1. TurboTax /
  2. Tax Calculators & Tips /
  3. Tax Tips Guides & Videos /
  4. Self-Employment Taxes /
  5. Driving for Lyft? Use This Tax Preparation Checklist

Driving for Lyft? Use This Tax Preparation Checklist

Updated for Tax Year 2018


OVERVIEW

So, you decided to become your own boss (at least part-time) and start driving for a ride-sharing company like Lyft. Use the Lyft tax preparation checklist below to organize your income and deductions to make filing your taxes a breeze. Remember, not all items listed will apply to you, but it will give you a good idea on what you need to report as income and what you can claim as a deduction.


Before you start tax preparation:

  1. Download and print this checklist as a PDF
  2. Place the checklist in a file folder, or attach it to the outside of a folder.
  3. As you receive or locate tax documents, place them in the folder and check them off the list.
  4. Scratch off anything on the list that doesn't apply to your tax situation.
  5. Enter information and amounts that are not already available on other documents, such as your bank routing number for direct deposit.

Lyft tax preparation checklist

You’ve spent hours gathering all of your receipts and necessary documents to outline your expenses. Now what? For first-timers, making the adjustment from filing taxes as an employee to an independent contractor can seem like a daunting task. Whether this is your first time or your tenth time, this tax preparation checklist will help you maximize your tax deductions.

Not every category will apply to you, so just pick those that do, and make sure you have that information available. When you're ready to prepare your tax return using TurboTax software, you'll be surprised at how much time you'll save by organizing your information beforehand.

Your Income

__1099-MISC

__1099-K

__Lyft Annual Summary

__Any other income records you may have

Vehicle Expenses

__Mileage (using the Standard Method) OR all other expense below (using the Actual Expenses Method)

__Car tool kit

__Car wash

__Electronic toll transponder

__Flashlights and flares

__Floor mats

__Gasoline

__Insurance

__Maintenance

__Oil change

__Parking fees

__Portable battery jump pack

__Registration fees

__Repairs

__Snacks and refreshments for your passengers

__Tire inflator and pressure gauge

__Tires

__Tolls

__Towing

__Vehicle accessories

__Vehicle purchases

Insurance

__Heath care

__Long-term care

Communication

__Cell phone purchase

__Cell phone service

__Cell phone repairs

__Cell phone accessories

Commission and Fees

__Lyft fees

Legal and Professional Fees

__Attorney fees

__Bookkeeping costs

__Tax professional fees

Miscellaneous Expenses

__Bank charges

__Business memberships

__Business taxes and licenses

__City and airport fees

__First aid kit

__Office supplies

__Other miscellaneous expenses

__Roadside assistance plans

Common tax forms for Lyft drivers

The number of transactions and income your business generated will determine which tax forms you receive. (You can find these forms in the Tax information page of the Driver Dashboard.)

  • If you earned $600.00 or more in payments, you would receive a 1099-MISC.
  • Alternatively, if you had either $20,000 in payments or over 200 transactions, you may receive a 1099-K.

Even if you don’t receive a tax form, you will still need to report your ridesharing income.

  • All drivers who earned income on the Lyft platform in 2018, regardless of income amount, will receive a 2018 Annual Summary document which has the info you'll need to get your taxes filed.

But don’t let these forms or amounts scare you, you are entitled to several deductions, like the miles you drove.

Deducting miles

Lyft may provide you with your mileage information; however, it may not contain the miles you drove from one customer to the next. Be sure to check your records, so that this deduction is not understated. There are two options to deduct your vehicle expenses:

  • the actual expenses method or
  • the standard mileage method

The standard mileage method requires less record keeping and provides a set rate per mile.

  • Currently, the rate is 58 cents per business mile.

If you choose the actual expenses method, you will need to add all the expenses you incurred in the year, such as gas, repairs, oil change, and anything else related to your vehicle that was necessary to perform your ridesharing activity. If the same vehicle is used for personal reasons, only the business portion is deductible.

Read Maximizing Tax Deductions for the Business Use of Your Car to get the most out of your miles.

Deducting cell phone expenses

Did you know you can deduct your cell phone expenses? In today’s world, a mobile phone can be indispensable to your business. As a driver for a ridesharing company, the use of a smartphone may be required. These can be deductible if used while working for Lyft:

  • purchasing a phone
  • paying the bill
  • repairs
  • buying accessories

If you use your phone for business and personal, you would simply calculate the amount of any services or items used to run the business and allocate that amount to your business expenses.

