No matter what type of business you’re building, it’s important to keep track of all your income and expenses so you can pay your fair share of taxes.
I don’t know about you but when it comes to tracking mileage for client meetings and coworking days, I usually don’t even bother because of the hassle. But thanks to the MileIQ app you can get an accurate account of your business miles throughout the year and be eligible for a sizable tax deduction.
If you’re a freelancer who drives a lot for your business, you’ll want to check out this awesome app. Seriously, it’s a life-saver. I highly recommend it!
Here is my honest review of the MileIQ app and how I use it to track business miles for my freelance work.
What is MileIQ?
MileIQ is a popular mileage tracking app for mobile professionals and freelancers. It was recently acquired by Microsoft and saves users hours in mileage logging every month. The best part is that it delivers an average deduction of more than $6,500 a year.
In the past I’ve used MileIQ’s older version of the app, but this new and improved version allows the app to run in the background of your phone tracking the miles and location automatically.
You don’t have to stop and start the app to record the miles. It does all of the mileage, date and time tracking automatically when it senses you’re driving in the car.
MileIQ picks up the location of your trip’s start and end, then because your phone is most likely always with you, you’re always effortlessly tracking your miles.
For example, this week I drove to a coworking space to work with my friend Steph (from Art to Self) who lives in the Boulder, CO area too.
The MileIQ app calculated the miles and value for me automatically. If I do this several times a month, it can really add it over the course of a year.
MileIQ pricing plans
You can test out the MileIQ app for free and then upgrade as needed. Here are the pricing options and features for the app:
- Free: for free you can download the MileIQ app and record 40 drives per month as well as access all the mileage logs and regular reports.
- Unlimited: for $5.99 per month or $59.99 a year you can upgrade to having unlimited drives each month. You get the same features, reporting and access to mileage logs but are no long limited by the 40 per month cap.
- Special code: for being a Careful Cents reader you can get 20% off the upgraded version when using code “CLUB20”. This takes the price from $59.99 annually to just $48 (a savings of nearly $12!).
How to use MileIQ as a freelancer
There are several features that I love about the MileIQ app and one of them is being able to save your type of vehicle and adjust the mileage rate based on the type of drive it is.
Medical miles are different than business miles which also differ from moving miles. You can also track multiple vehicles if you use a two cars for different things.
1. Categorize and track your mileage without thinking
Like I mentioned, when you’re ready to head to a client meeting or a coworking space for the day, simply pull up the MileIQ app on your phone and start driving. It will track the miles from your starting location to the end.
Then you can categorize the trip (business, personal, other) right then, or go to an online dashboard once-a-month to categorize the trips and add more details about them.
2. Save money on your taxes
According to MileIQ, the average user is able to deduct around $547 per month in business miles, which means you get to pay less taxes at the end of the year. No more guessing about your miles, or trying to come up with a decent figure when your accountant asks.
The app syncs to the IRS rules and regulations for the current year so you don’t have to wonder if you’re getting the correct mileage deduction or not. Just keep track of your miles automatically throughout the year and then view them in your MileIQ app and dashboard on-demand.
3. Deduct the MileIQ app cost as a business expense
The cool thing about the MileIQ app is that the premium subscription is a business expense so you can take a deduction on your taxes for it.
For example, if you’re a freelance photographer you can deduct the cost of the app plus all the drives to and from shoots, client meetings and other appointments. Talk about a win-win!
4. Send reports directly to your accountant
Instead of getting stressed out when your accountant calls to ask you to turn in your miles, you can simply create a mileage report. Then just export the categorized data in to a formatted CSV or PDF, and forward it to your accountant.
That’s it. The app does all the heavy lifting for you and your accountant will think you finally got organized with your taxes.
5. Track personal drives and moving miles
Last year Ryan and I moved from Texas to Colorado and we used the MileIQ app to track our moving miles. (And yes, you can deduct your moving expenses even when you’re self-employed!)
The app calculated just over 1,002 miles and our parking/toll fees. This means we’ll get a moving tax deduction for $309 along with all our other moving costs.
You can also tell MileIQ the hours you work during the day and it will classify any drives outside of those hours as personal.
What would make the MileIQ app better?
Not every app is perfect and MileIQ does have a small drawback. If you don’t remember to turn allow the MileIQ app to be running in the background before your drive (I turn off most of the Location Services on my iPhone because it drains the battery), you can only input the information manually via the online dashboard.
You won’t be able to add a drive manually inside the app. This isn’t too big of a deal. It just means you’ll have to wait until you get to a computer and log into your account to track any miles that didn’t get tracked by the app.
How to get 20% off MileIQ app
As you know, I only recommend the tools and resources that I personally use and since I like the MileIQ app so much I’ve scored an exclusive deal with them.
For being a Careful Cents reader you can get 20% off the upgraded version when you use code CLUB20. This takes the price from $59.99 annually to just $48 (a savings of nearly $12!).
Promo codes are currently only redeemable from the MileIQ website. (Unfortunately, promo codes cannot be entered in the mobile app.)
To take advantage of the special Careful Cents + MileIQ promo code:
- Log into your account at dashboard.mileiq.com (use the same email & password as the app) from a desktop or notebook computer.
- Click the yellow “get unlimited drives” button at the top of screen.
- Choose a plan and enter the promo code CLUB20 (case sensitive and no quotation marks).
- Enter payment info, checkout, and watch your miles add up!