2013 IRS Mileage Rate for Tax Deductions

December 22nd, 2012

2013 IRS Mileage Rates

The IRS released their updated mileage rates for 2013 late in December 2012.

2013 IRS Mileage Rates are used to determine how much of a deduction you get for miles driven for business, charity, moving, or medical reasons.  These miles can really add up for the average business person that spends time on the road, and shouldn’t be neglected for the average Joe either.  No one wants to pay Uncle Sam more than they need to!

Each year the IRS computes a value for standard mileage based on the costs they expect a driver to incur during the average mile driven.

These rates take effect on January 1, 2013 for all cars, light trucks, and vans.

 

DeductionClassification
14 cents per mileCharity
24 cents per mileMoving
24 cents per mileMedical
56.5 cents per mileBusiness Mileage

As a taxpayers you can choose between calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle or using the standard mileage rates.

Make sure to set a reminder to start documenting your mileage with the new rate starting on January 1st!

 

 2013 IRS Mileage Rate for Tax Deductions

 

IRS Press Release for 2013 Standard Mileage Rate
Analysis of How Much Money Are You Loosing Not Keeping Track of Your Business Mileage

2012 IRS Standard Mileage Deduction

December 19th, 2011

 

The IRS released their updated mileage rates for 2012 on December 9th, 2012.

Standard mileage rates are used to determine how much of a deduction you get for miles driven for business, charity, moving, or medical reasons.  These miles can really add up for the average business person that spends time on the road, and shouldn’t be neglected for the average Joe either.  No one wants to pay Uncle Sam more than they need to!

Each year the IRS computes a value for standard mileage based on the costs they expect a driver to incur during the average mile driven.

These rates take effect on January 1, 2012 for all cars, light trucks, and vans.

 

DeductionClassification
14 cents per mileCharity
19 cents per mileMoving
19 cents per mileMedical
51 cents per mileBusiness Mileage

As a taxpayer, you can choose between calculating the actual costs of using your vehicle or using the standard mileage rates.


 2012 IRS Standard Mileage Deduction

 

IRS Press Release for 2012 Standard Mileage Rate
Revenue Procedure 2010-51 contains additional details regarding the standard mileage rates.
Analysis of How Much Money Are You Loosing Not Keeping Track of Your Business Mileage

IRS Mileage Rate Increases by 4.5 cents per mile

June 24th, 2011

tax Help thumb IRS Mileage Rate Increases by 4.5 cents per mile

Today, June 23, 2011, the IRS made a surprise adjustment for business mileage deductions starting on July 1st, 2011.  This change has bumped the the rate (effective July 1) to $0.55 per mile.  Normally, the IRS make adjustments in the fall for the following tax year.

Current IRS Standard Mileage Rates:

Here are the current rates (as of June 23 2011):

Purpose

Rates 1/1 – 6/30/11

Rates 7/1 to 12/31/11

Business

51

55.5

Medical & Moving

19

23.5

Charitable

14

14

"This year’s increased gas prices are having a major impact on individual Americans. The IRS is adjusting the standard mileage rates to better reflect the recent increase in gas prices," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. "We are taking this step so the reimbursement rate will be fair to taxpayers."

 IRS Mileage Rate Increases by 4.5 cents per mile

sources:
IRS.gov
IRS Optional Standard Mileage Rates

How to get the most of real estate agent tax deductions for mileage

June 8th, 2011

tax Help thumb How to get the most of real estate agent tax deductions for mileageIn the world of real estate, travel is paramount. According to Carole Liszak, an Indianapolis realtor of over 25 years service, “If you’re not on the road, you’re not making money.” Unfortunately, time spent on the road can become costly for the realtor that fails to successfully claim real estate agent tax deductions.

The government currently offers real estate agents a tax deduction at a rate of $0.51 for every business-related mile traveled. Unfortunately, many realtors fail to successfully maximize these real estate agent tax deductions due to gaping holes and inaccuracies in their records. This is because balancing clients and travel while keeping accurate logs of business mileage is a near impossibility.

A Better Way

In 2002, CarCheckup introduced a new device capable of providing drivers with detailed trip information including driving style, miles traveled, and codes for vehicle engine lights. Almost 10 years later, realtors just like Carole Liszak are using CarCheckup to maximize their mileage-related real estate agent tax deductions.

