For many new rideshare drivers, working for Lyft or Uber often means learning how to do your taxes like never before. Even if you are familiar with a 1099-K and a 1099-MISC, you’d pretty much need to be a professional tax accountant to wholly track and properly deduct your business expenses.
As an independent contractor, there are more than a few tax deductions available to you. However, it can be strenuous finding which ones apply to you and understanding how to track them.
That’s where the Stride app comes in. It’s an app that allows you to track all your mileage and other business expenses in one place. This way, you’ll be much more prepared when tax time rolls around (and won’t have to worry that the IRS will come after you about incorrect deductions).
- Tracking Business Expenses With the Stride Drive App
- The Expenses
- How Stride Drive Helps You Track Expenses
- The Story of Stride Drive
- Driver Reviews of Stride Drive
As an independent contractor with a rideshare company, there are a number of expenses you accumulate.
Most notably, there are business expenses, actual car expenses, and of course, mileage. Of all of these, mileage tracking is the most important, since driving for a rideshare company means putting lots of miles on your car. Let’s look at each of these expenses in more detail.
Business expenses could be anything from air fresheners and snacks to the fees and commissions that each rideshare company takes from your gross earnings. We know it may seem strange to think of being a rideshare driver as a “business,” but that’s exactly what it is from a tax perspective. It’s in your best interest, therefore, to treat it as such — it’ll save you lots of money when you go to file your taxes.
Actual car expenses include new tires, gas, insurance, oil changes, garage payments for car storage, and even license and registration fees. Gas and insurance will probably be the largest expenses here — they’re certainly the most frequent (unless your car is having serious mechanical issues, in which case you shouldn’t be using it for rideshare work).
When tracking mileage, transporting riders to and from locations isn’t the only deductible trip. You can also look to deduct miles between pickups, driving to areas with larger concentrations of customers, or even on a trip to the store for more rideshare snacks and supplies. As long as you keep good records and the miles are driven for business purposes, the mileage deduction should apply.
Now, tracking all of that sounds like a hand-cramp waiting to happen, right?
Instead of cobbling together scraps of paper every time you do your tax filing, wouldn’t it be great if there were some way to track, calculate, and view your earnings and expenses more easily?
Luckily, Stride Health developed an app for rideshare drivers called Stride. It features a free mileage tracker, as well as tracking for lots of other expenses that you can write off in order to save money on your tax bill.
Here’s how it works.
- Right before you begin accepting rider requests, pop into the Stride Drive app and tap the green “Start” button.
- The app runs in the background, using GPS mileage tracking to tally your “on-duty” miles in real time.
- When you’re done working, go back into the Stride app and tap “Stop” to stop tracking.
It’s not just a mileage tracking app, however. Stride is also a robust tax app. It comes ready to track a plethora of expenses, with answers to common tax tracking questions and tips on what expenses are (and aren’t) deductible.
For example, your dry cleaning is not deductible. Stride explains that this is because it’s considered a personal hygiene expense. It doesn’t matter if you dry clean your clothes so that you’ll have a more professional appearance to passengers — the IRS won’t let you deduct it.
However, your smartphone service could very well be a deductible expense. As Stride puts it, “You need a lot of cell phone data to run all of those rideshare apps. Your monthly cell phone bill is deductible in the percentage that you’re using those minutes and data for work.”
The long and short of it is this: the Stride Drive app has your back, making expense tracking (and the tax savings that can come with it) a lot easier.
Stride Health’s main business revolves around health insurance for independent workers. This makes rideshare drivers one of their target markets.
Noah Lang, the CEO of Stride Health, Inc., said in 2016:
“Drivers told us they need better tools to maximize their income. We built Stride Drive to make them a successful business of one, and to ensure their driving is as financially viable as possible.”
Lyft drivers, Uber drivers, and food delivery drivers have raved about the app, appreciating the help maximizing their earnings and the in-app guidance on deducting the appropriate expenses.
For example, it came as a surprise to some drivers that a membership with a streaming music service was tax deductible. However, a subscription to a service like Spotify can be considered an amenity towards your passengers.
Come tax season, Stride sends you an IRS-ready report that you can give to your CPA or plug directly into your preferred tax filing software.
For a lengthier list of the most common rideshare expenses and why they should be deducted, check out Stride’s own infographic page.
Still not convinced? Jermaine Ellis shares how Uber drivers saved thousands of dollars with the Stride Drive App:
Stride Drive: a Powerful Tool for Rideshare and Delivery Drivers
When the Drive app first launched, it was only available to iPhone users. Luckily, Stride announced earlier this year that it is now also available on Android marketplaces. That means whether you’re a driver with a ton of tax experience or not, Stride Drive can make life easier for you. The best part is, it’s currently free on the app store!
For more info or to sign up for the app, check out the Stride website now.
What do you think about the Stride Drive App? Let us know in the comments section below.