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bauera513
New Member

Driving for Amazon Flex, found out about Standard Mileage Deduction last week, how dangerous is it to eyeball the miles driven?

I started driving for Amazon Flex in November, yet only found out about the standard mileage deduction last week. I have a log of every "Block" I drove for Amazon Flex, would it be foolish of me to eyeball the number of miles driven based on the distance from my home-to-warehouse and estimate of how many miles I drove for each Block? For example, a 2-hour block would require me to go to the Warehouse (9.1 miles away) and drive for at least 10 miles, so for a 2-hour block I would say that was 19.1 miles driven.

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Accepted Solutions
HelenaC
New Member

Driving for Amazon Flex, found out about Standard Mileage Deduction last week, how dangerous is it to eyeball the miles driven?

No, you can't guess at your mileage. 

The IRS tends to be strict in its documentation requirements for business mileage deductions. For this reason, you'll need to keep a thorough, accurate mileage log each year you attempt to claim a deduction.

Your mileage log must include the starting mileage on your vehicle's odometer at the beginning of the year and its ending mileage at the conclusion of the year. Each time you use your vehicle for business purposes, you must record the following information:

  • The date of your trip
  • Your starting point
  • Your destination
  • The purpose of your trip
  • Your vehicle's starting mileage
  • Your vehicle's ending mileage
  • Tolls or other trip-related costs

You can keep a mileage log in a notebook and update it by hand, or use a spreadsheet to continuously track your mileage. You can also use a mileage-tracking app. The key is to update your records regularly to ensure that they're precise. Additionally, the IRS requires you to keep your mileage log for three years from the date on which you file the income tax return containing your deduction.

For additional information, click on 2017 Publication 463 - IRS.gov, Chapter 5, page 26 Table 5-1.

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3 Replies
HelenaC
New Member

Driving for Amazon Flex, found out about Standard Mileage Deduction last week, how dangerous is it to eyeball the miles driven?

No, you can't guess at your mileage. 

The IRS tends to be strict in its documentation requirements for business mileage deductions. For this reason, you'll need to keep a thorough, accurate mileage log each year you attempt to claim a deduction.

Your mileage log must include the starting mileage on your vehicle's odometer at the beginning of the year and its ending mileage at the conclusion of the year. Each time you use your vehicle for business purposes, you must record the following information:

  • The date of your trip
  • Your starting point
  • Your destination
  • The purpose of your trip
  • Your vehicle's starting mileage
  • Your vehicle's ending mileage
  • Tolls or other trip-related costs

You can keep a mileage log in a notebook and update it by hand, or use a spreadsheet to continuously track your mileage. You can also use a mileage-tracking app. The key is to update your records regularly to ensure that they're precise. Additionally, the IRS requires you to keep your mileage log for three years from the date on which you file the income tax return containing your deduction.

For additional information, click on 2017 Publication 463 - IRS.gov, Chapter 5, page 26 Table 5-1.

bauera513
New Member

Driving for Amazon Flex, found out about Standard Mileage Deduction last week, how dangerous is it to eyeball the miles driven?

Thank you for the swift and thorough reply! I was expecting that to be the answer from similar cases I've looked up, but having an answer for my exact situation settles a lot of worries I might have had. While I will be sure to begin logging those details immediately henceforth, I guess this means I won't get a deduction this year.
HelenaC
New Member

Driving for Amazon Flex, found out about Standard Mileage Deduction last week, how dangerous is it to eyeball the miles driven?

You are very welcome. Good luck with the rest of your tax preparation and thank you for using TurboTax. We really appreciate it!

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