“Before CarCheckup I had to keep all my receipts and hand-write my business mile logs, which is a tedious task that’s easy to neglect,” Liszak offered. “CarCheckup makes mileage tracking as simple as plugging the device in once a week…It couldn’t be simpler!”

RealEstateCaseStudy How to get the most of real estate agent tax deductions for mileage

How it Works

Unlike heavy paper logs, the CarCheckup device is small, easy to carry, and doesn’t require any more space than a cell-phone. It’s ready to use straight out of the box and simply plugs into the diagnostic port of any vehicle built since 1996. Once connected, CarCheckup logs the intricate details of every trip a realtor makes. To access the information CarCheckup logs, realtors have simply to connect the device to an Internet-capable PC using the self-contained USB arm of the CarCheckup device. No discs or cables are necessary. All information is available to realtors via their online CarCheckup account.

Maximizing Real Estate Agent Tax Deductions for Mileage

With CarCheckup, realtors can focus on the business of their clients, knowing that CarCheckup is tracking all business-related mileage with the accuracy and detail necessary to maximize mileage-related real estate agent tax deductions.Consider the benefits:

  • - Accurate and tangible records of exact time, date, and mileage of every business trip.
  • - Designated categories to better organize trip data for real estate agent tax deductions.
  • - The ability to add greater detail to CarCheckup’s already accurate information, increasing the odds of successfully claiming real estate agent tax deductions.
  • - Information is customizable allowing realtors to accurately provide the information most relevant to claiming real estate agent tax deductions.
  • - Printable reports that are also available for direct download into the Microsoft Excel program.

Maximum Efficiency

Thanks to CarCheckup, realtors no longer have to choose between focusing attention on clients and shortchanging themselves in terms of mileage-related real estate agent tax deductions. As a result, a burden is lifted from agents, clients are better served, and mileage-related real estate agent tax deductions are maximized thanks to CarCheckup’s accurate record keeping capabilities. As Indianapolis realtor Carole Liszak would tell you, CarCheckup “improves the bottom line of your business.”

RealtorTrackMileageBlog How to get the most of real estate agent tax deductions for mileage

7 steps to maximizing realtor tax deductions for mileage

May 28th, 2011

TaxDeductions thumb 7 steps to maximizing realtor tax deductions for mileageOne of the most time consuming parts of a realtor’s day is the travel. For every mile a realtor travels on behalf clients, the expenses quickly add up. Fortunately, the government offers realtor’s tax deductions for mileage to help offset what would be an otherwise enormous expense.

Claiming realtor tax deductions, however, is another matter entirely. Realtors must keep logs detailing the purpose of every business trip and every mile traveled. Thus, realtors end up carting around heavy paper logs in hopes of finding a spare moment to jot down the minutiae of the travel day. With so much riding on that information, there has to be a better way.

Step Out of the Dark Ages

This is the age of information. With technology evolving faster every day, it doesn’t make sense to hold on to an outdated system of record keeping. To maximize realtor tax deductions for mileage, realtors must embrace the future.

That’s where CarCheckup comes in. Founded in 2002, CarCheckup set out to design a product that would enlighten drivers by providing a snapshot of their driving habits while tracking mileage and unraveling the mystery of the vehicle engine light. In doing just that, CarCheckup also designed the perfect tool for maximizing realtor tax deductions.

RealEstateCaseStudy2 7 steps to maximizing realtor tax deductions for mileage

7 Steps to Maximizing Realtor Tax Deductions for Mileage

  1. To maximize realtor tax deductions, realtors must embrace the information age and replace outdated paper logs with the convenience and accuracy of CarCheckup. The cell-phone-sized device plugs easily into the on-board diagnostic port of vehicles manufactured from 1996 to present day.
  2. Once the device is plugged in, all the realtor has to do is simply enjoy the drive. With CarCheckup tracking everything from mph to the exact date, time, and mileage of the trip, realtors no longer have to worry about inaccuracies in their mileage logs due to guesswork or error.
  3. When the ride is over, realtors have only to plug the CarCheckup device into an Internet-ready computer using the self-contained USB arm. No cables or discs are necessary.
  4. Realtors can gather all of their travel information in one place by creating a personal CarCheckup online account.
  5. Using their online account, realtors can provide a detailed account of business-related mileage by outlining the specifics of each trip and assigning them to the designated business category. This increases the chances successfully claiming realtor tax deductions.
  6. Once the information is finalized, realtors can customize their report to reflect only that information relevant to mileage-related realtor tax deductions. This information is available for printing or download into Microsoft Excel.
  7. By using CarCheckup to track, detail, customize, and print their mileage report, realtors can file a significantly more accurate claim for realtor tax deductions and maximize potential returns.

