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Alamode's Mileage Estimator

Discussion in 'Technical - Hardware/Software' started by ockyappraiser, Mar 30, 2013.

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  1. ockyappraiser

    ockyappraiser Senior Member

    17
    Sep 26, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Kentucky
    I read about this product and thought this would be great for paper backup of mileage. It advertises that it uses GPS and pulls mileage from my house to the subject and comps for all inspectoins for 2012, then does a report based on current gas prices. I thought for $38 it was worth a shot.

    No matter how I ran it, it would only pull 72 reports for the entire year. I also cannot find anyway to change the default gas price or mpg for my car in the spreadsheet.

    Has anyone else tried this, or am I the only one that bit on this?
     
  2. Tom Woolford

    Tom Woolford Elite Member

    84
    Nov 20, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    Since I keep all my ALM reports by year, then sub-folders for type, it picked up all of my reports, and the mileage is very close to what I had recorded.
     
  3. Pat Butler

    Pat Butler Senior Member

    12
    Jan 17, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Illinois
    I'm not familiar with the product, but believe that the IRS still requires that mileage records be contemporaneous. This software would seem to violate that provision.
     
  4. MBiggers

    MBiggers Junior Member

    0
    Aug 21, 2012
    Professional Status:
    IT Professional-Appraisal Related
    State:
    Georgia

    http://fastforwardacademy.com/blog/...stance-on-tax-preparer-standards-for-mileage/

    Excerpt:
    A recent Tax Court case illustrates how a California enrolled agent could have aided a taxpayer in avoiding an unfavorable ruling. The Court pointed out that a contemporaneous mileage log is not required as long as a reconstructed record has a “high degree of probative value.”
     
  5. JSmith43

    JSmith43 Elite Member

    22
    May 5, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    California
    A reasonable way of doing this is to make a detailed sample log over a several month period. You can then work up an average miles per assignment.

    At that point, estimating miles driven is as easy as counting the number of assignments.

    Doing it this way is more accurate since it includes wrong turn generated miles, Garmin going bonkers miles, & those return trips when you forgot the street scene, etc:)

    Run it past your tax accountant. Appraisers generate real time records such as date stamps on photos, etc. I drive and take photos of many more properties than are in a grid on a typical assignment. There are cases on point, but they are getting old. Maybe your accountant will know the latest & greatest for guidance.
     
  6. Pat Butler

    Pat Butler Senior Member

    12
    Jan 17, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Illinois
    That same article states, "However, tax practitioners should not use approximations from a taxpayer’s unsupported testimony. No deduction is allowed for estimated business mileage."

    Reconstructing your driving 'routes' simply based upon addresses would obviously be an estimate. It's one thing to have a particular route that you always take, then you can measure it one time and then mathmaticaly figure out your yearly total. But as appraisers we are always driving to different places.

    I agree that we have very good evidence of where we actually drove. It's just that the actual mileage figures need to match up with that. With GPS units and the resetable odometers in cars, there's no need to be making estimates after the fact.

    The trend from the IRS has indeed been a movement a little more away from always requiring contemporaneous records, but that trend usually is meant for more incidental expenses rather than the pretty substantial mileage deductions that most appraisers take.
     
  7. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Elite Member

    33
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Georgia
    I have a mileage log in my truck. Started many years ago, but it quickly became a habit to log my daily trek once I got home. I just log total miles driven with a quick note of where I went (city or county). At the end of the month my company reimburses me for mileage at the IRS deduction rate, currently at 56.5 cents per mile.
     
  8. Vermonter

    Vermonter Senior Member

    39
    Mar 21, 2007
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Vermont
    Have Triplog GPS app on my phone that tracks miles driven. Plug it in to the charger and it auto starts once you go over 5mph. Logs until I unplug it, or you can start and stop manually. Just started using it this year, so we'll see.

    Haven't checked out the alamode one, but assuming it goes by office location to subject to comps and back. I'd have to add town offices and the other comps not listed in the report, so not sure how helpful it would be.
     
  9. JSmith43

    JSmith43 Elite Member

    22
    May 5, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    California
    With respect to record keeping,

    From IRS Publication 463:



     
  10. TRESinc

    TRESinc Senior Member

    125
    Dec 1, 2011
    Professional Status:
    Licensed Appraiser
    State:
    Ohio
    or make things much easier for yourself - have a work car and a personal car. no guessing or tracking needed, i just look at the odometer on 1-1-XXXX.
     
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