How to Claim CRA-approved Mileage Deductions in Canada

how to claim cra approved mileage expenses in canada

Whether you are a self-employed or salaried worker in Canada, using your personal vehicles for work means that any car-related expenses incurred when conducting business are tax-deductible. The CRA allows you to claim these deductions if you have accurate records that show how you used your personal vehicle for business purposes.

Today, we will explain the CRA’s regulations for both self-employed and salaried workers in detail, as well as how TripLog’s mileage/kilometer tracking solutions can help you save thousands every tax season.

CRA Rules: Mileage/Kilometer Tracking For Self-Employed

Self-employed individuals can find the general guidelines for motor vehicle expense deductions in Canada here. It’s worth noting that business-related travel expenses are only deductible if the vehicle is used for both personal and business purposes.

Related: Are You An Independent Contractor Or An Employee?

Below is a synopsis of all the deductible vehicle expenses that you should monitor and record in order to be eligible for deductions come tax time.

Total Operating Expenses

Individuals can claim any expenses incurred for operating their vehicles for business purposes to the CRA. These expenses can include fuel costs, maintenance, repairs, licenses, insurance, and certain leasing costs (additional details here).

As stated above, you will need accurate records to prove that you incurred these costs when conducting business using your personal vehicle. Using pen-and-paper mileage logs can be time-consuming and inaccurate, costing you thousands. Try TripLog free for 15 days and see your savings immediately with our intuitive in-app expense reports!

Capital Cost Allowance

Capital cost allowance (CCA) refers to either the fair market value or the cost of the vehicle used for business purposes; whichever is lower if it’s a passenger vehicle that fits no more than eight passengers, including the driver, and is valued under $20,000.

For any passenger vehicle costing more than $20,00 and/or motor vehicles such as vans and pickup trucks, you can find the details here.

Interest

You can deduct up to $250 every 30 days on any interest you pay on loans used to buy your vehicle.

Personal vs. Business Segment     

As mentioned above, the portion of your total expenses, capital cost, and interest that you can claim will be the proportion of the total kilometers driven for business vs. personal use of the passenger vehicle.

For example, let’s say you accrued $8000 in business expenses when using your personal vehicle, and you drove for 32,000 kilometers, with 24,000 representing business use. Using the below equation, we find that the deductible amount of $6,000.

(24,000 ÷ 32,000) × $8,000 = $6,000

cra approved vehicle expenses canada

CRA Rules: Mileage/Kilometer Tracking For Salaried Workers

Salaried Employee’s Allowable Motor Vehicle Expenses

As a salaried employee, you may be able to claim certain employment expenses on your income taxes and receive a return if you had to pay for those expenses under the contract of your employment. This employment contract does not have to be in writing, but you and your employer must agree to the terms and understand what is expected.

Related: 3 Ways SMBs Can Save Money (And 3 Ways They Lose Money)

The types of deductible and allowable expenses are very similar to those for self-employed individuals. As previously mentioned, a portion of your total expenses incurred when conducting business using your personal vehicle that you may claim will be proportional to the total kilometers driven for business vs. personal use of the passenger vehicle.

Company Reimbursement Using AAR (Automobile Allowance Rate)

As a salaried individual, your employer may reimburse you for any expenses incurred when using your personal car for work. When you do get your reimbursements, make sure they are included in your employment contract and follow the CRA automobile allowance rates for 2022.

2022 CRA Automobile Allowance Rate

From the CRA’s official website, the 2022 automobile allowance rates are:

  • $0.61 per kilometer for the first 5,000 kilometers driven
  • $0.55 per kilometer driven after that

Keep in mind, if you’re driving in the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut, there is an additional $0.04 per kilometer allowed for travel.

Do You Need a CRA-compliant Mileage/Kilometer Log?

Whether you’re self-employed or an employee, no matter what deductibles you’re eligible to claim back, you are required to keep and provide factual support to prove that the kilometers you listed were driven for business reasons. The CRA requires you to document your business kilometers in detail to qualify for motor vehicle deductions.

According to the CRA website, the best way to support the use of a vehicle is an accurate digital logbook of business travel maintained for the entire year showing each business trip, the destination, the reason for the trip, and the distance covered.

As mentioned above, to make a claim, you must keep a log containing both the total kilometers driven and the kilometers driven solely for business purposes. In addition, the deductible expenses must be reasonable and backed by receipts.

Furthermore, you must record the dates of the changes and the odometer readings for the corresponding transactions for any motor vehicle changes.

Manual Mileage/Kilometer Tracking

Although a pen-and-paper CRA log is a good way to keep all your records straight for the year, it can become a very tedious and time-consuming process that can bog you down. This is especially so if you’re a busy self-employed individual or a large company tracking your employee’s business kilometers. Manual kilometer tracking and monitoring through logbooks can get tiresome, be prone to errors, and is simply not scalable.

Related: How To Prevent Fraud In Business

Automatic Mileage/Kilometer Tracking

Automatic mileage/kilometer tracking is very popular thanks to recent advancements in technology, and the benefits over manual tracking are numerous. Most automated tracking solutions are smartphone apps like TripLog, often with cloud backup and web dashboard access.

Here are some of the top reasons to use an automatic mileage tracker instead of outdated manual methods:

Automatic Mileage/Kilometer Tracking App Benefits For Self-employed & Enterprise-scale Companies

Accuracy & CRA Compliance

Bluetooth tracking, iBeacons, GPS, and other technologies have enabled fast and accurate tracking that a manual log cannot beat. Humans are prone to errors in tracking logs using logbooks and hoarding expense receipts, especially for small business owners, freelancers, and gig economy leaders.

cra mileage vehicle expenses claim

Savings: Time & Money

Smartphone apps can get you so much more savings, whether through money or time. Simplified and automatic tracking saves you time, and accurate and complete CRA-compliant records of all your business kilometers ensure you maximize your tax deductions and savings.

Related: 3 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs An Accountant

In addition, some advanced mileage/kilometer tracking apps have integrations with accounting software that can save you even more time. No need to keep separate records for your car and your accounting software.

