Top 3 Money Saving Tips For Independent Drivers

Do you pick up passengers for Uber or Lyft, make deliveries for Postmates or Doordash, visit clients, or otherwise use your vehicle for business purposes? If you do, read on! Here are our top 3 money saving tips for independent drivers to help you save hundreds or thousands of dollars on tax deductions.

Tip Number 3 – Educate Yourself

We’ve done multiple surveys over the last couple years asking independent workers and drivers if they know how tax and deductions work for them? The majority of responses were a resounding “No”.

What that means is pretty clear. Most independent drivers don’t know that they will owe potentially hundreds or thousands of dollars in taxes in April. Approximately 30% of their earnings might go to the government.

However, it’s quite easy to substantially reduce or eliminate what you owe with some simple education (like this blog post on filing taxes on the on-demand economy).

The point is simple, especially if you’re new to being an independent or self-employed worker: Take the time to do a little reading and learn about record keeping and filing taxes. And if you have specific questions, seek help from online forums or discussion groups too!

tracking-expenses-saving-money-sherpashare

Tip Number 2 – Keep A Record Of Your Expenses

Here’s a brief overview of expenses you should keep a record because you may be able to deduct them: Car payments, interest on the auto loan, license, title, and registration, fuel costs, maintenance, insurance, mobile phone and charger, wireless plan, and car washes.

If your a rideshare (Uber or Lyft) driver or other independent driver, these costs can become substantial and potentially offset any potential tax owed.

Whether you’re keeping receipts or using an app, the main point is to keep a record and always think about keeping a record of these expenses. The best practice for many independent workers is to get in the habit of entering an expense when you’re filling up at the pump, in the car wash, or otherwise have just made the purchase.

 

Tip Number 1 – Track Your Mileage

It’s always worth re-emphasizing this because if you do one thing, this would be it: Track your business miles. The reason is that most self-employed or independent workers use the standard mileage deduction when filing taxes ($0.54 per mile in 2016).

If you use an app like SherpaShare for this, you’ll have an online record of all of your trips, including maps of where they took place to use for taxes and to defend against any potential audit in the future.

If you drive 100 miles in a day for business, that’s a $54 deduction right there! You can quickly see how just by tracking miles automatically you can end up deducting thousands of dollars from your taxable income.

Have any other tips you’d recommend to your fellow independent workers? Leave a comment! Want a free trial of SherpaShare to get unlimited mileage, expense, and earnings tracking – and more. Get your 14 day free trial.

How do you choose the best radio station for your passenger?

Guest contributor Mike from Southern California shares his tips on radio play for passengers and what works the best for him. 

Silence is golden, or so they say but, is it really that great when you’re a car with a stranger? If you’re a new Uber or Lyft driver you may not realize just yet how awkward it can be to drive with a passenger only to have neither of you talking. Here’s how having the radio on can not only help give your passengers a great experience but also make your time on the road fly by.

Continue reading “How do you choose the best radio station for your passenger?”

Uber Tips: Have the SherpaShare tip decals helped?

Thousands of our ‘Tips are appreciated’ signs have now hit the road across the US, in response to one of the non-monetary terms of the proposed Uber settlement. Here are our tips on getting more tips, and success stories from some early drivers using our tip signs. Continue reading “Uber Tips: Have the SherpaShare tip decals helped?”

Rideshare Insurance 101: Is your coverage enough?

Recently SherpaShare asked its readers about their insurance coverage and discovered that a vast majority of people were, in fact, not covered adequately for incidents that occurred as the result of ridesharing.  Continue reading “Rideshare Insurance 101: Is your coverage enough?”

Here’s what’s trending among Uber, Lyft, on-demand workers on SherpaShare Pulse

What would a driver owned company look like? Will what happened in Austin happen in other cities? Meet a newly out-of-work Austin driver. Left behind cell phone question. Pride for a new Lyft jacket. Question about retirement benefits as an Uber or Lyft driver. And more.

We pulled some of the most popular driver conversations from the past 24 hours. For the latest up-to-date threads, check out SherpaShare Pulse or view the blog widget (right column on website).

Click on post to see the entire thread:

What would a driver owned company look like….

Uber Driver Owned Company SherpaShare Thread

Will what happened in Austin happen in other cities?…

Thoughts on Uber Lyft Austin News SherpaShare Thread

Meet a newly out-of-work Austin driver… Continue reading “Here’s what’s trending among Uber, Lyft, on-demand workers on SherpaShare Pulse”

Uber Tips: Why the tipping culture will change

Last week we had an exclusive interview with Shannon Liss-Riordan who explained that one of the things she gauged during negotiations with Uber was how reluctant they are to incorporate any aspect of tipping into their system. If you haven’t already, make sure you go and watch the whole interview here! Which brings us to tipping…. Continue reading “Uber Tips: Why the tipping culture will change”

An Uber Tip Sign in Every Car

A major part of the Uber settlement was Uber agreeing to allow drivers to put small signs in their cars to the tune of: “Tips are not included or necessary but are appreciated”.

We want to help every Uber driver in the country have a great looking tip sign. As a SherpaShare member, you can now order a free tip decal from SherpaShare. The pre-order decals are limited. Pre-order here.

If you’re not a SherpaShare member, you’ll first need to create a free account here.

Exclusive interview with Shannon Liss-Riordan explaining the Uber Settlement

In an hour long conversation, Shannon Liss-Riordan provided details on the $100 million dollar Uber Settlement, announced last Thursday, directly to SherpaShare to help share with every single driver in the US.

Shannon’s message is clear: This settlement is a major step forward for drivers, and given all of the circumstances, was the clear best choice to help impact and improve the daily lives of Uber drivers.

Find out exactly how you are affected and how you benefit, whether you’re an Uber driver in California, Massachusetts, or anywhere else throughout the US. Read the summary and see excerpts from the video interview. Get the full interview clips on the SherpaShare website. 
Continue reading “Exclusive interview with Shannon Liss-Riordan explaining the Uber Settlement”

Pulse Q&A with Derek from sharedeconomycpa.com

SherpaShare's CPA answers 1099 Tax Questions for Drivers
SherpaShare answers 1099 Tax Questions for Uber, Lyft Drivers

Derek hosted an Ask Me Anything session on Pulse on both Friday and Monday. Here is the transcript.. All of Derek’s answers are highlighted! Continue reading “Pulse Q&A with Derek from sharedeconomycpa.com”

Ask our CPA: Your 1099 tax filing questions answered

Starting today on our SherpaShare Pulse app, we’ll have a series of free tax tips question and answer sessions. The goal: Help you get all of your tax questions answered and maximize your deductions before taxes are due on April 18th.

Here’s the calendar of sessions, exclusively on the free SherpaShare Pulse app (iOS) followed by the list of questions that have been asked so far.

Continue reading “Ask our CPA: Your 1099 tax filing questions answered”