Today, Jon from the therideshareguy.com will be talking about a free mileage tracking app called Stride Tax. Now, you might remember that we reviewed this app back when it was out only on iOS. It’s now out on both iOS and Android. They’ve made a lot of improvements, and so today we’re going to give you a little bit of an overview of the app and see how it works.
Take a look at Jon’s video review, then check out the transcript below if you’d like to read what he goes over in the video.
Tracking your miles is very important
As a rideshare driver, tracking your miles is really important because it helps you get a bigger deduction on your taxes around this time of year. It also helps you keep better track of your actual profit after your expenses. Stride Tax includes other expense deduction tracking tools as well, in addition to to the mileage tracking feature, so it’s a great way to keep track of all your business expenses all in one place. Before we get into the walkthrough here, I do want to say that Stride is one of our affiliate partners. We do get a small commission whenever someone signs up through our links, but we do try to only recommend apps that we personally use or recommend, and this is definitely one such app, so let’s take a look at it.
Setting up a Stride account and using the basic features
When you first open it up, it’ll ask you to make an account with an email and a password. To add an expense, you’ll hit the green button in the bottom right corner, and you’ll see two options here. Let’s check out “Add an expense” first. This brings up a list of all kinds of different categories that you can sort your rideshare driving expenses into, and it’s a pretty thorough list. It includes things like car washes, your phone bill, mints for passengers, mints and water bottles, tolls, parking, all kinds of things.
You can tap which category the expense best fits into, and then you can add the amount of the expense, the percentage of that amount that was for rideshareing rather than for personal use, and you also have a Notes column to add any additional notes that you might have. It doesn’t let you add pictures of receipts like some of the other apps do. It’s not a huge drawback, but you will want to save those receipts just in case you get audited or someone has some kid of question about your taxes. It’s good to have the receipts as a backup, just in case.
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You can also tap the date in the top right and a little calendar will pop up, so you can add past expenses or future expenses. You don’t have to add the expenses on the day that they occur. You can also tap the question mark in the top right to learn more info about a particular deduction. So, for instance, if we tap the Meals deduction, it’ll explain that if we have a business meal, like, say, we have lunch with a fellow Uber driver to talk shop, or maybe we’re recruiting a new driver, 50% of that meal will be tax deductible. So, you can’t deduct the whole meal, but it’s still worth taking that extra deduction where you can get it.
The Record a Drive feature is the most useful
This is the best part here: the Record a Drive feature. So, we tap the green plus icon again, and then we go to “Record a drive”, and now we can see a map at the bottom, and also our running tally of our miles that we’ve traveled and the deduction that we’ve earned based on that 53.5 cents per mile standard mileage deduction. I didn’t drive around with it for too long.
I did about five miles just to get the feel of the app here, and it did pretty well during that time. The GPS is a little bit odd in that it doesn’t snap you to roads like some of the other apps do like, for instance, with Google Maps, as you’re driving along it’ll stick you to the road. Stride doesn’t do that, so you will notice the pin kind of moving around a little bit on the lane, but it still gets the job done. It’s pretty accurate. I actually kind of like that it doesn’t glue you to the roads. So, if you’re doing circles in a parking lot looking for a passenger, those miles still all get counted because it’s not tethering you to a specific road.
Here, I’m traveling at about 30 miles per hour, and you can see the deduction just keeps going up, and up, and up, and, as you can imagine, the faster you drive, the more miles you’re putting on per second, and your mileage deduction will go up even quicker. So, if you leave this app running while you’re driving for Uber or Lyft, putting hundreds of miles on your car every day, you’ll definitely see a big deduction at the end of the day. It does run in the background while you’re driving. You don’t need to stay on this particular screen the whole time. You can switch back and forth to Google Maps or to Uber or to Lyft, and it will continue tracking all your miles in the background while you do those things.
It’s fairly lightweight. I didn’t really notice it slowing my phone down too much, which is definitely very important with these mileage tracking apps, especially if you’ve got an older phone, one with not as much RAM to keep multiple programs open the whole time. I did find it to be fairly efficient and fairly quick in its usage of of the memory and the processor on your phone.
You can see a running tally of your deductions
And then, back on the main screen here, we can see a running tally of all the deductions that we’ve earned so far for the year. And in the top left you’ve got a menu button. Here you’ll also find an option to add a trip that you didn’t track in realtime using the Record a Drive feature. So, let’s say you forgot to have the app running, you can go back in and add those miles into your tally so they still get counted at tax time, and you have them all in one place. This is super-handy, and a really nice feature for them to include here.
There’s also going to be an “Export to Tax Report” function so you can spit out all your deductions in an easily-digestible document to submit to your tax professional, or to use while preparing your own taxes. They haven’t implemented this feature yet, but I’m sure it’ll work great when they do.
Stride can also connect you to other benefits
Over in the top left, you’ll also see a Benefits tab. Now, if I understand correctly, Stride is actually, they connect people with insurance companies, so what you can do is you can go into the Benefits tab, input a little information about yourself, and they will actually spit out a list of different healthcare options, dental providers, vision insurance providers that you can call upon as an independent contractor. I think that one of the reasons they’re offering this app is because independent contractors, like Uber and Lyft drivers, and DoorDash drivers, and Amazon Flex drivers, and all those other types of app-based work, we typically don’t get health insurance, so I think they looked at us as a particularly profitable demographic to market some of those health insurance plans to. This is one of the reasons that it’s a free app.
They do, obviously, get a lot of their income from the health insurance side of things rather than the mileage tracking side of things. However, the mileage tracking is certainly a nice bonus, and I definitely recommend this app. It’s very lightweight, like I said, very compact, and very free, probably the best feature. It gets the job done, it’s pretty straightforward to use, and I didn’t encounter any bugs or crashes, really, or anything negative about it. So, I highly recommend this app.
Definitely check out Stride if you’ve got an Android or an iPhone; it is now on both. Thank you so much for watching. Drive safe!
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