These integrations save time and money, as well as provide better communication between you and your accountant. TripLog, for instance, integrates with

Mileage Tracking App Benefits Just For Enterprise-scale Companies

Transparency – Inflated Employee Estimates

Many smartphone mileage/kilometer tracking apps have enterprise solutions for mileage reimbursement purposes. These apps take the guesswork and verification process out and bring more transparency to the process through automatic tracking technologies and map-verified locations. This saves the company from potential fraud, leading to more savings in terms of time and money.

Schedule and Time Management

Dispatching a team on the road and scheduling pickup/deliveries for many businesses can be a logistical and scheduling nightmare. But automated tracking with smartphones and monitoring on the web can save the day and vastly improve the schedule and time management capabilities of small to medium organizations.

How Can TripLog Help?

TripLog is a smartphone app with a powerful web dashboard designed to provide company mileage tracking to businesses and their mobile employees. Our solution offers CRA-compliant tax deductions, travel and expense management, and replaces time-consuming manual solutions.

Our integrations to QuickBooks, Xero, and ADP make mileage/kilometer tracking and claiming expenses from the CRA at tax time a breeze.

Whether you are a self-employed or a salaried individual, and whether you do it manually or by using an automated system, keeping track of all your kilometers is a must if you want to claim back some of your business-related expenses from the CRA. Get started with TripLog today with a complimentary web demo, or visit our pricing page to learn more!

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Common Tax Deductions For Construction Companies

common tax deductions for construction companies business mileage expense

In the construction industry, there are many IRS rules that allow for tax deductions that one can leverage to save on business expenses. In addition, there are tax credits that you can apply for and have some of your necessary training and continuing education costs covered.

With that said, let’s dive in and discover the many ways you can save on deductions, credits, and tax breaks if you work in the construction business, starting with the most commonly known and ending with the most overlooked tax deductions for construction companies.

Common Deduction Items

Gas is among the most expensive factors when we’re talking about deductible fees. The distance between your drive from your home and your workplace is the distance of your business miles.

What that means is that you can deduct 56 cents per business mile in 2021. Keep track of all the records, bills, and receipts you get, or simply start using a virtual bookkeeping application such as TripLog to further simplify the process.

Vehicle Expenses

Be aware that tax-deductible vehicle expenses only apply to vehicles that were used for business purposes, although the law doesn’t clearly regulate whether it needs to be your company’s vehicle or your own. If you decide not to claim the standard mileage deduction, you may qualify for claiming your actual vehicle expenses. The expenses cover mostly everything but vehicle damage, regardless of who did the actual damage to the vehicle.

Advertising

Many construction companies ask or downright order their employees to advertise the brand. Even if you’re pro-creative and want to engage in promoting the brand’s name on your own, you may be entitled to a tax deduction for any and all marketing or advertising of your company.

Small Tools

The law regarding the definition of small tools is pretty universal in most countries. Moreover, many modern legislations use more sophisticated terms and split this category into two segregated segments – hand tools and power tools, both of which are tax-deductible within the period of one year of being bought and/or incurred.

The term “hand tool” generally refers to tools like screwdrivers, trowels, knives, crimpers, brushes, and clamps. In fact, the lists are usually not closed, so any similar tool that could be handheld falls under the same category. Additionally, some countries also include the category of general tools which are usually used in this line of work, such as shovels or hammers.

Now, the situation with power tools is slightly different, mainly because it’s hard to differentiate them from machine tools (heavy machinery) due to their similar nature. By definition, power tools are tools that require fuel, compressed air, hydraulic power, or electricity. This category includes saws, drills, breakers, cutters, and mixers.

Cement Mixers, Compressors, and Ladders

Most countries do not include cement mixers, compressors, and ladders in heavy machinery mainly due to the fact that they cost more and are purposefully built to last for longer periods of time (increased durability and intended lifespan).

That being said, you are not bound by a period of one year after the taxes come up.

  1. In the worst-case scenario, you will have at least 18 months
  2. In most cases, two to three years
  3. In the best-case scenario, there is no time limit whatsoever

Buildings

It is not uncommon for a construction worker to lend their own buildings for the purposes of the construction company. For example, if the site is just being formed and there’s a supply of small tools incoming, you can lend your own shed or a garage for the purpose of storage until a specialized storage unit is constructed.

In any other case, if any building you own is being used by the company for the line of work the company is operating under, you are allowed to reduce the taxes for the amount of the building being used (for example, the company is using your garage for 3 months, you won’t need to pay taxes for it during that time).

Other Heavy Machinery

Every country has a broad list of other heavy machinery that are not enumerated or closed down. That means that every new piece of technology that emerges on the market and does not fall under the category of small tools immediately gets shifted to the category of other heavy machinery.

Specialized Clothing

Hard Hats, Hard Boots, and Tool Belts

Hard hats, hard boots, and tool belts are generally accepted as specialized clothing for construction workers. If you’ve bought these, or better yet, whenever you’ve bought these on your own account, you can ask your employer to reimburse you.

In the case that your employer refuses to reimburse you for the full amount, you can get a tax discount on the amount that you are missing.

Special Uniforms

The story with special uniforms is slightly different from the previous category because these are usually company-issued uniforms that were specially ordered and tested by professionals operating under the wing (or contracted by) the company you are working for.

In virtually every possible scenario, you are not required to pay for these uniforms as they are a necessity and in turn, need to be provided by your employer. On the flip side, if you do end up paying for them, you can either ask for reimbursement or for a tax deduction in the amount you paid for.

Deductable Fees

Tuition, Subscriptions To Technical Journals, Memberships, and Licensing Fees

In essence, every class you’ve taken this year, every subscription you’ve paid for, every membership revolving around the technical community, and every license you’ve paid for that were necessary for your construction business is able to be claimed for a tax deduction.