Why Fight Progress?

Realtors nationwide are already reaping the benefits of CarCheckup. According to Indianapolis realtor Carole Liszak, the device “paid for itself within the first month” thanks to realtor tax deductions. With CarCheckup, realtors finally have a simple, worry-free way of accurately recording business-related mileage and maximizing potential returns on realtor tax deductions.

RealtorTrackMileageBlog 7 steps to maximizing realtor tax deductions for mileage

Sick of paperwork for business mileage reporting, see one realtor’s solution

May 25th, 2011

mileagetracking thumb Sick of paperwork for business mileage reporting, see one realtors solution

For the average real estate agent, travel is a way of life. Just ask Carole Liszak, an Indianapolis realtor of more than 25 years. “I’ve been in the real estate business for a long time, and if you’re not on the road, you’re not making money,” Liszak admitted.

While travel is a necessary evil for realtors hoping find the perfect home for his or her client, it brings with it some rather hefty expenses. Luckily for the real estate industry, the IRS provides 51 cents on the mile for approved business travel deductions.

Business Travel Deductions

Of course, to maximize the potential of business travel deductions, realtors must keep accurate records of business-related mileage. This traditionally means dragging around heavy paper logs and trying to fill in travel information whenever the opportunity presents itself. Unfortunately, this often leads to realtors and agents neglecting other important duties for fear of missing out on business travel deductions. No matter how an agent chooses to deal with the task, keeping track of business travel deductions tends to consume time the agent really doesn’t have.

Carole Liszak was all too familiar with this situation. “I had to keep all my receipts and hand-write my business mileage logs, which is a tedious task that’s easy to neglect.” Sick of the paperwork, Carole Liszak sought a solution. That’s when she discovered CarCheckup.

RealEstateCaseStudy1 Sick of paperwork for business mileage reporting, see one realtors solution

CarCheckup

A device designed to record diagnostic information, CarCheckup plugs directly into the diagnostic port of vehicles produced from 1996 forward. Being the size of a cell-phone, CarCheckup offers a small, easy to use alternative to hauling around heavy paper logs. As CarCheckup records everything a realtor could need in terms of business travel deductions, agents no longer have to worry about finding the time to log mileage, which means realtors like Carole Liszak can once again focus on the needs of their clients. “CarCheckup makes mileage tracking as simple as plugging the device in once a week and letting it stay in the diagnostic port. It couldn’t be simpler!”

Everything a Realtor Needs for Business Travel Deductions

Recording everything from the exact date and time of the trip to the total miles traveled, CarCheckup provides everything a realtor needs for business travel deductions. To access the information, realtors can use CarCheckup’s built-in USB arm to connect to an Internet-ready personal computer. Then, using CarCheckup’s personalized online accounts, realtors can view all of their diagnostic information in one place.

Using the CarCheckup system for business travel deductions has several benefits:

1.  By eliminating the potential for human error, CarCheckup provides a level of accuracy that could not be obtained with traditional paper logs.

2.  Information is customizable. Trips can be designated to a business category and additional information can be provided in the notes section of each trip.

3.  Agents have the option of printing only that information which is relevant to claiming business travel deductions.

In addition to maximizing business travel deductions, CarCheckup “pays for itself,” according to Carole Liszak, “and improves the bottom line of your business.”

RealtorTrackMileageBlog Sick of paperwork for business mileage reporting, see one realtors solution

Maximizing Tax Deductions for Realtors Business Mileage

May 24th, 2011

forsalesign thumb Maximizing Tax Deductions for Realtors Business MileageTravel is a huge yet often overlooked aspect of the real estate business. Constantly in motion, realtors seem to be on the road more often than not, as their clients’ needs take them from property to property, mile after mile. Luckily for the real estate agent tax deductions on business mileage help to offset what can be a tremendous expense.

