Automobile Mileage Log Use Instruction
Contemporaneous Automobile Mileage Log
To satisfy the IRS for tax credit mileage, all you have to do is keep minimally adequate records of uncompensated miles accumulated performing volunteer activities. According to the IRS, you must keep a record of:
the dates of your volunteer activity trips
the places you drove for your volunteer activites
the purpose for your trips.
The IRS also wants to know the total number of miles you drove during the year for business, commuting, and personal driving other than commuting. This log assumes that the volunteer no longer commutes to their work. If the assumption is incorrect, then information concerning your daily commute distance will need to be recorded and calculated into you log.
By far the best way to prove to the IRS how much you drove for business is to keep contemporaneous records. “Contemporaneous” means your records are created each day you drive for business, or soon thereafter.
Excel Spreadsheet based Log
This excel based automobile mileage log contains information required to support a claim for input tax credits for the use of a personal vehicle by a volunteer who is not compensated for their mileage in the performance of their activities. This mileage log has been provided for your convenience. It does not replace the need to retain all records that pertain to the operation of the vehicle.
Top of the Log (Light Blue Section)
Month/Year: Record current month and year. Begin a new page for each month of the log.
If you need more than one log sheet for a busy month, continue log entries using new sheet
Signify continuation by notating appropriate page numbers at lower right hand corner of light blue section: Page: X of Y
Vehicle Year and Make: Record the year and make of vehicle. If you use more than one vehicle for volunteer activities, a separate log needs to be kept for each vehicle used.
YTD Mileage: A cell reserved for volunteer year to date mileage, thus allowing for easy yearly accumulation of volunteer miles. In later revisions, this cell will be used to automatically track volunteer miles.
Start of year mileage: Cell reserved for the odometer reading of the vehicle on January 1, of the current year.
End of year mileage: Cell reserved for the odometer reading of the vehicle on December 31, of the same current year.
Total Year Mileage: Calculate the total mileage of your vehicle by subtracting the start of the year mileage from the end of year mileage. If you are logging directly on the excel spreadsheet, excel will automatically calculate mileage and record it in the total year mileage cell.
Page X of Y.
Log Entries (Light Pink Section)
For each trip during the month, log on the form:
The date of the trip and the odometer reading at the beginning of the trip.
The point of origin (place trip began), for example, home
The odometer reading at the point of origin.
The destination (where you are at the end of the trip, for example client home
The odometer reading at the destination.
The purpose of the trip, for example, consultation or training
The trip total per line
DATE: Enter date of trip
One day may require multiple entries due to multiple segments
For multiple entries in one day, use multiple lines; each line with its own point of origin and destination in conjunction with the log of their odometer readings. For example:
Line 1, Date: 02/02/2016; point of origin, home; destination, classroom; purpose, training; trip total, 5 miles (from home to classroom location)
Line 2, Date: 02/02/2016; point of origin, classroom; destination, client home, purpose, consultation; trip total, 4 miles (from classroom location to client home)
Line 3, Date: 02/02/2016; point of origin, client home, destination, home, purpose, return home; trip total 4 miles (from client home location to home)
POINT OF ORIGIN: Enter starting location of trip
ODOMETER READING: Log odometer reading at starting location
DESTINATION: Enter ending location of trip
ODOMETER READING: Log odometer reading at ending location
PURPOSE OF TRIP: Enter why the trip was necessary as a volunteer Senior Peer Counselor
TRIP TOTAL: Calculate the trip total by subtracting Point of Origin odometer reading from the Destination odometer reading. For those who are transcribing log recordings to the excel spreadsheet or log the recordings on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, the total trip mileage will automatically be calculated and recorded.