A logbook is a record of the mileage on your car’s odometer that is maintained for a continuous period of 12 weeks. Without a logbook, you will not be able to claim the Instant Asset Write-Off or Full Expensing benefits available to you. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will not enable you to claim automobile deductions for your fuel, insurance, registration, or any other car-related costs. If driving for Uber makes up a good chunk of your income, you’ll find that maintaining a logbook is well worth your while.

The ATO requires a logbook to claim a tax deduction for your automotive costs to demonstrate the proportion of time that you use your car for business versus private usage. You may then deduct that proportion of your Uber vehicle charges from your tax return. 

These regulations apply even if you use your vehicle only for business purposes. Fortunately, keeping a logbook isn’t all that difficult. ATO does not care how you store the information as long as it contains all the relevant information. It’s crucial to remember that you cannot just use your Uber app records as a logbook since the Uber app does not have the capability of recording your odometer readings.

Here are a few logbook options you can consider:

  • A Pen and a Piece of Paper

The most important part of maintaining a logbook is ensuring it is accurate. You’ll find that you’re more likely to stick to it when your logbook is easily accessible and even visible in your vehicle to serve as a reminder to record your odometer reading every day. That is particularly useful if you’re forgetful on things like keeping a proper record. With pen and paper, you won’t have to juggle another app, which is incredibly convenient if you drive or deliver for various organizations. However, keep in mind that you’ll later have to sit down and manually tally up all of those miles using a calculator or spreadsheet.

  • Spreadsheet

A logbook spreadsheet is another alternative if you want someone else to handle all of the adding and subtracting for you. Simply use your phone to take a snapshot of your odometer at the beginning and conclusion of each shift to capture your odometer readings quickly. They’ll be time-stamped, so you’ll be able to tell later on the day they corresponded to. 

  • Vehicle Data Tracking System

If you seek a completely automated solution, consider a vehicle tracking gadget that connects to the diagnostics port of your automobile. Allow it to access your odometer readings and keep track of your journeys. Using the tracker’s app, you can then categorize each journey as either professional or personal. With a sleek appearance and well-designed software, you can be confident that it will be ATO-compliant. These devices also often come with a tool that will help you improve your fuel economy and driving efficiency while on the road. On the downside, data tracking systems can be expensive and may be impractical for many rideshare drivers who only drive on the side.

  • Mobile App

The easiest way for most rideshare drivers to track their odometer data is with a mobile app. We’re so used to having our phones on us at all times, and since it is a necessary part of driving for Uber, you’ll never be without it. 

The most significant advantage of using an app is that it keeps track of your tally as you go, so you won’t have to worry about adding anything up. Aside from that, an app is affordable and won’t require any additional equipment other than your smartphone. There are a variety of applications available for both Apple and Android devices; however, make sure you select one that is ATO-compliant like Rideshare Tax.

Final Thoughts

Your logbook must also include information about your vehicles, such as the make, model, engine capacity, and registration number, so be sure to include this information somewhere in your logbook. If you change automobiles throughout your logbook’s existence, you may be required to mention more than one vehicle on your logbook’s page.

To further help you with your tax reduction, you can rely on Rideshare Tax App, the best tax software for rideshare drivers. It’s a dedicated application to bring convenience and accuracy with your finances on your Uber business. Download the app today!