Ironically, for the average real estate agent tax deductions can be a double-edged sword. While these real estate agent tax deductions are appreciated, the amount of time and effort involved in accurately logging mileage can be overwhelming. As a result, realtors find themselves caught in the midst of a balancing act that requires logging mileage without sacrificing huge chunks of time better spent serving their clients.

Enter CarCheckup

Founded in 2002, CarCheckup designed a product intended to empower drivers with insight into their driving habits while solving the age-old mystery of the ever-flashing engine light. In doing so, they also provided time-juggling, mile-counting realtors with an easy to use method of logging the detailed information required to successfully file for real estate agent tax deductions.

Ready to use straight out of the box, CarCheckup plugs directly into the on-board diagnostic port of any vehicle manufactured since 1996. Being the size of  a cell phone, CarCheckup takes up little space and requires no cumbersome cables or discs for operation. Once an agent is ready to view the information
CarCheckup has logged, they can simply plug the device into an Internet-capable PC using CarCheckup’s self-contained USB arm. Realtors can then log into their personal CarCheckup online account for an all-inclusive
view of their detailed travel information.

Real Estate Agent Tax Deductions

Can CarCheckup really log all of the information necessary to successfully file for real estate agent tax deductions? Yes. In fact, the information CarCheckup provides is much more accurate, as it eliminates the potential for oversight and guesswork. Consider the ways CarCheckup can assist realtors in claiming real estate agent tax deductions.

CarCheckup logs the exact date, time and total distance of each trip.  A designated business category can be assigned.  A more detailed account of each business-related trip can be entered to improve the chances of successfully claiming real estate agent tax deductions. Reports may be customized to include only that information pertaining to real estate agent tax deductions. Reports can be printed or download to Microsoft  Excel.

Improved Bottom Line

With CarCheckup, realtors can stop wasting time and start focusing on the business of their valued customers. In addition, the accuracy of CarCheckup allows realtors to maximize real estate agent tax deductions and earn more money over the long-term. For those realtors who have used CarCheckup, the results speak for themselves.  “Before CarCheckup I had to keep all my receipts and hand-write my business mileage logs, which is a tedious task that’s easy to neglect,”  says Carole Liszak, an Indianapolis Realtor of 25 years.  “CarCheckup is an investment that pays for itself in no time and improves the bottom line of your business.”

RealtorTrackMileageBlog Maximizing Tax Deductions for Realtors Business Mileage

Image: ‘>’>jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

4 Best Car Tips to Save Money On Gas

May 6th, 2011

Gas prices getting you down?  CarCheckup has gathered the five best bets that you can use today to lower your fuel consumption.

fillingGas thumb 4 Best Car Tips to Save Money On Gas

1.  55 mph instead of 65 mph saves you 15% on fuel 

Each make/model/year of car has it’s own fuel efficiency numbers. A full size SUV will have lower fuel economy than a new small sedan. The math still holds though:  dropping 15% of your fuel economy can make a big difference to your weekly fuel cost. 

Assuming a cost per gallon of $4.00 per gallon, that extra 10mph is costing you $0.60 per gallon.  If your gas tank is a 15 gallon tank then you’re spending an extra $9 per fill up on average. 

Time is money and there just aren’t enough hours in a day, but let’s use an example to see what the actual impact of that extra speed buys you. 

Let’s assume your car gets 30 miles per gallon on the highway at the posted speed limit of 55.  You need to make the trip from Indianapolis to Chicago,about 165 miles one way, for a client meeting.

Average SpeedDrive TimeFuel EconomyCost of Fuel ($4/gal)Time Savings compared to 55 MPHExtra Fuel Cost
55180 minutes30 mpg$22.00
65150 minutes25.5 mpg$26.4030 minutes$4.40
75132 minutes20 mpg$33.0048 minutes$11.00

Save even more money by tracking your business mileage!  Round trip, at the 2011 IRS business mileage deduction rate of .51/mile, will give you a cool $168.30 mileage deduction come tax time.  (Need a simple business mileage tracking solution? See if CarCheckup.com is right for you)

Fun Fact:  The average cost for a speeding ticket is $150 in the US. If you get caught speeding that will increase your trip cost as well!