  • For example, if you use the phone 60% of the time working for Lyft, then you can deduct 60% of the costs.
  • If mobile phone expenses total $1000, then it would be: $1000 x .60 = $600 – this is how much you can deduct as a business expense

If your phone is a dedicated business phone (meaning, it’s not used at all for personal reasons, but for business only), you can deduct 100% of the costs as a business expense.

Other tax deductions

Did you pay a professional to keep track of your transactions or did you seek legal advice related to your activity? These expenses are tax deductible!

As a Lyft driver, you are considered a business owner. That means anything you spend on your business qualifies as a tax-deductible business expense. This can include anything related to your business activity, from paying for bank and software fees to bottled water and snacks.

Read Tax Tips for Lyft Drivers: Ridesharing Taxes for more tips on what you can deduct or use the Tax Preparation Checklist below.

First-year auto depreciation deduction

There is also a first-year auto depreciation deduction of up to $18,000 for vehicles (automobiles that weigh 6 tons or less). If you purchased a car that fits this criterion and started using it for business after 2017, you can take advantage of this deduction.

Remember, with TurboTax Self Employed, we’ll ask you simple questions and fill out all the right forms so you can maximize your tax deductions and minimize your tax bill.

You can also use TurboTax Live where tax experts are available on-demand via one-way video throughout the TurboTax experience. Not only do they provide personalized advice and answers, but also a one-on-one review of your tax return – including the ability to sign and file if needed – so that your taxes are done right.

Perfect for independent contractors
and businesses

Find more tax deductions so you can keep more of the money you earn with TurboTax Self-Employed.

For only $119.99$89.99*
Start for Free

Looking for more information?

* Important Offer Details and Disclosures
  • TURBOTAX ONLINE/MOBILE

  • Try for Free/Pay When You File:TurboTax online and mobile pricing is based on your tax situation and varies by product. $0 federal (for simple tax returns) + $0 state + $0 to file offer only available with TurboTax Free Edition; offer may change or end at any time without notice. Actual prices are determined at the time of print or e-file and are subject to change without notice. Savings and price comparisons based on anticipated price increase. Special discount offers may not be valid for mobile in-app purchases.
  • QuickBooks Self-Employed Offer with TurboTax Self-Employed and TurboTax Live Self-Employed: To receive your complimentary subscription to QuickBooks Self-Employed through 4/30/20, you must pay for your 2018 TurboTax Self-Employed or TurboTax Live Self-Employed return by 4/15/19 and sign-in and access your QuickBooks Self-Employed account via mobile app or at https://selfemployed.intuit.com/turbotax at least twice by 7/15/19. You will have the option of renewing your QuickBooks Self-Employed subscription by 4/30/20 for another year at the then-current subscription rate. You may cancel your subscription at any time from within the QuickBooks Self-Employed billing section. See QuickBooks.com for price comparison. Offer not valid for existing QuickBooks Self-Employed subscribers already on a payment plan.
  • Pays for itself (TurboTax Self-Employed): Estimates based on deductible business expenses calculated at the self-employment tax income rate (15.3%) for tax year 2018. Actual results will vary based on your tax situation.
  • Anytime, anywhere: Internet access required; standard data rates apply to download and use mobile app.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with e-file and direct deposit; tax refund time frames will vary. The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.
  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: A $X.XX Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice.
  • TurboTax Help and Support: Access to a TurboTax specialist is included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed and TurboTax Live; not included with Free Edition (but is available as an upgrade). TurboTax specialists are available to provide general customer help and support using the TurboTax product. SmartLook on-screen help is available on a PC, laptop or the TurboTax mobile app. Service, area of expertise, experience levels, wait times, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice.
  • Tax Advice, Expert Review and TurboTax Live: Access to tax advice and Expert Review (the ability to have a Tax Expert review and/or sign your tax return) is included with TurboTax Live or as an upgrade from another version, and available through December 31, 2019. These services are provided only by credentialed CPAs, EAs or tax attorneys. Some tax topics or situations may not be included as part of this service, which shall be determined in the tax expert’s sole discretion. In the event your return is reviewed by a tax expert and requires a significant level of tax advice or actual preparation, the tax expert may be required to sign your return as the preparer at which point they will assume primary responsibility for the preparation of your return (payment by the federal refund not available when tax expert signs your return). On-screen help is available on a desktop, laptop or the TurboTax mobile app. Unlimited access to TurboTax Live CPAs and EAs refers to an unlimited quantity of contacts available to each customer, but does not refer to hours of operation or service coverage. Service, area of expertise, experience levels, wait times, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice.
  • Tax Return Access, Smart Insights and My Docs features: Included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed, TurboTax Live or with PLUS benefits. Access to all tax-related documents we have on file for you is available through 10/31/2020. Terms and conditions may vary and are subject to change without notice.
  • Easy Online Amend: Included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed, TurboTax Live or with PLUS benefits. Make changes to your 2018 tax return online for up to 3 years after it has been filed and accepted by the IRS through 10/31/2021. Terms and conditions may vary and are subject to change without notice.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2017 TurboTax products.
  • Most Popular: TurboTax Deluxe is our most popular product among TurboTax Online users with more complex tax situations.
  • CompleteCheck: Covered under the TurboTax accurate calculations and maximum refund guarantees.
  • #1 rated online tax prep provider: Based on independent comparison of the best online tax software by TopTenReviews.com January 29, 2018.
  • Get tips from Turbo based on your tax and credit data to help get you to where you want to be: Tax and credit data accessed upon your consent.
  • TURBOTAX GUARANTEES

