The mileage deduction can be extremely valuable. But, how often does the IRS require you to keep mileage logs? Let’s dive into if you need weekly mileage logs.

Start Tracking Your Miles With MileIQ

How Often Must I Keep Mileage Logs?

The IRS regulations say you must keep contemporaneous records of your business driving. Ideally, you should be keeping a mileage log for your business miles every day you drive for business. Yet, the United States Tax Court says that it’s sufficient if you note your miles at least once per week.

What Tax Court Case Backs Up The Weekly Mileage Log Claim?

Ressen v. Comm’r, T.C. Summ. Op. 2015-32.

In this case, a manager for a construction company claimed a $28,504 mileage deduction one year. The court said that it was sufficient that once per week he recorded his business miles in a calendar, as well as the nature of his daily business activities and weekly travel. So, once per week is good enough to be “contemporaneous.”

Start Tracking Your Miles With MileIQ

What Happens If I Don’t Keep A Mileage Log?

If you don’t have a mileage log that follows the IRS guidelines, your deduction could be rejected. You could also wind up having to pay more in penalties and fees.

How A Mileage-Tracking App Can Help Keep A Contemporaneous Mileage Log

You can use a mileage tracking app to automate the process and record each drive as it happens. This will also avoid forgetting about business miles and losing valuable deductions.

It’s important to utilize an app that keeps IRS-compliant records, as not every mileage log will satisfy the IRS.

Start Tracking Your Miles With MileIQ

Stephen Fishman

Stephen Fishman

Stephen Fishman is a self-employed tax expert and regular contributor to MileIQ. He has dedicated his career as an attorney and author to writing useful, authoritative and recognized guides on taxes and business law for entrepreneurs, independent contractors, freelancers and other self-employed people. He is the author of over 20 books and hundreds of articles, and has been quoted in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and many other publications. Visit Fishman Law and Tax Files for more information on his work.
Stephen Fishman

Latest posts by Stephen Fishman (see all)