2.  Rapid Acceleration/breaking can drop mileage by up to 33%

Aggressive driving (hard acceleration, hard breaking, and excess speed) can drop your mileage my up to 33%! That’s like choosing to spend an extra $1.49 per gallon by hammering the gas after each stoplight turns green and stopping aggressively slamming the breaks when you approach a stoplight.  Simply adjusting driver performance by accelerating slowly and coasting towards a light can make a huge impact on your fuel economy.   

3.  Clean out your trunk!  Every extra 100 pounds reduces your fuel economy by 2%

You don’t have 100 pounds of junk in your trunk, right? 

Do you put bags of sand or salt in your trunk to help with winter traction?  Are you still lugging it around with you now?  That could be well over 100 pounds by itself!

Now that we’ve taken care of that: What else do you have in there that you really don’t need to carry?

4.  At Idle you get ZERO miles per gallon

The average passenger sedan burns car at idle burns approximately one gallon of gas per hour of idling.

It may not seem like a lot, but it really adds up!.  Let’s take a look:

Daily Idle TimeGallons Per DayCost Per Day (@$4.50/GalGallons Per MonthCost Per Month (@$4.50/GalGallons Per YearCost Per Year(@$4.50/Gal
15 min.25$15$2360$270
30 min.5$210$45120$540
45 min.75$315$68180$810
60 min1$520$90240$1,080
120 min2$940$180360$2,160

As you can see, even small changes in driver behavior can have a huge impact on fuel spend over the course of a year.  One of the best ways to increase fuel economy is to reduce idle time.

5.  If you’re check engine light is on, find out why and fix it!

Did you know that a bad O2 sensor can reduce your fuel economy by up to 40%?  Or that a  failed gas cap seal can cost you 5% of your fuel economy?  The EPA originally mandated the use of OBDII technology to aid in monitoring emissions related systems.  If you’re check engine light is on there is a solid chance that your gas mileage is being impacted. These two check engine light codes are among the most popular seen in the CarCheckup system.

CarCheckup.com can help you find these issues as well make tracking driver performance and business mileage for you or your fleet painless.

 

SaveMoneOnGas 4 Best Car Tips to Save Money On Gas

 

Sources:
EPA Fuel Tips –
http://www.epa.gov/oms/consumer/17-tips.pdf
Fuel Econ.gov- Improving Driving Habits – http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/drivehabits.shtml
Infographic on Speeding Tickets-http://www.theautoinsurance.com/how-much-is-that-speeding-ticket-really-worth_2010-05-18/
Argon Laboratory -  http://www.transportation.anl.gov/pdfs/TA/361.pdf

California Teen Driving Safety Week

March 13th, 2011

 

TeenDrivingContractButton California Teen Driving Safety Week

March 7th – March 11, 2011 is California Teen Driving Safety Week!

In honor of California Teen Driving Safety Week we thought it would be a great time to share with you recent statistics from ImpactTeenDrivers.org…the organization behind the teen driving safety materials used in California Schools.

FACT #1 –
In the National Young Driver Survey 20 percent of 11th grade drivers reported at least one crash over the past year, while nearly 3 percent experienced two or more crashes.

FACT #2 –
Crashes are more common among young drivers than any other age group. In the United States, 1 in 4 crash fatalities involve someone 16 to 24 years old, nearly twice as high as other age groups.

FACT #3 –
The fatality rate for drivers ages 16 to 19, based on miles driven, is four times higher than for drivers ages 25 to 69.

These statistics are alarming, to say the least.  As parents our best weapons in the battle of teen driving safety are awareness and education.

Parents need to establish clear rules and expectations with their teen driver and ensure that they understand that those will be enforced.  One great way to to make sure everyone is on the same page is with the use of a teen driving contract.

Download CarCheckup’s free teen driving contract to get you started

3 Metrics to Save Fleets Money

January 26th, 2011

Good news for small fleet owners:  Monitoring three simple metrics for your fleets can lead to significant dollars saved on fuel.

