With the exception of over-the-road truckers and rideshare drivers, real estate agents put more miles on their vehicles than any other profession. Keeping track of those miles with a mileage tracker app can help you reduce your tax burden at the end of the year – and that can add up to big savings.
We’re continuing our real estate technology series by reviewing five of the best mileage tracker apps for real estate agents.
Why Should I Write Off My Miles?
Put those miles to work. When it comes time to file your taxes, every mile you travel for your real estate business means a 56¢ tax reduction (as of this writing). That might not seem like much at first, but think of how many miles you travel in a day, in a week, in a month, and in a year. Over time, that’s a hefty sum you could be writing off on your taxes.
Let’s say, for instance, that you drive 50 miles per day, five days a week for real estate activities. That’s 1,000 miles per month or $560 in tax deductions. Over a year, you’re looking at more than $6700 deductions, simply by tracking your miles.
However, just like all IRS tax deductions, you should keep detailed records of these miles. Consult your tax attorney or accountant for details concerning tax write-offs and deductions.
Best Mileage Tracker Apps for Realtors
The best way to make the most out of your real estate miles is to install a GPS-guided mileage tracker app on your phone. Not all mileage tracker apps are the same. If you’re a Realtor, we recommend the following apps.
Far and away the industry favorite, MileIQ is an easy-to-use, highly effective mileage tracker app. Simply install the app (you can even try it for free with 40 free drives) and keep it running in the background of your mobile phone. The app detects when you’re moving, and keeps track of the miles from point A to point B (and points C, D, and E) for you.
Then, simply swipe to add each drive to your business mile tracking.
The only downside of MileIQ is that it is purely a mileage tracker. It doesn’t link to your other business accounts or other apps. But it does what it’s designed to do – and does it extraordinarily well.
If you already use the QuickBooks tracking system for other business expenses, adding QuickBooks mileage tracker makes sense.
Like its competitors, the QuickBooks Mileage Tracker uses the GPS on your phone to automatically detect when you’re driving. Then, the app will transfer those miles into your business accounting software. Simply swipe one direction to add mileage to your business expenses, and swipe the other if it was a personal trip. That’s it!
The Mileage Tracker links directly to your other business expenses. The QuickBooks system then determines the total amount you can deduct from your taxable income, making it an excellent one-stop-shop for accounting.
Of course, if you use an accounting software other than QuickBooks, it doesn’t make logistical sense to add this app. And even if you do use QuickBooks programs, the Mileage Tracker doesn’t offer a free trial, so it can end up costing more than its competitors.
Like MileageIQ, Everlance works in the background, helping you track every drive you take. But unlike MileageIQ, Everlance also connects to your business credit cards and other accounts so that you can track all your business expenses and deductions in one place.
Everlance also makes it easy to classify your drives and expenses as business or personal. Similar to QuickBooks Mileage tracker, Everlance uses a “swipe” system to categorize your mileage. Simply swipe one direction for a business-related deduction, and the other for personal miles.
Come tax time, you’ll be glad you have all your deductions in one place. However, if you already use another expense tracking software, this would be redundant and an unnecessary expense. Everlance offers a free trial and over-the-phone set-up assistance and customer service.
Hurdlr follows the all-in-one model laid out by Everlance and MileageIQ. But unlike its competitors, this relative newcomer provides detailed, real-time reports with your business expenses, deductions, and expected taxable income. Like QuickBooks, Hurdlr allows users to categorize all expenses, not just mileage. And that can make tracking and reporting your expenses incredibly easy.
The app gives a clear picture of your earnings and your tax burden as the quarter progresses, giving you peace of mind. The best part? Hurdlr has a FREE option that includes the most basic functions all at no cost. Upgrade or cancel at any time, giving you the freedom to choose when and how you track your mileage.
The downside to the Hurdlr mileage tracker function is that you’ll have to remember to activate its mileage tracker function. That is, you’ll have to start the app manually when you begin a business drive.
TripLog is one of the most popular mileage tracker apps available on the market. Not only does it track your business mileage, but it also calculates fuel economy and allows users to classify sections of the day’s drives into different accounts.
TripLog expands beyond the app, too. USB-compatible plugins track mileage without draining the battery on your phone, and automatically sends updates to your business email.
The mileage tracker can also track multiple vehicles on the same account, and the software creates detailed IRS reports needed when filing your taxes.
TripLog also seamlessly integrates with the most popular expense tracking and accounting software, making it easy to integrate your mileage into your overall real estate expenses.
Do you track your miles? What’s your favorite mileage tracking app? Tell us about it in the comments!