  • 100% Accurate Calculations Guarantee: If you pay an IRS or state penalty or interest because of a TurboTax calculation error, we’ll pay you the penalty and interest.
  • Maximum Refund Guarantee - or Your Money Back: If you get a larger refund or smaller tax due from another tax preparation method, we'll refund the applicable TurboTax federal and/or state purchase price paid. TurboTax Online Free Edition customers are entitled to payment of $14.99 and a refund of your state purchase price paid.
  • 100% Accurate Expert Approved Guarantee: If you pay an IRS or state penalty (or interest) because of an error that a TurboTax CPA, EA, or Tax Attorney made while providing topic-specific tax advice, a section review, or acting as a signed preparer for your return, we'll pay you the penalty and interest.
  • Audit Support Guarantee: If you received an audit letter based on your 2018 TurboTax return and are not satisfied with how we responded to your inquiry, we’ll refund the applicable TurboTax federal 1040 and/or state purchase price you paid. TurboTax Free Edition customers are entitled to payment of $14.99 and a refund of your state purchase price paid. We will not represent you or provide legal advice. Excludes TurboTax Business.
  • TurboTax Free Guarantee: $0 Federal + $0 State + $0 To File offer is available for simple tax returns with TurboTax Free Edition. A simple tax return is Form 1040 only, with no attached schedules.
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed:
    • If you use TurboTax Online or Mobile:
      Satisfaction Guaranteed — or you don't pay. You may use TurboTax Online without charge up to the point you decide to print or electronically file your tax return. Printing or electronically filing your return reflects your satisfaction with TurboTax Online, at which time you will be required to pay or register for the product.
    • If you bought or downloaded TurboTax from a retailer:
      Try TurboTax software. If you're not satisfied, return it to Intuit within 60 days of purchase with your dated receipt for a full refund.
    • If you bought or downloaded TurboTax directly from us:
      Try TurboTax software. If you're not satisfied, return it within 60 days of shipment with your dated receipt for a full refund (excluding shipping & handling).
  • TURBOTAX CD/DOWNLOAD

  • TurboTax CD/Download products: Price includes tax preparation and printing of federal tax returns and free federal e-file of up to 5 federal tax returns. Additional fees apply for e-filing state returns. E-file fees do not apply to New York state returns. Savings and price comparison based on anticipated price increase. Prices subject to change without notice.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with e-file and direct deposit; tax refund time frames will vary. The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.
  • Pay for additional TurboTax services out of your federal refund: A $X.XX Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice. This benefit is available with TurboTax Federal products except TurboTax Business.
  • About our TurboTax Product Experts: Customer service and product support vary by time of year.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2017 TurboTax products.
  • Data Import: Imports financial data from participating companies; may require a free Intuit online account. Quicken and QuickBooks import not available with TurboTax installed on a Mac. Imports from Quicken (2016 and higher) and QuickBooks Desktop (2014 and higher); both Windows only. Quicken import not available for TurboTax Business. Quicken products provided by Quicken Inc., Quicken import subject to change.