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Overlooked Deductions/Tax Credits

Tax Credits

Construction workers are sometimes required to undergo required training for work or may just opt into a program for continuing studies to get more skilled at one’s job. For both your ordinary (required) and necessary (optional) education expenses, you may qualify for a tax credit, which will also reduce your tax burden.

However, applying to any of the education tax credits will disqualify you from claiming any tuition and fee deductions for the associated costs.  

Continuing Education/Certificate Programs

As a self-employed construction worker, you can deduct the costs of continuing education in your current career that are not ordinary (usual expense) but necessary (not indispensable). If the program is designed for a pivot in other careers, then the program cost will no longer be deductible. However, remember that you could possibly claim this cost under the tuition and fees deduction discussed earlier.

Interest On Borrowed Funds

Whether or not you get a loan from the bank or your family, relatives, or friends, if you’re using the borrowed funds to buy new construction equipment or for any other business purpose, your annual interest is deductible on your Schedule C. However, it’s imperative that you ensure that the funds are strictly being used for business purposes.

Other Small Deductions

  • Legal and professional services
  • Health insurance
  • Subcontracted labor
  • Union fees
  • Stationary, pencils, etc
  • A portion of your phone charger, pager, and cell phone costs related to business use
  • Travel costs between job sites or from a job site to a store for work-related errands, including parking fees and tolls, fuel costs, etc. A mileage tracking app like TripLog can be an effective tool to keep track of all of these travel costs

As a self-employed construction worker, you can save on the significant cost of the business in the form of tax credits or deductions to lower your tax burden each year. It’s very important for all self-employed construction business owners to be aware of all the potential savings and credits that can be leveraged each year to maximize their bottom line.

If you’re part of a larger construction company and receive or provide mileage reimbursement, TripLog also has comprehensive company mileage solutions as well. Try our mileage reimbursement savings calculator and see how much more you could be earning!

To get started with TripLog’s mileage tracker app, schedule a complimentary live web demo, or visit our pricing page to learn more.


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Tax Tips for Lyft, Uber, and Other Rideshare Drivers

money-saving tips on taxes for uber lyft rideshare irs

The United States IRS (Internal Revenue Service) allows you to deduct 56 cents per mile (as of 2021) when operating an automobile for business. The standard mileage rates also apply to charitable, medical, or moving expense purposes with various rates. This means you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars through tax deductions.

Properly filling out your mileage logs are crucial when it comes to the amount of money you can save, and prevent an IRS audit. There are applications that can help you accurately track and log your mileage, and help you save more money in terms of tax deductibles.

The IRS also requires you to keep detailed records. IRS Publication 463 Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses Table 5-1 “How To Prove Certain Business Expenses” states:

“For car expenses, the cost of the car and any improvements, the date you started using it for business, the mileage for each business use, and the total miles for the year.”

Is Your Mileage Log Truly IRS Compliant?

Unlike many mileage trackers that do not capture necessary information, TripLog includes every field required by the IRS, plus a wealth of additional information as well.

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

Then check their mileage log, does it have all the fields required by the IRS, especially the start and stop odometer readings? TripLog reports include all the required fields, plus additional useful information about each trip.

What About Other Vehicle and Business Expenses?

Mileage is just one of the many expenses you can deduct. Other vehicle expenses include fuel, parking, tolls, maintenance, insurance, registration, etc. Other business expenses include meals, lodging, gifts, travel, and many others.

To maximize your tax deduction, you want to record all of your expenses. Even if you use the Standard Mileage Rates method rather than the Actual Expenses method, you still need to keep records of the tolls and parking fees, because they can be added in addition to mileage expenses. Please see IRS Topic 510 – Business Use of Car.

“Other car expenses for parking fees and tolls attributable to business use are separately deductible, whether you use the standard mileage rate or actual expenses.”

TripLog will help you to let you know how to track mileage for taxes. You can keep track of all vehicle and business expenses. It maximizes your tax deduction.

money-saving tips on taxes for uber lyft rideshare irs

Where Do I Keep My Expense Receipts?

You are required to keep proof of the expense items that you claim over $75 by the IRS (please see the detailed tax codes in IRS Publication 463 Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses Chapter 5. Recordkeeping). You can either keep physical receipts or you can keep them on a backup server, as the IRS recommends.

TripLog uploads all the receipt photos you take from the smartphone to secure cloud storage which allows you to keep them forever. As long as you have the TripLog generated reports or an active TripLog web account, you can retrieve those receipts.

I’m a Rideshare Driver for Uber/Lyft. How Does TripLog Help Me?

TripLog can run in the background on your device alongside other apps, keep track of mileage, and maintain IRS-compliant records helping you maximize your tax deductions.

If you are an Uber or Lyft driver, you operate your own business. You don’t have to register a company, but you operate as a sole proprietor. You report your income from Uber and Lyft and deduct vehicle mileage and other expenses on Form 1040 Schedule C.

Related: IRS Mileage Log Requirements for Tax Deductions & Reimbursements

All the topics covered above apply to you. Uber and Lyft do not provide IRS-compliant mileage logs. It’s up to you to keep the records and face a potential IRS audit.

The #1 Tax Tip: If You Drive Your Car for Work, You Need a Mileage Tracker.

Rest assured, TripLog will take care of all the tedious work of mileage tracking and record keeping. It runs in the background alongside the Uber and Lyft apps. It’s a perfect tool for rideshare drivers who want to maximize their tax deductions.

The best way to track mileage for your Uber/Lyft business is to add TripLog 2×2 widget to your Android home screen or TripLog widget on iOS Today notification. You would start tracking at the beginning of the day and stop tracking at the end of the day.

That will include the mileage you drive to the pick-up location and around the town without a passenger. Read our two previous blogs on rideshare tax tips here and here to help you navigate the tax season with or without smartphone apps to help you.

Get Started With TripLog Today

Beginning your TripLog journey is as simple as downloading our app on iOS or Android and starting your 14-day free trial. You can also schedule a complimentary live web demo to learn more about TripLog’s company mileage and mileage reimbursement features.

