TIPS: Tracking where you have been

TIPS: Tracking where you have been is a post to help missionaries with their tax information for Meal Deduction and Mileage calculations.

DISCLAIMER: I am neither a tax consultant nor a genius. I am simply a missionary out here doing the work of a missionary.

Have you ever found yourself (as a missionary) doing your taxes and you forgot to log your starting mileage and the cities you were in? For those of you who are doing things correctly, a missionary file their taxes as a business. Every time you go on a trip, you can claim mileage as a business expense. Also when you spend the night away from your home on a business trip you can claim a deduction for the hotel expenses. If you so desire, you can use your actual expense or your take the standard IRS deduction for that city. But you don’t remember everywhere you have been.


Basically it is easy to remember or find out what churches you had meetings in. The distance though is a problem. If you have a cell phone that you use and it is Android, you can get your actual travel day by day off of it. Google sends me a history of my travel. Note that you have to have location option on your phone turned on.

You can also see the distance you traveled because how you travel is not always the shortest distance between two points. Your Google Maps history will give you the distance where you actually traveled.

Per Diem Expense

You need to google IRS Per Diem Expenses and you will find what the government allows per city. Note that this is when you spend the night in a city.

TIPS: Tracking where you have been