extra on time and distance rates
  • 5% cash back on gas at most gas stations
  • 6.5% cash back at Exxon and Mobil gas stations
  • Up to 25% off car maintenance
  • Consecutive trips promotions
  • Recognition in the riders’ app
  • Quest promotions
  • See trip length for all trips
  • Priority support
  • Free 24/7 roadside assistance
  • 100% tuition coverage for Arizona State University online
  • Faster pickups at airports
  • Free dent repair

How To Achieve (And Rank Up) Your Uber Pro Status

Uber Pro ranks are achieved by accumulating a certain number of points in a three-month period. The points you earn reflect your status in the next three-month period. 

You also are required to have a rating of 4.85 stars or higher, as well as a cancellation rating of 4% or less. 

Uber Pro Tiers Explained

The base Partner tier doesn’t require any point minimum to achieve. This tier – and its rewards – are available to all Uber drivers.

The Gold tier requires 600 (or 300, depending on your area) points. The Platinum tier requires 1200 (or 600). The Diamond tier requires 1800 (or 1200).

Related: The 6 Best Food Delivery Driver Tips For 2022

So, for example, if you earned 600 points between November 1 and January 31, you will be a Gold-tier driver for the following three-month period (February 1 to April 30).

How Do You Earn Points For Uber Pro?

Earning points for Uber Pro is relatively simple. Each drive you do gives you a point. Driving at certain times can actually get you 3 points, so it’s important to pay attention to the app.

Is Uber Pro Worth It?

Like with DoorDash’s Top Dasher program, there’s some controversy as to whether or not Uber Pro is worth it to achieve.

For one, many users see Uber Pro as a method for Uber to convince drivers to decline fewer trips. Many drivers choose to decline trips that are a certain distance away from them as a means to save more money. 

The main benefit that drivers on sites like Reddit seem to enjoy is the ability to see the length of a given trip. Without that feature, drivers don’t know how long a trip will be until after they accept it.

Want Another Great Way For Uber Drivers To Save More Money?

Did you know that every mile you drive as an Uber driver is tax-deductible? You could be earning thousands of dollars more every year just by tracking your mileage!

Related: Tax Tips for Lyft, Uber, and Other Rideshare Drivers

There are many different mileage tracking methods out there, but the best way to do it is with an automatic mileage tracker app like TripLog. Download the app on iOS or Android and try our premium features free for 15 days!

Should You Use a Mileage Tracker App? | Mileage Tracker Introduction

man holding phone happy to use mileage tracker app

Whether you’re a freelancer setting up your side hustle or are a company with employees who use their personal vehicles for work, one of the questions you may have is whether using a mileage tracker app is necessary. 

Under both conditions, the advantages that an automatic mileage tracker can provide are numerous. From time and cost savings to enhanced security to ease of use, mileage tracker apps are the best way for drivers and companies to handle their mileage tracking needs.

Mileage Tracker App Benefits For Self-employed Workers

If you drive for Uber, DoorDash, Instacart, or any other gig economy service, mileage tracking is a must. The main advantage that self-employed workers can see is in tax deductions.

Related: Self-Employed Worker Mileage Deduction Guide

Your mileage can be deducted on your taxes, often saving drivers thousands of dollars every year. This requires accurate mileage tracking in order to maximize your savings.

How to Claim a Mileage Deduction

There are two main methods of claiming a mileage deduction. The first is to calculate the actual expenses that you incur related to your vehicle. 

This entails personally adding up things like your insurance costs, lease payments, fuel costs, etc. To make things simple, the IRS releases their standard mileage rate every year. 

This rate looks into all of the fixed-and-variable costs that come with owning and operating a motor vehicle. We recommend using the IRS mileage rate method. 

For example, let’s say you drove 1000 miles in a given period. Using the current IRS mileage rate of $0.625, you can deduct $625 from your taxes!

Should You Use a Mileage Tracker App?

Pulling out a notebook and pen for every single trip can be annoying, especially when you’ll often need to take the extra step to digitize your records. When using a mileage app like TripLog, all of your records are online.

Related: What To Do If You Forget To Track Your Mileage

Using a mileage tracker app streamlines every step of the mileage tracking process. For example, with TripLog, you don’t even need to open the app to start tracking! With several auto-start features, there’s simply no easier way to track your miles.

Mileage apps are also significantly more accurate than manual tracking methods. According to the Global Business Travel Association, 19% of all expense reports have errors. With an automatic mileage tracker, those errors go away.

person driving on road should they use a mileage tracker app

Mileage Tracker App Benefits For Companies

Independent contractors aren’t the only ones who can see immediate benefits from using a company mileage tracker. Companies with mobile employees stand to save thousands of dollars and countless man-hours when switching to app-based methods of mileage reimbursement.

While there is no law requiring companies to reimburse their employee’s mileage (keep in mind, some states do require mileage reimbursement), there are many reasons why companies do. If you do reimburse, your drivers need to be tracking their mileage.

Related: Your Drivers May Be Overreporting Their Mileage By 28%. Here’s What You Need To Know.

Companies that make the switch from manual tracking and reimbursement methods to automatic ones see an immediate ROI, oftentimes in huge amounts. For example, one TripLog customer found they saved 3x what they spend on their TripLog contract.

Mileage Tracker App Company Benefits – Productivity

That same customer did an internal study and found that their 950+ drivers were spending eight hours per month just on manually entering their travel. That adds up to around 91,200 hours of labor lost each year.

By switching to a modern mileage tracking solution, that company got those hours back. Their employees were able to use that time doing their actual work.

Mileage tracker apps help back-end office workers, too. Payroll and HR workers can say goodbye to having to manually process stacks of receipts and mileage logs.