Things To Know To Get Ready for the 2020 IRS Standard Mileage Rate

IRS 2020 rate TripLog mileage tracking app

A key financial issue that bears close watching by many companies and their employees, as well as entrepreneurs, contractors, freelancers, and rideshare drivers, is the IRS standard mileage rate for 2020. Not yet published for the upcoming year, the annual mileage reimbursement rate helps organizations determine how best to reimburse their employees.

It also helps individuals determine what mileage rate to include when filing their taxes. The mileage reimbursement rate was never intended to be a reimbursement rate for companies, per se, by the IRS.

Instead, it was established to act as a cap for companies. In other words, any money paid to employees above this rate becomes taxable income for the employee. In order to avoid this from happening, employers can reimburse up to the rate per mile.

In 2019, the rate is 58 cents per mile. Sole proprietors can use that same rate when calculating expenses incurred when running a small business, including driving for Uber. To prepare for the 2020 reimbursement rate, those impacted should keep several things in mind.

The Rate Will Only Change Slightly

If one reviews the mileage reimbursement rates published by the IRS over the last ten years, it’s easy to see that there have been slight changes each year. Since the rate in 2010 was 50 cents and the rate in 2019 is 58 cents, it stands to reason that the 2020 rate would remain in the same ballpark as this year’s rate.

It’s also worth mentioning that the rate does not always increase. For example, the rate per mile decreased between 2013 to 2014 and then again between 2015 and 2017.

What is virtually certain is the rate will likely not be significantly different from this year’s rate. There are different rates for medical or moving purposes (20 cents per mile) and driving in service of charitable organizations (14 cents per mile).

These rates may change as well with the new 2020 standards. Until the IRS publishes those new rates, employers and sole proprietors can easily continue to use 2019 rates for your 2020 taxes without being totally off the mark.

Changes From Recent Tax Cuts

When the U.S. Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that went into effect in 2018, a major impact on employees and was a change to incurred business expenses. In other words, “tax payers can longer claim a miscellaneous itemized deduction for unreimbursed employee travel expenses,” according to the IRS.

While this does not impact sole proprietors, this is very meaningful for individuals whose employers do not have an expense reimbursement plan in place. This means employees can no longer deduct those miscellaneous expenses on their personal taxes but can still deduct mileage expense.

If an employer has not established such a plan for impacted staff, they should consider doing so, along with implementing a comprehensive mileage reimbursement plan. This could result in meaningful savings for both the employer and the employee.

It’s worth noting that employees are also no longer able to deduct moving expenses related to relocating for a job. It’s true that mileage expenses related to driving is still eligible (at 20 cents per mile) but nothing else is allowable. The exception includes members of the armed forces on active duty and moving to a permanent change of station under orders.

Other Ways To Reimburse Drivers

Some companies address reimbursing employees who drive with a comprehensive approach. The standard business mileage rate does not cover all expenses related to vehicle operations.

It is only an estimation. An alternative is to reimburse employees based on the actual costs associated with operating a vehicle.

There are many considerations if taking this approach, as costs can include everything from fuel, maintenance, insurance, payments and more. Although this method may be more beneficial for some companies, it does require a significant amount of math and paperwork.

Most companies choose the mileage reimbursement method because it’s much simpler for the employee and employer. Instead of tracking every expense from the auto repair shop, car wash and oil change facility, mileage expense is designed to reimburse for those costs.

Sole proprietors must make a decision to either deduct the expenses associated with operating their vehicle for business purposes or use the mileage deduction. They cannot use both.

Making Mileage Reimbursement Easier

Companies and sole proprietors are in business in order to attract customers, make sales and generate revenue. While responsibilities such as mileage tracking/reimbursements are important for tax purposes, it takes away valuable time and focuses away from the core activities of any organization.

Companies and individuals that streamline and automate this activity can spend more time generating revenue and less time doing paperwork. With the new IRS standard mileage rate to be published soon, companies, employees, independent contractors, and other impacted individuals should understand and prepare for its impact. 

The ideal way to handle mileage reimbursement is to use a company mileage tracking app like TripLog. Employees, entrepreneurs, independent contractors, freelancers, and rideshare drivers can conveniently track their mileage using our iOS and Android app.

Especially, during changes in regulatory rates, you can be sure to have TripLog’s mileage tracker app updated with the latest changes so you can plan ahead and stay compliant. In addition, automatic tracking and accurate logs will save time, minimize errors/fraud as well as make the process less cumbersome for everyone involved.

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What You Need To Know About Owner-Operator vs. Company Driver Taxes Right Now

triplog mileage tracking app for trucking business

Whether you operate a trucking business under your own authority or you lease from a trucking carrier, most expenses incurred while running your commercial trucking business are tax-deductible. Essentially, a tax deduction is referred to as work-related expenses that significantly reduce your reported annual income and therefore your tax liability.

As a driver who operates a commercial truck or has a trucking business, you incur a lot of expenses daily. In fact, the trucking business incurs unusually high and significant amounts of expenses compared to many other industries. That’s why the IRS offers several tax deductions for the industry that trucking business owners/operators should leverage.

Tax Deduction Requirements

Before you can be eligible to claim tax deductions as a truck driver, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that you must have a “tax home.” Your tax home is known as your regular place of business, or your usual starting point for your trips. If you do not have a regular place of business, then your tax home may be wherever you work.

This referred to as being an “itinerant”. Apart from that, you should also have an address that will be included in your tax return. Usually, this is the address where you will continuously receive your mail and updates on tax deductions. Particularly, this address could be the headquarters of your business and the development of your particular residence.

In short, you won’t be eligible for tax deductions on business and travel expenses if you do not have your “tax home.”

Filing Taxes for Company Drivers vs Owner Operator

The tax filing process is a little different for the two types of owner-operators: Self-employed vs independent contractors. If you’re an independent contractor driver, then you should get your 1099 issued by your client.

Owner-operators who self-drive use form 1040 which contains schedule C and that includes their business expenses and earnings. One can either use standard deductions or itemized deductions, whichever lowers taxable income most given you kept detailed records of your expenses.

