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Travel tracking apps, website can help at tax time

Every small business owner knows that work-related miles can be a valuable tax deduction.

I'm not just talking out of town trips. Every time you hit the road for a legitimate business purpose, those miles can be claimed on your Schedule C.

Of course, the key to maximizing your travel deduction is good record keeping.

Today's technology is here to help.

Mileage tracking? There's an app for that: There are dozens of smartphone apps that can help you track your travel.

Mileage-Tracking-Apps-For-iPhone2x courtesy App Advice

AppAdvice.com has examined the electronic options and come up with its list of the best.

The big winner in AppAdvice's estimation is Trip Cubby.

Notable travel tracking apps are TripLog/1040, Milog and Mobile Mileage.

The site also evaluates 11 other mileage tracking apps.

None of the apps is free. Some are just 99 cents. A few are $4.99.

But if you're using it for business travel tracking, be sure to deduct that that expense, too.

Online calendar, mileage coordination: If you don't have a smartphone, don't despair.

MileLogr might work for you. Its developer BizLogr, Inc. says it can help you figure out the distances you drove from the data in your online calendar.

MileLogr calculates your mileage based on the appointments you have in your online appointments listing. It works with Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Apple calendars.

Once you connect the online site to your calendar, it will review your meet-ups, calculate the travel to get to them and display the number of miles eligible for a tax deduction.

The site is free. But if you want more, you can buy a detailed report listing all your tax deductible trips. The cost of the report depends on the miles driven.

BizLogr Inc. chief executive Charlie Kindel says MileLogr is perfect for folks who drove a lot in 2012, but forgot to create a log. "It can construct one from their 2012 calendar," says Kindel.

So before you get in your car to head to that next business meeting, check out these apps and website.

Whichever mileage tracking method you choose -- a smartphone app, computer based calculations or old-fashioned jotting your trip info in a notebook you keep in the car -- you'll be glad you have that data on hand when it's time to do your taxes.

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