Related: TripLog Mileage Policy Handbook

With TripLog, everything is conveniently accessible with our online web dashboard. TripLog even integrates with many leading payroll systems like SAP Concur, ADP, and QuickBooks.

Choosing the Right Mileage Tracker App

There are many different mileage tracker apps on the market today. Some are more focused on self-employed workers and others are designed specifically for companies.

TripLog manages to be the perfect solution for both. Simply put, no other mileage tracking and reimbursement solution has the amount of features and integrations that TripLog offers. Check out our feature comparison chart on our pricing page to see for yourself!

Whether you’re a sole proprietor, an owner of an SMB, or a manager at an enterprise-scale organization, TripLog can develop a tailored solution to fit your needs. The best part? It all comes at an unbeatable price point.

To learn more, schedule a complimentary live web demo today or try our mileage reimbursement calculator. You can also download the app on iOS or Android and take advantage of our 15-day free trial.

IRS Issues Mid-year Mileage Rate Increase Amid High Gas Prices

irs mileage rate 2022 increase mobile employee driving

Effective July 1, 2022, the IRS will increase its recommended standard mileage rate for the last 6 months of 2022. According to IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, the reason for this rare mid-year change is due to the rising gas prices in the United States.

What Is the New 2022 Standard IRS Mileage Rate?

The standard business mileage rate is going from $0.585 to $0.625 (62.5 cents) per mile, an increase of 4 cents. For comparison, the rate increased 2.5 cents from 2021 to 2022 last January.

Related: IRS Mileage Rate Explained

This change is the third-largest increase in the official business mileage rate since 1991. The medical/moving mileage rates have also increased an additional 4 cents to 22 cents (up from 18), though the rate for charity purposes remains 14 cents.

The last time the IRS has done a mid-year adjustment to its mileage rate was in July 2011. As gas prices rise to record heights ($5 per gallon nationally as of this writing) the change makes sense.

At 62.5 cents per mile, this is the highest the IRS mileage rates have ever gone. Business owners with mobile employees will need to adjust their mileage policies as needed.

If you use TripLog’s company mileage tracker and have your settings set to use the official IRS standard mileage rate, you will not need to make any changes. The TripLog app will automatically update the rate on July 1.

Related: 7 Ways Uber & DoorDash Drivers Can Save on Gas in 2022

There are several major mileage reimbursement methods, such as cents-per-mile, flat allowances, and Fixed and Variable Rate (FAVR) plans. Not all states and jurisdictions require mileage reimbursement, but several do, so it’s important to ensure that your business is staying compliant.

To learn more about how these changes can affect your business, schedule a complimentary live web demo with the mileage experts at TripLog. You can also visit our pricing page to learn more.

5 Apps Guaranteed to Improve Employee Productivity

employee productivity app blog team using apps

Keeping your employees productive is an important task for any business owner or manager. Today, there are more tools than ever that can help you with this once-difficult task. 

Here are our picks of the 5 apps that can help you improve your team’s productivity starting right now.

Improve Employee Productivity App #1 – Freedom

The modern web can be a very distracting place. Every site/app is made to attract as much of your attention as it can for as long as possible.

When it comes to working and trying to meet deadlines, browsing this cacophony of sites can make things very difficult. That’s where an app like Freedom comes in.

Freedom lets you block sites throughout all of your (and, potentially, your team’s) devices so that they can stay on task for longer. They can block notifications, website, and more to help their attention stay on their work.

Alternative app: Cold Turkey

Improve Employee Productivity App #2: Asana

Asana is a very powerful project management tool that helps teams categorize what they’re working on into tasks and subtasks. With additional advanced features like project timelines, custom boards, and routine automation, a project management tool like Asana is a must.

Related: Remote Work Expense Reimbursement Requirements Explained

In addition, Asana integrates with common tools like Google Drive, Slack, and Outlook. The app can send reminders directly to your team’s emails and its calendar gives managers a complete look at each project’s standing.

Alternative app: Monday.com

Improve Employee Productivity App #3: Slack

In any team, no matter how big or small, clear and quick communication is an important aspect of success. With more and more companies going remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a dedicated company communication tool like Slack is something all businesses should look into.

At this point, emails have become a somewhat clunky and slow-paced form of communication for many companies. As big companies become younger and younger, the formalities of email methods of corporate discourse are becoming out of style as well.

With many flexible discourse features like real-time chatting, cross-team communications, and customizable channels, it’s never been easier to talk with your team. Slack also lets you build workflows, have video conferences, and integrates with thousands of powerful tools.

Alternative app: Microsoft Teams

Improve Employee Productivity App #4: TripLog

If you have mobile employees who use their personal vehicles, you’re probably offering some form of mileage reimbursement. Many companies are moving away from outdated and inaccurate pen-and-paper mileage logs for modern mileage tracking apps.

Related: Why Small Businesses Should Track Their Mileage

The best mileage tracker app on the market is TripLog. With its advanced company mileage features, you can rest easy that you’re not over-reimbursing and that your team is getting paid fairly and accurately.

To learn more about how TripLog can help your company, schedule a complimentary live web demo. You can also visit our pricing page to get started today.

Improve Employee Productivity App #5: Time Doctor

Time Doctor is an employee time tracking app that seamlessly integrates with most of the major company communications and product management apps, which is why we recommend it. Compared to many time tracking platforms, Time Doctor offers a high level of analytics, letting managers get more understanding of their team’s schedules.

Related: 5 Reasons Why You Need An Employee Time Clock App

Managers can get weekly progress reports outlining their team’s work statistics giving them the insight they need to make smart business decisions. It also has other project management and employee monitoring features that make Time Doctor a powerful tool for employee productivity.

Alternative app: TripLog Time

Employee productivity is an aspect of running a business that no owner or manager can ignore. We hope that these suggestions help you as your company continues to grow!