However, if you have employee drivers, they should be enrolled in payroll and given a W-2 form. If you’re an owner-operator with independent contractors as drivers, you should issue a 1099 form to your drivers for filing taxes.

Tax Deductions for Truck Drivers

Here are a few of the common business expenses that truck drivers and owner-operators should consider while filing their tax deduction requests. However, you need to be extremely attentive to details and keep all the receipts of your expenses and other essential records throughout the years. This will be used as proof to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) officials when needed.

Travel Expenses

This aspect of tax deductions is specifically broad. Expenses incurred by a truck driver while working on the road are considered tax-deductible. Some of these include transportation to and from meals as well as lodging and other expenses.

It also extends to the cost incurred for postage of any required mailing that will be sent from the driver while on the road to the employer. In this category, toll booth payment, as well as truck parking costs, should also not be overlooked.

Usually, there are different ways to record these expenses. All you need to do is to check out the requirements of the IRS in your state for more information. On the other hand, if you have already designed a standard allowance method, you can then proceed with calculating your daily expenses while on the road such as meals, lodging, and incidental expenses allowance with the use of per diem rates set in the IRS Publication 1542.

Associations

As a truck driver or owner of a commercial trucking business, you are expected to be affiliated to a particular union or other collective trucking bodies. It may interest you to note that the dues required for being a member of these groups are entirely deductible. Apart from that, voluntary membership is also covered by tax deductions if the employee can be certified to assist in their chosen field.

Medical Exams

As with many other workers, truck drivers are also required to participate in a series of medical tests and examinations. Drivers that have been requested for medical examinations prior to employment are also eligible for deductions on the out-of-pocket money incurred. These deductions are regarded as business expenses and not medical expenses.

Truck Maintenance Costs

Do you know that most of the maintenance costs for your truck are tax-deductible? Regardless of whether you are on lease from the company or work as an employee or you own your truck, expenses that are associated with the maintenance and cleaning of the truck are deductible. Some of these things include oil changes, new tires, batteries, sponges, CB repairs, truck accessories and parts, cleaning supplies, and a host of other unplanned repairs.

Work-Related Fees

When it comes to obtaining and maintaining a commercial driver’s license, the costs incurred are tax-deductible. Further, the cost incurred for any class or training to proceed further in your education while still working as a truck driver are also generally deductible.

Other work-related fees include:

  • Drug testing fees
  • Driver license renewal fees
  • DOT physical exams
  • Sleep apnea study costs

Telephone and Internet Access

The Internal Revenue Services is well aware that mobile phones, as well as wireless internet laptops, are necessary for the smooth operation of many truck drivers. Apart from that, it is also widely believed that these tools are essential for personal use even while drivers are on the road.

This is why truck drivers are provided with the opportunity to deduct up to 50% of the cost of access fees. The entire costs incurred while purchasing mobile phones or laptops are also entirely deductible

Fuel

Truck drivers are allowed to deduct their out-of-pocket cost of fuel incurred during the course of daily operations. This will be reimbursed as long as it doesn’t exceed the threshold of $100. If you pay more than $100 out-of-pocket for business purposes, you can deduct some of the expense with the standard mileage rate.

Other Miscellaneous Fees

Uniforms, Office supplies, sleeper berth items, eye examinations, safety glasses, and many other miscellaneous items are all tax-deductible. For a thorough list of items that you can deduct in your work in trucking can be found here and here.

Additional Deductions for Owner-Operators

Truck owner-operators can use the standard per diem methods to claim tax deductions on expenses. However, it’s good to use the actual cost method and keep track of all expenses since owner/operators are allowed to deduct the additional cost.

As an owner-operator, you can deduct interest payments made on the loan for the truck purchase, any leasing fees and insurance premium payments for the truck. Owner-operators can also deduct the depreciation cost of there truck in a particular tax year that it was owned and used in your trucking business.

Claiming Your Truck Driving Deductions

In general, truck drivers must be aware of the specific rules for claiming deductions. It’s important to take note of changes to not miss out any tax deduction opportunity or avoid over-claiming deductions.

Every business indeed has its unique style of employment and tax situations and it’s no different for trucking. If there are further questions and concerns on the particular tax deduction that applies to your situation, you should not hesitate to seek financial advice from a tax professional around you.

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TripLog Partners With Fund Accounting Software for Nonprofits

Triplog Fund accounting MIP integration for triplog mileage tracking app

TripLog is continually responding to user needs & shifting market demands and innovating on new features. Our latest innovation strives to serve the different needs of associations and nonprofit organizations by building an integration to leading MIP fund accounting software.

The new integration will allow associations and nonprofit organizations to track, manage, and monitor mileage for their mobile salesforce via the TripLog smartphone app & cloud dashboard to seamlessly integrate that data into MIP Fund Accounting software.

“We are excited to partner with Community Brands in our efforts to extend more technology solutions to a broader base meeting the needs of associations, government, and nonprofit organizations. With a common goal of ensuring efficiency and productivity, we believe this partnership will provide additional synergies to our ecosystem of users” – TripLog Founder and CEO, Ted He.

If you’re interested to test it out, detailed getting started and setup instructions can be found here.

Triplog Integration with Abila MIP Fund Accounting software

About MIP Fund Accounting:

MIP Fund Accounting is a finance management and fund accounting solution designed to serve nonprofits and government agencies. The solution can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud, or be self-hosted.

About TripLog

TripLog apps are developed by Bizlog LLC, a web and mobile development company located in Seattle, WA, USA. Founded in 2011, BizLog specializes in providing mileage tracking and expense management solutions for small business and independent contractors. For more information, please visit: https://triplogmileage.com/

How to stay organized in the Canadian gig economy

TripLog Mileage tracking Canada gig economy

The Canadian Gig economy

The Canadian gig economy is growing at a phenomenal rate and it is an increasing trend in the Canadian employment scene. The gig economy is widely ranging from short- or long-term contracts from blue-collar industrial workers to highly skilled knowledge workforce like skilled IT and HR professionals.

