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Are you tracking your mileage and expenses? If you’re an Uber, Lyft, or delivery service driver, you should be. The simple task of tracking your mileage and costs is far too often overlooked by self-employed individuals, and as a result, they end up losing quite a bit of money when tax time arrives. Find out exactly why expense and mileage tracking is so valuable as well as which app you should choose.
Why Uber and Postmates Drivers Need To Track Mileage and Expenses
Mileage trackers for Uber and Lyft drivers are an absolute must. For one thing, for every 1,000 work miles you drive, you get a $545 tax deduction.
Also, with the high number of miles the average Uber, Lyft or Doordash driver covers, it’s important to keep track of your vehicle maintenance and repair costs. By tracking your mileage and expenses, you can offset some of these expenses by using them to reduce your tax liability. Since you’re in charge of your own taxes, reducing your liability will come in handy during tax season.
What Lyft and Doordash Drivers Should Look for in a Mileage and Expense Tracking App
The most important quality you need in an app is mileage tracking. While most rideshare companies provide an end-of-year statement, it’s impossible for drivers to ensure its accuracy if they’re not tracking the information themselves. Utilizing your own app will provide the most precise measurements and allow you to access the information whenever you want. If you do end up getting audited at tax time (unlikely, but better to be prepared), you’ll also have thorough documentation to prove your mileage deductions.
As a Lyft, Uber, or delivery driver, it’s also beneficial to track expenses that aren’t necessarily mileage based. Some of the potential deduction opportunities, aside from standard mileage, include:
- Vehicle payments
- Registration costs
- Fuel charges
- Rideshare insurance
- Cell phone service
- Car loan interest
Unless your vehicle is used exclusively for work, you’ll only have the opportunity to deduct a portion of these expenses. However, full-time drivers can expect their deductions to add up quickly.
Certain apps will actually allow you to track both miles and additional expenses all in one place, which makes it much easier for you at tax time. A few even allow you to pull your bank and credit card statements directly into the system so that you can easily differentiate between personal and business expenses. While some individuals will prefer to keep it simple, the most advanced and easiest to use apps top our list.
The 5 Best Mileage and Expense Tracker Apps of 2019
As an independent contractor, your time is valuable. Fortunately, you can avoid perusing the app store to find the perfect mileage tracker because we’ve done the hard work for you. Here are the best trackers on the market.
1. QuickBooks Self-Employed
QuickBooks is known for making financial record keeping easier for businesses and individuals alike. While their Self-Employed software option isn’t specifically designed for rideshare or delivery drivers, it’ll suit your needs perfectly. The app’s automatic mileage tracking makes it super easy to accurately monitor your trips. Plus, it allows you to categorize the miles as personal or business.
Aside from mileage, you can also track all your other business expenses within the app. Instead of having to input the information yourself, Quickbooks allows you to sink your bank and credit card accounts so that all earnings and expenditures are automatically located. You can go through each item individually and label it by expense-type or create a rule that trains the program to do it for you.
On top of all of that, QuickBooks will estimate your quarterly taxes for you so that you stay on top of your payments. When it’s time to file your tax return, the system compiles a report that allows you to easily see what you earned alongside your various business expenses.
Besides how easy Quickbooks self-employed is to use, it also integrates seamlessly with TurboTax (both are made by Intuit). So, if you do your taxes yourself, you can export your records directly to Turbotax. You can also easily important any needed tax information from Turbotax into Quickbooks Self Employed.
After considering functionality and ease of use, and the simple Turbotax integration, it’s easy to see why Quickbooks Self Employed tops our list of mileage and expense tracking apps.
Cost: Typically, Quickbook Self-Employed costs $10 per month on its own or you can purchase it with the TurboTax bundle for $17 per month. Right now, they have a special deal that cuts the standard option in half—$5 per month—for the first three months. You can also score the bundle option for a rate of $12 per month for the first quarter. Click the button below to get 50% off Quickbooks Self-Employed.
Hurdlr is another application designed specifically for the self-employed. As with QuickBooks, the app allows you to track your mileage as well as your expenses directly through the app. As a mileage tracker for Uber and Lyft drivers, the software is spot on and offers the benefit of automatic tracking so that you don’t have to remember to turn it on for every trip.
With Hurdlr, you can also sync your accounts to better stay on top of your deductions. However, the tracking app goes the extra mile by allowing you to visually view your earnings before and after your expected taxes. This feature is incredibly valuable for rideshare and delivery drivers because it allows you to evaluate your current financial position and make adjustments as needed.
Cost: One of the best things about Hurdlr is the cost. The basic services are free, which includes unlimited mileage tracking for Uber drivers and the like. It also allows you to export the data for free. The premium package includes more features, like automatic expense and income tracking, which is set at $7.99 per month. You can also save by purchasing a year-long subscription for $60.
3. Stride Tax
Stride Tax is perfectly designed to track expenses of Lyft and Uber drivers. The app offers both mileage and other expense tracking features, so you keep all of your financial documentation in one place. It also provides a convenient tax summary report to make your taxes go much smoother.
After an easy setup process, the app will track all your mileage and most expenses automatically. Stride tax can even discover new write offs you may have missed!
While it doesn’t offer some of the more advanced features of Quickbooks such as seamless Turbotax integration, it offers far more than expected at its price point.
Cost: Of all its fantastic qualities, the most impressive thing about Stride Tax is its cost—it’s completely free. There’s no paid upgrade option, so you get complete access to the entire software from the get-go. However, there is a catch: there are ads.
As with QuickBooks and Hurdlr, Everlance can also be used as an expense tracker for Uber, Lyft, and other types of rideshare or delivery services. Its convenient platform allows you to connect your accounts to automatically track expenses. You can even upload and attach physical receipts directly from your phone.
Its automatic tracking also makes it perfectly suited for the rideshare and delivery industries. The feature activates when your vehicle’s moving and automatically tracks your trips. You can also export your mileage and expense reports with ease, either for your personal records or to give to your accountant at the end of the year.
Cost: The basic Everlance package is free, but it limits your mileage tracking to 30 trips per month. So, if you’re a full time driver, you’ll need to opt for the premium package. However, it does allow you to upload an unlimited number of receipts. To activate the unlimited mileage tracker and account syncing features, you’ll need the premium package, which costs $8 per month. If you choose to pay on a yearly basis, you can save money by only spending $60.
MileIQ is designed with simplicity in mind. This Microsoft app focuses solely on mileage tracking, so if you’re already tracking your finances in other software, MileIQ is an excellent option. Its automatic trip tracking makes it incredibly easy to stay on top of your mileage without ever clicking a button.
As with QuickBooks, you can classify the ride type directly on the screen to ensure you keep personal and business expenses separate. The app also sends drivers a report of their mileage on a weekly basis, but you can also create custom variations to suit your needs. MileIQ also integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office 365.
Cost: MileIQ’s basic option is free, but it’s restricted to 40 trips per month. You can obtain unlimited mileage tracking by choosing their premium policy for $5.99 per month or a yearly rate of $59.99
Which Mileage and Expense Tracker Is Right for You?
Not all expense and mileage trackers for Uber, Lyft, and delivery drivers are created equal. In fact, some of them aren’t even designed solely for the rideshare community, but that doesn’t mean they don’t do the job exceptionally well.
The two best options we’ve found are Quickbooks Self Employed and Stride Tax. However, to find the best one for your needs, you may find it easiest to try a couple of options until you find one that works just right.