As a small business owner and entrepreneur, I’m always looking for ways to save money at tax time. A big part of that is just simple record keeping.

I don’t travel as much as many people who are in business for themselves. Many real estate agents will drive their personal vehicle 10,000 miles showing listings every year and they may be in the habit of writing down each and every mile. I’m not.

In 2018, the standard deduction for business mileage is 54.5 cents per mile. Over the course of a year for people who do a lot of driving, that will add up to thousands of dollars they can write off. But here’s the key: they have to remember to do it every time.

I found an app to help and ran across Mile IQ. I liked the premise. Set it and forget it.

Once the app is open, and you’ll need it to run in the background, it will record each mile when the phone is moving in a car. It’s pretty smart in that it only records when you’re in a car. I suppose if you ride by train it will do that as well, but I haven’t checked it.

Once you arrive at the location, Mile IQ will send a notification as an app badge, a little number that appears in the corner of the app icon on the screen. It will ask for you to note whether the trip was personal or business. To record that, you simply swipe left (for personal) or right (for business). You don’t have to do it right away. Mile IQ will save the trip until you categorize it.

You can also tag each trip as a certain expense. I travel mostly for video shoots and meetings, and when I swipe right for business, it asks what the trip was for. It records the starting address and the destination along with the time and date.

If you use more than just one vehicle you can give them each a name, and Mile IQ manages trips by vehicle.

At the end of the month or year, or anytime you can send a report in a spreadsheet by email or save it on a computer. When I did that, I saw each and every trip saved neatly, so I can print that out at tax time.

In 2017, I kept very poor records of my trips, and I know it cost me dearly when it came time to turn in that business expense. After April in 2018, I can see how I’ll have more business write-offs for travel. I won’t even have to think about it either, just turn it over to my accountant.

Mile IQ is not a free app. It’s a subscription you can purchase monthly for $6 or a premium annual subscription for $60. Yes, since the app is for business, it is tax
deductible as well.

A free trial allows you to track 40 trips after which you will need to purchase a premium unlimited subscription.

Use my link to save 20% off an annual subscription. To get the discount you'll need to order the app directly from the MileIQ website rather than installing it through iTunes or the Google Play Store.