There are many, many, many factors that contribute to fuel economy of the cars we drive everyday.  Everything from how much load the car has to how warm it is outside can have an impact on fuel economy.  How do you know what to focus on, and what not to when it comes to trying to reduce your fuel costs?

While you could spend time trying to decide which factors were under your drivers control, and of the ones that we’re, which ones would have the most impact…we’ve done the hard work for you.

We’ve found that by monitoring just THREE metrics can have a significant impact of your fuel expense:
*Aggressive driving
*Time at idle
*Average speed

Let’s take a look at each of these, why you want to monitor them, and how big of an impact it can have on your fleet’s operating expenses.

Aggressive Driving

4292628703 5bbfea9308 b thumb 3 Metrics to Save Fleets MoneyAggressive driving is a large contributor to reduction in fuel economy.  While the term aggressive driving is a a very broad term covering everything from hard acceleration and hard breaking as well as behaviors like quick lane changes and following too closely we’re going to focus on a more narrowly defined definition for this discussion: Hard acceleration and hard breaking.

According to the EPA hard acceleration and hard breaking and account for a 33% decrease in fuel economy at highway speeds and up to 5% when driving in the city.

That’s the equivalent of between $0.15 and a whopping $1.01/gallon in fuel spend by reducing this metric alone!

Time at Idle

gas thumb 3 Metrics to Save Fleets MoneyAccording to National Resources Canada idling 10 min per day will cost you 5% more in fuel.  If your going to be stopped for more than 30 seconds, and you’re not in traffic, shut off your car!  It takes less fuel to restart a car then it does to run it for 10 seconds at idle, so being in the habit of shutting the car off instead of idling while waiting can really add up.

The California Consumer Energy Center puts it another way…Idling for one hour burns approximately 1 gallon of fuel.  Results can very, but for drivers that spend a considerable amount of time at idle while making a delivery or waiting on a client, the impact fleet wide can be dramatic.

Average Speed

speedVsMpg3 3 Metrics to Save Fleets MoneyBusy drivers hurrying between appointments can have a tendency to speed to make up time.  The few minutes that they make up by speeding…just a little bit.

The implications of speeding in regard to tickets, increased risk of accidents, and potentially higher insurance are obvious to most, but what may not be as apparent is the cost in terms of fuel consumption.

Cars built for sale in the US are built to achieve maximum efficiency at between 50 and 60 miles per hour.  The graph below shows and average car efficiency band in relation to MPH.

For every 5 mph over the speed of 60, you normally lose between 7% and 23% depending on the vehicle.  That equates to paying an extra $0.21 to $0.71 PER GALLON of gas!

The impact of these 3 metrics:

Armed with this data, the question becomes “How do I put this in practice to save my fleet money?”  The answer is simple:  Monitor and manage these three metrics for your fleet vehicles.

Monitor drivers performance, share that data (and it’s impact) with them and make them aware that small change can have a big impact on their bottom line, and train them on ways to use their knowledge to help the bottom line.

In the coming weeks we’ll do a deep dive into each of these metrics to help you understand how they can be applied to your business!

SaveMoneOnGas 300x31 3 Metrics to Save Fleets Money

What other tips do you have to reduce fuel costs?  Please share in the comments below:


Don’t forget CarCheckup has your solutions to your automotive information needs!
RedSmallArrow 3 Metrics to Save Fleets Money Need an Automotive Diagnostic Tool because your Check Engine Light on?
RedSmallArrow 3 Metrics to Save Fleets Money Need a Vehicle Tracking System to monitor your companies fleet vehicles or fleet drivers?
RedSmallArrow 3 Metrics to Save Fleets Money Tired of tracking business mileage manually and want and easier way to record mileage
RedSmallArrow 3 Metrics to Save Fleets Money Looking for peace of mind for your teen aged driver – Check out our solution to monitor teen driving
RedSmallArrow 3 Metrics to Save Fleets Money Want Fleet Management Software without costly GPS vehicle tracking?

Data Sources:
EPA.gov – Driving More Efficiently
EPA.gov – Fuel Economy Graph
California Consumer Energy Center – fuel consumption at idle
National Resources Canada – fuel consumption at idle

Photo Credits: Speedometer and Fuel Gauge pictures from Nathan Earl Photography via Flicker