According to Statistics Canada, temporary employment accounted for 20% of employment gains from 2016/2017 to 2017/2018. It is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the growth of temporary workers has outpaced permanent workers since 1998.

Rest assured, this is more of a rising tide than a passing wave. Globalization, changing consumer demands, and technological advancements have created spontaneous work opportunities that may not otherwise have existed.

Use the Right Tools

Various mobile phone apps like Handy and TaskRabbit allow providers and consumers to connect in real-time. The gig economy is not limited to apps alone; many companies are jumping on the bandwagon for work that does not create fixed employment.

TripLog’s mileage tracker app is another tool that can help gig economy workers in Canada. If you own a business with mobile employees, TripLog has company mileage options for you as well!

Benefits and Challenges

While the gig economy has its upsides such as more autonomy and control, extra income, a better balance of family vs work, or maybe a more accessible way to earn a living, it does have its fair share of downsides. For example, fluctuating income, lack of health/medical/employment benefits, retirement plans, etc.

Related: Mileage Reimbursement Explained

This makes it hard to plan for financial wellness and business success. This, in turn, takes away from the freedom, flexibility, and confidence that is a promise of the gig economy.

Overcoming Challenges

Given the inherent sense of insecurity and financial anxiety in the gig economy, there are ways to navigate these challenges. Of course, the gig economy in Canada cuts across generations and individual approaches will vary accordingly.

 Make a business plan

A business plan is basically a document that highlights what you will do to earn a living. Now that you own your work, it is important that you have a clear roadmap that outlines your expertise, services, products, clientele, marketing plan, fees, location, hours, and expenses.

This will help you plan ahead for your business growth & viability and minimize the risks associated with starting your own business.

Have a financial plan

In the gig economy, you’re most likely to have a variable income. Therefore, it’s imperative to plan your financials and savings in advance. Think about your work and personal goals and come up with a savings strategy.

Organize your transactions as personal vs work, get individual healthcare coverage, set up an emergency fund, and be prepared to be flexible with savings.

Stay organized

As a self-employed worker, you must report all your income to the appropriate tax authorities, and make your own Canada Pension Plan contributions. It pays to be organized, so keep detailed records of your income and expenses.

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

It is advisable to work with a tax professional to help you address your income tax situation and reporting requirements.

Build your personal/social capital

Studies in corporate settings have long demonstrated how important other people are to our careers. Surround yourself with like-minded people, seek out role models and peer groups in your community, collaborate on projects, and build each other up.

Routines might seem like boring bureaucracy but creating routines for personal development is important in cultivating the right energy level and enthusiasm for the more unpredictable work of the gig economy.

For example, incorporating personal care routines in terms of sleep, nutrition, exercise, and meditation brings back much-needed control and order in your life as a gig economy leader.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a gig economy leader or not, staying organized in your life and work is always a surefire strategy for success. But it is especially important when you’re your own boss and you’re accountable to yourself.

Stay on top of your game in by having a plan of action, staying organized, and building personal/social capital. These three strategies will help you succeed in this sometimes uncertain but highly rewarding career choice.

To learn more about how TripLog can help gig economy workers or anyone who uses or has employees who use their cars for work, schedule a complimentary live web demo or visit our pricing page to get started today.

The Healthcare Apps You Need To Know About

Triplog mileage tracking app healthcare apps

Advancements in mobile technologies and innovative digital solutions incorporating AI, machine learning, and big data are disrupting the healthcare market and present a great opportunity for market players to create more personalized value and interactive state-of-the-art user experiences, helping individuals better manage their health and well-being in real-time and play an invaluable role in the healthcare process.

In today’s blog post, we will discuss a few mobile technologies under our radar that we believe are addressing the frustrations of the healthcare journey of individuals around the globe by making healthcare more personal and transparent.

These smartphone apps are equally empowering patients and providers by giving them the tools they need to improve communication and conversations, transparency, and efficiency in the health industry.

Some Fast Facts Before We Dive In

  • Health-related mobile applications available to consumers now surpass 318,000 — nearly double the number available just two years ago.
  • The global mHealth app market is projected to be valued at US$102.35 billion by 2023.
  • According to a FICO Global survey, the majority of healthcare consumers (80 percent) prefer to use their smartphones more to interact with healthcare providers. 56 percent of people worldwide trust health care organizations with personal data.

Related: Medical Mileage Deduction: Everything You Need To Know

Main Benefits and Types of Healthcare Apps

There are a plethora of benefits for both patients and medical workers. A few notable ones are:

  1. Save time
  2. Improve transparency & communication
  3. Streamline medical processes

Even though there are numerous healthcare applications, there are roughly five main categories, such as:

Clinical Data

Clinical assistant apps are meant for medical practitioners. These applications store medical data electronically and all in one place, allowing you to easily access them whenever you need.

Digital charts, as well as digital health metrics and records,  are more easily accessible by patients and provide more clarity as to the patient’s history and medical journey.

In most cases, doctors and practitioners would need to go to the clinic or a hospital and collect the charts and data ‘by hand’. The trip itself consumes a lot of time, and it’s quite easy to imagine a situation that a chart or two are missing.

Related: Home Care Mileage Reimbursement – Why Companies Should Care

In such a scenario, valuable time is lost which could’ve been used to help more patients. This clarity is crucial for patients and doctors for timely and effective decision-making regarding the patient’s medical journey.

Virtual Monitoring & Care

Certain healthcare apps allow you to monitor your patients from a remote location, and one of the main reasons why this is achievable through a digital app is because certain situations don’t require the physical presence of a doctor and/or medical staff. Patients can easily remain at home while still being supervised and connected to their doctor, while doctors can monitor progress more efficiently.

healthcare app mychart home healthcare

Medical Reference

Apps such as mHealth (mobile health) fall under the category called ‘Professional reference tools’. Again, one of the main benefits of such healthcare apps is that they replace physical reference guides, making them less susceptible to human error and more easily accessible. Professional reference tools feature the International Statistical Categorization of various diseases and a myriad of health problems.

