Using tripTrack to calculate your business mileage

As most will know by now, from 1 March 2010 one needs to keep a logbook of business mileage.

When I first hear this news I knew that a lot of my clients will not keep a logbook for SARS, even though it will benefit them at yearend. Not keeping this will have a huge influence on your tax at the end of the year.

A bit of background before 1 March 2010. Before you could work on an estimated business mileage. The first 18,000 kms driven for the year used to be deemed to be private. Any kilometers above this would be deemed business.

An electronic GPS logbook system, called tripTrack, came over my path and I immediately knew this will be the next best thing since sliced bread. The system plugs into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter that records all the travel data. Thereafter you download the information on your computer with software provided. This process takes me 5 minutes 3 times a week. Each trip provides you with a map as viewed on a GPS. All you need to do is distinguish business or private mileage.

I bought myself one a month ago, and since then became an agent for tripTrack. Since then we sold numerous systems.

A logbook can be used for the following reasons:

1. Travel allowance

To calculate your business mileage to claim at yearend.

2. Business owner

In a business owner's financial statements one normally claims all vehicle expenses and adds back a private usage on that vehicle to the amount of 2.5% of the cost price per month. This private usage can be limited to the real private mileage as per a logbook.

3. Private use of a company vehicle

Having a company vehicle also triggers the 2.5% on cost price as explained. This 2.5% is based on a deemed 10,000 private kilometers per year. If you can proof by logbook that your private kilometers is less than 10,000 for the year, you may claim back that portion as an expense at yearend.

Hope you will be just as excited over this system.

Yours in tax

Jasper Basson