What is a log book?
A log book is a record of events, presented in a systematic manner. While there are many types of log books based on their purpose, in this article we focus on log books that concern individuals who drive for work.
A log book is used to record business-related trips for employee reimbursement or tax deduction purposes. Depending on your local tax authorities and your situation, your log book will need to contain specific information. It is important that you follow the set requirements, as your log book is considered an official record and is often submitted to your tax authority.
Common details to record in your log book include the distance you drive, the date and time of driving, and the destination and purpose of your journeys.
See what you should record in your log book according to your situation:
- Mileage log book requirements in the US
- Mileage log book requirements in Canada
- Mileage log book requirements in the UK
- Mileage log book requirements in Australia
Log book formats
Log books are accepted in a broad range of formats both by your employer and your local tax authority. You can choose the format that fits you best according to your needs.
Paper log books are available for purchase in bookstores and online, and range in paper size. They have predetermined fields to fill out - make sure they fit the requirements your log book has to meet! You have to manually fill out and details and calculate reimbursement or deductions amounts.
Excel and Sheets log books provide flexibility as you can determine the fields to fill out and they can be automated to a certain extent by using formulas.
A newer log book on the market is the electronic log book. It can be in the form of a GPS device you place in your vehicle, or a mobile application. Electronic and app log books are typically customised to fit different countries’ requirements and record your driving automatically. Then, they can produce log books you can use for your mileage reimbursement or deductions.
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Find out what the new ATO cents per kilometre rate is for 2022/2023 and how to use it. If you drive a car for business purposes, you can claim more per kilometre
The cents per km calculator in this article is based on the 2021 cents per km rate and allows you to estimate your business-related car expenses claim for the year.