Productivity

Productivity and efficiency are two of the most important aspects of any line of work, medicine in particular. The more productive the doctor is, the more patients he (or she) will be able to assist.

Basically, this type of application aims to improve digital charting, internal communication, remote dictation, scheduling, and plenty of medical and non-medical related issues and tasks.

An example of a ‘Productivity’-type app is TripLog’s automatic mileage tracker. Shameless plug but it’s important to note that TripLog is not only for real estate agents and bookkeepers, but one of TripLog’s largest enterprise customers is a healthcare organization. TripLog has designs and functionalities built-in specifically for healthcare providers.

Related: Mileage Reimbursement Explained

For example, automatic mileage tracking & reimbursement, fleet tracking, and other TripLog features applicable to healthcare organizations are HIPAA compliant so providers can automate and streamline their internal processes without worrying about regulatory restrictions.

Personal Health and Healthcare Services

These apps are built keeping both consumers (patients) as well as medical service providers in mind. From a provider’s perspective, mobile apps build patient engagement and help with ensuring more personalized service.

From a patient’s perspective, it’s much easier to do quick searches and compare the services available. In addition, according to a FICO Global Survey, almost two-thirds of smartphone users want to receive medical advice through digital channels instead of visiting a doctor. In addition, 71 percent of smartphone users are open to offers of relevant healthcare services from businesses, and 53 percent are open to provider-initiated communications.

Final Words

For medical service providers, even though the healthcare industry is highly regulated, data security and privacy are especially critical, and consumers are required to opt in, given the benefits of mobile apps in the healthcare industry, these do not seem to be an impediment to adoption.

Similarly, for patients, the improved clarity, accessibility to doctors and reports, and overall more control over their medical decisions and journey far outweigh the addition of yet another app on their smartphones. At TripLog, we agree that the disruption in the healthcare industry via smartphone applications is much needed and a welcome change.

Related: Medical Mileage Deduction: Everything You Need To Know

Using a company mileage tracker like TripLog can be a great way for healthcare companies to save money. To learn more, visit our pricing page, or schedule a complimentary live web demo today.

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How to plan for successful change management initiatives

Triplog mileage tracking app plan for change in organization

Organizational changes are becoming more routine, especially in today’s world, where consumer preferences and trends change faster than ever before. However, according to a survey by Mckinsey & Company, only 70% of change management initiatives within an organization fail.

Today’s post is dedicated to planning a change within your organization that beats the statistic. We also explore why it’s essential to internalize change and turn it into a continuous process and a mindset, reducing the reaction time for market movements and new opportunities.

Need for change

Change management must begin with careful and objective assessment. The reason for the change must not be to relieve the symptoms of the root cause but the cause itself. To ensure that, there must be a thorough analysis of past and current performance and determine if things should stay the same or change.

Related: 3 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs An Accountant

If you decide that a particular outcome need to change, be it profitability or employee turnover, for example, you need to objectively look at what causes the outcome and how that maybe be changed to get to your desired state.

The crucial bit at this stage is to look at it objectively. This can be accomplished, for example, by getting direct feedback from at least two layers of your organization (if applicable). Be prepared for unseen changes according to feedback and have a proactive mindset to acknowledge the need for change.

Planning

Once the need for change is identified objectively, the next phase is obviously planning. Now in our mind, there are two types of planning, one for efficiency and one for implementation success. According to this survey, only about 30% of all change management initiatives are successful. There are many reasons that we will get into, but a lot of it has to do with planning.

Planning for efficiency

Planning for efficiency comes very naturally to business owners which include the following:

  • Budgeting & Allocating Resources: The process of planning should begin with budgeting and approving resources needed for the change management initiative.
  • Leadership Commitment: Identifying the strategic leaders committed to the initiative and creating a “Change” team of the most enthusiastic supporters of change.
  • Objectives & timeline: Set clear objectives of the change and the timeframe for the project
  • Success metrics and communication: Quantify the success criteria and set clear KPI indicators to monitor progress. Share progress updates with every employee.

Any savvy business leader/manager is well versed on the need for planning for efficiency. By studying the 30% of companies that succeed, Mckinsey & Company have identified a few practices that contribute to change success. To us they are gold and we labeled them as planning but not for efficiency rather implementation success must-haves.

Planning for implementation success

  • Help employees understand why the change is happening (why it’s important)

In one survey of more than half a million US employees, almost one-third don’t understand why change happens within a company. This is detrimental to the successful implementation of any change management initiative.

Most leaders assume that their employees understand and support any change initiative taken on by them. It is crucial that the ones who will actually drive the implementation are knowledgeable and invested in the initiative.

  • Communicate purpose and vision through storytelling

In order to explain the reasoning behind any change initiative and to drive commitment, Leaders need to inspire their employees with a vision and a clear path to success. This can only be achieved by articulating the “big picture” by coming up with a narrative for why this change is important and how it will benefit the company, its employees, and its customers. Change events can be unstable, stressful, and risky and storytelling is an extremely effective tool to drive commitment in those situations.

  • Empower leaders and managers to lead through change

Any major change initiatives involve a significant change in certain behavior and skillsets of employees. To drive engagement and commitment among employees, it is crucial that leaders show the commitment by modeling the behavior changes and skills training for the entire team. One way to do this is to conduct training for managers driving change initiatives in their individual teams

  • Give employees ownership

We talked about driving engagement and commitment by employees in the change initiative. The best way to go about it is to give ownership to them. Ask your employees for feedback and incorporate them in the change activities, making them own the change themselves.

  • Leverage digital

The steps mentioned above can be made so much more personal and effective digital tools are leveraged. Digital tools can be used when implementing a new system by providing timely and personalized information to individual team members.

Related: Mileage Reimbursement Explained

Personalizing the task increases commitment and drive and the individual is likely to own the implementation armed with such personal insights. Shared dashboards, visualizations, and “gamification” tools and online forums can create a sense of community around the change implementation, thereby increasing engagement and commitment.

