October 15, 2021

IRS Mileage Log Template - Free Excel & PDF versions

If driving a car is part of your employment, if you are self-employed and use your car for business purposes, or if you are an employer who wants to make mileage logging and tracking easier for his/her employees, then this mileage log for taxes template can help you out as you may be qualified to deduct the costs on your federal income tax return. 

Logging your mileage can sometimes be a long and tedious process, but there are some things you can do to make it a bit easier for yourself, or your team, your employees. One way to start is by using a template since it ensures that you have all the necessary information when you report your miles to the IRS. 

Download the Free IRS Mileage Log Template Here in a PDF or Sheets version

You can use either an Excel/Sheet or a PDF to log your miles easily. The links below include a compliant IRS mileage log book sample and an empty sheet where you can right away start logging your trips. The Excel/Sheets template is set up to be compliant in regards to IRS rules and includes the formulas needed for you to calculate your mileage effortlessly. 

If you are tired of using the mileage log template and logging miles manually, you can automate your logging by using Driversnote, which generates IRS compliant reports and is recommended by accountants in the US.

Automatize your mileage logging

Never miss a trip again!

Mileage log basic rules 

A logbook, also known as a mileage log, is a year-long record of your business travel that the IRS or your employer demands for tax deduction or reimbursement purposes.

If you're self-employed and want to claim expenses for an automobile used for business purposes, you must keep a thorough logbook record. You'll need to keep account of each business trip, the location, the purpose of the journey, and the vehicle's miles traveled for both business and personal reasons throughout the year. Keeping a mileage log in 2021 is becoming easier and easier because a lot of the manual work involved can become digitized. 

Some things to keep in mind when logging your mileage: 

  • The IRS mileage rates for 2021 are 0.56 per mile driven for business, $0.16 per mile for trips taken on for medical purposes, $0.16 per mile for moving (only Armed Forces on active duty), $0.14 per mile driven in the service of charitable organizations.
  • Depending on your situation, there may be different legal or non-legal obligations for keeping a record of your mileage log.
  • Minimal requirements regardless of your situation will likely be each business trip's miles, the year's total miles, the time (a date will suffice), place (your destination), and purpose.
  • You could get audited due to no fault of your own and the IRS will ask for your mileage logs so always make sure to keep them somewhere safe and make copies.
  • You must keep a log not only of your business trips but personal as well (if you use the same vehicle for both). You may eventually need to be able to prove the portion of use that is for business so it is important to be able to provide the information necessary to calculate this. 

What do I include in the mileage log template?

When it comes to documenting business miles, this is what the IRS considers appropriate records.

It is also necessary that the record be kept up to date. This implies that it must be completed at or near the time of departure. Anything that is updated once a week is considered sufficient.

According to the IRS, you must include in your daily log template:

  • The mileage for each business use
  • The total mileage for the year
  • Date, destination and purpose of your trip

When it comes to the format of your mileage log, you don’t have to worry about it as long as all the essential information is included. Anything from paper, diary, account book to digital spreadsheets, CSV files, PDF files, Xixs (Microsoft's Excel) is accepted by the IRS. However, we recommend considering an app like Driversnote to save time and make sure all your records are compliant.

How long do I keep the records in my mileage log template?

First, you need to update your records regularly and make sure that they are accurate and up-to-date. The IRS requires you to preserve your mileage form for three years from the day you submit your income tax return with your deduction.

How can I save time by using a car logbook app? 

Mileage monitoring apps such as Driversnote track your driving in real-time, saving you the time and effort of manually entering data for each trip. Simply launch the app and begin tracking; the app will then record your journey as you drive. You'll have a recorded trip with the start and end times, start and endpoints, and the ability to specify the purpose of your trip. 

Compared to a regular mileage form, the vehicle logbook app saves you a lot of time as it:

  • Allows you to put mileage tracking on autopilot

  • Automatically generates an IRS compliant report directly from your logs

  • Calculates your reimbursement automatically by using the 2021 standard IRS mileage rate 

  • Allows you to classify the purpose of your trips with just a click and access them at any time

  • You will not forget to log trips anymore since the app has automatic motion tracking 

  • No chance of losing your logs and having to rewrite them all over again

Using an app will take the burden of organizing and keeping mileage logs off your shoulders; the automobile logbook app will keep track of the data for you, and your complete mileage form will be just a few clicks away at all times.

Let us know if you have any questions about our free mileage log for taxes template.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, legal, tax or accounting advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal, tax or accounting advisor.