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How QuickBooks Online Helps You Track Mileage

Updated: Sep 9, 2022

With gas prices as high as they are, tracking your travel costs as closely as possible is important for your business. Consider getting a tax deduction for your business mileage.

If you drive even a little for your business, letting mileage costs slide can be an easy oversight. It can be a nuisance to keep track of your tax-deductible mileage manually, using a notebook and calculating your mileage, even with the help of a GPS. However, you could be losing significant deductions on your tax returns as a result.

Luckily, QuickBooks Online offers a painless way to track your business travel. Its Mileage tools include simple fill-in-the-blank records that allow you to document individual trips. You can either enter the starting point and destination and let the site calculate your mileage or enter the number of miles yourself in order to record your deduction.

And if you use QuickBooks Online’s mobile app, it can get even easier: with the correct settings activated, the app can track your travel automatically as you drive. Below, we share tips and tricks to take advantage of this handy feature.

Getting Set-Up

To get started, open QuickBooks Online in your web browser, open the toolbar, and click the Mileage link. The screen that opens will ultimately display a table with information about your logged trips, but you'll need to complete some setup procedures first. Start by clicking the down arrow next to Add Trip in the upper right corner and select Manage vehicles. A panel will slide out from the right. Click Add vehicle.

You’ll need to supply information about your vehicles before you can start entering trips.

You’ll need to supply the vehicle’s year, make, and model. Do you own or lease it, and on what date was the vehicle purchased or leased and put into service? Do you want to have your annual mileage calculated by entering odometer readings, manually entering individual trips, or having the QuickBooks Online mobile app track your business miles driven automatically? When you’re done making your selections and entering data, click Save.

Entering Trip Data

You can download trips as a CSV file or import them from Mile IQ, but you’re probably more likely to enter them manually from your internet browser, as the process is quick and user-friendly. To add a trip, Click Add Trip in the upper right corner. In the pane that opens, you’ll enter the date of the trip and either the total miles or the start and end points. You’ll select the business purpose and vehicle and indicate whether it was a round trip. When you’re done, click Save. This trip will now appear in the table on the opening screen, and your current possible total deduction will be visible in the upper left corner, along with your total business miles and total miles.

If you want to designate a trip as personal, click the box in front of the trip in that table. In the black horizontal box that appears, click the icon that looks like a person, then click Apply. Now, this trip will appear in the Personal column and will not count toward your business tax-deductible mileage.