Think of various ways you can leverage digital tools to make this journey more personal and relevant for your team members to maximize ownership and commitment.

Conclusion

We repeat only ~30% of change management initiatives are successful. The 70% who are not succeeding yet at implementation does so for incomplete planning and by focusing more on project management and not people management.

It’s important to remember that the success of any change event depends more on the people. Focusing more on them rather than the project is crucial.

So hopefully, for your next change initiative, you will think about how you can inspire, inform, empower and engage your most effective driver in the change management initiative – the people in your organization.

A great thing for any business to do is implement modern tools like mileage tracker apps. The best one on the market is TripLog! To learn more about how TripLog can help your business, schedule a complimentary live web demo or visit our pricing page to get started today.

 

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How to decide on the right technology for your commercial real estate business

Triplog mileage tracking app commercial real estate technology

With the universal growth and adoption of technology platforms powering marketing and business functions, the positive impact of technology stack on companies’ bottom line are being validated across industries and businesses, old and new, small and large. A well-integrated technology suite of applications can add significant value-add opportunities and streamline information flow for better planning and decision making.

The real estate technology stack is taking shape and more owners, managers, lenders, and brokers are adopting these platforms for marketing, sales, project management, and other core business functions. Today we explore a few platforms that we believe are must-haves for commercial real estate agents.

Placester – (IDX Website Builder)

Placester is a web-builder platform that sports quite a level of versatility. It’s designed for agents, brokers, and marketing admins to promote and expand their brand, and acquire and build upon leads.

Basic packages offer IDX integration and basic property search functions. The Agent/Broker pro packages offer substantially more (advanced searches, customizable templates, content libraries, drip-email campaigns, etc.).

FreshChat – (Chat software for your website)

FreshChat utilizes AI technology to gather basic information and generate leads from website visits. In addition, it routes common queries and provides basic customer support as well.

This time-saving software can help real estate agents be more productive and build a better pipeline. The basic version is free and has great reviews.

Matterport (3D Virtual Tours)

Matterport lets you ‘manufacture’ 3D walkthrough tours with ease. It shortens the time to show your clients interesting locations, especially for relocation clients. You might find this software to be a little too technical but make sure it’s utilized by any photographers and videographers you hire for your listings.

Structurely (AI-based lead qualification)

Structurely is an AI-based application that qualifies leads. It’s basically an application which uses a chatbot to differentiate leads from casual visitors, leaving you with, perhaps a smaller number of high-quality leads. The chatbot does basic scheduling functions as well.

Slack (Team communication)

Slack is a great communication tool for all types of business. At TripLog we love using slack with separate channels for support and marketing.

Slack is a very useful tool for real estate agents too. Not surprisingly, spotty communication between home sellers and their agents are common such as missed calls, lost documents, buried emails, etc.

Real agents can invite sellers to become part of the team in a dedicated channel. Agents can share documents over slack and the whole team can work better in answering questions, offering instant updates about buyer interest and being more responsive in general.

Overall, the app is simple to use, very personalized and facilitates a smooth experience so that customers won’t mind using “yet another app”. Nevertheless, Slack desktop version is just as convenient to use.

Brokermint (Commission tracking and back office management)

If you’re a real estate company with more than one agent, managing commission, payments, and onboarding can be cumbersome and take time away from the actual business. Broker mint allows agents and brokers alike to easily manage payments and other back-office details.

Some feature highlights include signature capabilities, built-in state forms, agent statements, report templates, agent onboarding, commission tracking as well as QuickBooks and other business app integration. This software helps managers to easily organize and centralize while maximizing productivity.

HouseCanary (Valuation)

House Canary is a versatile real-estate valuation application which allows agents to make value reports and evaluate risks with pinpoint precision. You will be able to easily analyze various housing cycles or demographic patterns, giving you a clear edge on the market.

Some of the main benefits it offers are easy to use the platform, high reporting accuracy, and customization. The risk evaluation feature makes it very useful for real estate agents.

Hootsuite (Social media marketing & management dashboard)

Hootsuite is an all-in-one social media management tool used to manage multiple social profiles and networks. They have a few different plans depending on the number of networks and/or team members.

Scheduling post in advance, curating social content, and accessing analytics for campaign success is very easy and intuitive to use. Real estate is competitive and it’s imperative to know how to find and attract potential clients.

Potential clients are now online, and social media is now an important resource for marketing and business. Because of our own experience with the platform at TripLog, we vouch for this solution. They have a case study for realtors. You can check it out here, if interested.

TripLog (Business Expense & Mileage Tracker)

Using a mileage tracker app is important for real estate agents for tax deductions. According to a study conducted by NAR (National Association of Realtors), real estate agents drive more than 10,000 miles annually and can easily rack up more than $5450 of savings each tax season. This is because, according to the latest IRS publication, every mile you drive for your real estate business is worth 58.5 cents.

Another tax savings for realtors are business expenses. Many business expenses are tax-deductible including commissions paid to agents and other employees, desk fees, education & training expenses, licenses, memberships, insurance, etc.

TripLog’s innovative auto-start features are the perfect solution for busy realtors on the go. They will track even the shortest trips to help you maximize your tax deductions. Some notable features that make it very competitive in the market for real estate mileage tracking are:

  1. Six different automatic mileage tracking options.
  2. Flexible plans for real estate businesses of different sizes.
  3. Better integration to Accounting software with the ability to create expenses directly from the dashboard.
  4. Real-time update of tax savings and a calculator for planning purposes.
  5. Completely IRS compliant tracking and reporting.

In addition, TripLog also has built-in bank integration connecting your business accounts and credit cards. You can keep track of all business expenses and upload tax-deductible expenses directly from your TripLog web dashboard to QuickBooks through its seamless integration.

For any business looking for a company mileage tracking solution for tracking or mileage reimbursement, TripLog is an absolute must. Visit our pricing page or schedule a complimentary live web demo to learn more.

So, there you have it, the must-have tech tools for real estate agents. We vouch for some of these tools as they have helped our own business and made us so much more productive. Let us know what you think.

 

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