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In addition to time worked, you might charge your customers for mileage. If your vendors charge you for mileage, you simply make those charges billable to a customer when you enter the vendor's bill in QuickBooks, as you'll learn in the chapter Paying for Expenses. If you pay employees for their expenses, you can make mileage driven billable to a customer when you write the employee an expense check. But QuickBooks also has a feature for tracking mileage driven with company cars. You have to set up company vehicles in QuickBooks and then to track mileage for tax purposes, you define a mileage rate and its effective date.
The IRS usually adjusts the mileage rate on January 1st but sometimes changes the rate midyear. To charge customers for mileage, you also create an other charge item for mileage. When you add mileage driven, QuickBooks can track your mileage for taxes and add mileage charges to invoices, which is described in the chapter, Invoicing. The first step is adding a company vehicle. On the Lists menu, choose Customer & Vendor Profile Lists and then choose Vehicle List.
In the Vehicle List window click Vehicle and choose New. Fill in the Vehicle box with a name or ID for the vehicle. For example, you might use the make, model and license number or just the name. You can also add a description to make the vehicle easier to identify. When you're done, click OK to add the vehicle to the list. To create a mileage rate for tax purposes you have to open the Enter Vehicle Mileage dialog box.
On the Company menu choose Enter Vehicle Mileage. In the toolbar click Mileage Rates. To add a Mileage Rate, click the first blank cell in the Effective Date column. You might have to scroll to get to it. Type the date such as 1/1/2010. In the Rate cell type a decimal number for the IRS rate. For example, 0.50 for the 50 cent rate for 2010. Click Close.
Now to create an item to charge customers for mileage, on the Homepage click Items & Services. Click Item and choose New. In the New Item dialog box, choose Other Charge in the Type dropdown list. In the Item Name/Number box, type a name like Billable Mileage. In the Description box type the description that you want to appear on invoices.
In the Amount or % box type the decimal number for your charge per mile, such as 0.55 to charge 55 cents a mile. In the Account dropdown list choose the account for tracking reimbursable mileage, such as Miscellanies Income. Choose Non, so you don't charge sales tax for mileage. To close the dialog box, click OK. Now that you have an item, you can record mileage. On the Company menu choose Enter Vehicle Mileage.
Choose the Vehicle that you want to track mileage for, choose the Start Date for the trip, choose the End Date for the trip. If you type the Odometer Mileage at the start and end of the trip, QuickBooks calculates the total miles for you. You can also type a number in the Total Miles box but then you won't have the odometer reading as the IRS requires. To make notes about the mileage driven, type them in the Notes box.
These notes appear when you add the miles to an invoice. To flag the miles as billable to a customer, turn on the Billable checkbox. Choose the Customer or Job. Choose the mileage item you've created for Billable Mileage. Click Save & New if you want to enter more mileage or click Save & Close to save the mileage and close the dialog box. Remember, to track mileage for taxes or charging customers, you create a Vehicle, a Mileage Rate and an Other Charge item in QuickBooks. Then you can use the mileage you track to show a mileage expense on your company tax return or charge customers for miles you drive when you work for them.
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