Being an Uber or Lyft operator can be very rewarding. And make no mistake about it .... you are now a business owner. This post is to help you be aware of some valid business expenses you can claim as a rideshare operator:
(Note: This article focuses on Uber and Lyft, but applies to any rideshare program)
Uber and Lyft both charge commissions to use their service. After all, they are how you get your ride customers, and should receive payment for providing customers to you.
All Uber and Lyft commissions are valid business expenses. At the end of the year, run ALL of the reports available to you, and provide these reports to your tax preparer.
Snacks and water for passengers (and the cooler to put them in)
Providing an ice cold bottle of water to your riders is a great way to build your 5-star rating. Be sure to keep all receipts for water, the cooler, ice, and any other snacks you provide your riders.
Accessories (charging cables)
Riders are often out of town, on a trip, or otherwise 'away from home'. They would totally appreciate a way to charge their devices during your ride. If you set up a charging station for the use of your riders (normally for Apple and Android devices), this is a valid expense. Be sure to keep receipts of all purchases and installation fees (if applicable).
Mileage tracking software (like MileIQ)
Both Uber and Lyft provide mileage tracking in their apps, and both can work. However, they only track mileage while on a trip, and don't track mileage from where you are to the rider pickup. I strongly recommend another app, like MileIQ, which tracks ALL mileage. You can then mark which ones are business, and which are personal. Used correctly, an app like MileIQ will provide you a more accurate business mileage log.
Click this link to get 20% off MileIQ, and save even more!
If you pay tolls while operating as a Lyft or Uber operator, tolls are 100% valid businse.
You didn't become a rideshare operator to do taxes; Hampton Roads Accounting is here to help. Please contact our office to have a tax professional, experienced with Rideshare Operators, prepare your tax return.