If your occupation involves a lot of driving, depending on if you are self-employed or provided with mileage allowance payments by your employer, it is important to keep a mileage log. You can do this in a way that suits you, but you must record trips that involve business engagements. You will be able to claim mileage allowance relief, which will be beneficial if you use your vehicle for business purposes. This is a straightforward way to reduce your tax bill, so find out if keeping a mileage log would be beneficial for you.
What is a mileage log?
A mileage log is a record of any trips you take in your vehicle, whether these are business or personal. You can keep a note of this via a logbook, or mobile phone app depending on your preferences. Keeping a note of these trips will help you to identify how much you have driven for business purposes so that you can be reimbursed. You will first need to work out whether or not you are eligible for Mileage Allowance Payments (MAP) which you will receive from your employer, or Mileage Allowance Relief (MAR) which is provided by HMRC.
Do you need to keep a mileage log?
Mileage deduction can help you to reduce your tax bill if you are often driving for business purposes. You cannot simply claim MAR from HMRC without proof. You must keep a mileage logbook, with records of all the trips you wish to claim for. You will need to keep a mileage log if you are:
- A sole proprietor
- A partner in a firm
- You use your vehicle for business purposes
- Your employer provides mileage allowance payments
What do you need to record in your mileage log?
If you are self-employed, your mileage logbook should be kept in periods of one year, so that you can claim relief when filing tax returns. Alternatively, if you are receiving reimbursement from your employer, your mileage log should cover a specified period that they will decide on before you are reimbursed. You should record essential information such as the date of each journey, whether it is business or personal, as well as the starting point and end point postcodes and the number of miles driven. This can often be time consuming to conduct manually, which is why you may wish to use an app to simplify the process.
Our sister company, Bells Accountants, has a handy free app that features a number of helpful tools and resources including a milage tracker.
Mileage log tips
Keeping a mileage log can help you reduce your tax bill, particularly if driving is a large part of your job. It is essential that the records you keep are completely accurate, in chronological order, and exact figures are used to make sure you do not miss out on any reimbursement. If you are unsure of mileage log rules, or you lose your logbook, you should consult HMRC for support.
If you are self-employed or a business owner and require advice on mileage allowance and tax returns, our expert accountants can help. At Omer & Company, we can provide our support on reducing your tax bill and ensuring you file returns on time. To discuss your requirements, simply give us a call on 020 8850 0700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to help.