While some companies that require their employees to drive for them pay for gas, food delivery drivers for Uber Eats are either independent contractors or essentially independent contractors, being part of the “gig economy.”
So does Uber Eats pay for gas for its drivers?Especially if we take into consideration how expensive Uber Eats can be?
We’ll examine this further in the article below.
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Does Uber Eats Pay for Gas for its Drivers
No, Uber Eats does not pay for gas for its drivers. Like other “gig economy” delivery companies, drivers are either essentially or explicitly independent contractors and, therefore, pay for gas themselves. It’s important to keep track of your mileage, though, as you may at least get a tax deduction.
How Much do Uber Eats Drivers Spend on Gas?
Uber Eats drivers mostly report paying between $50 to $200 per month on gas, though some drivers report paying $800 per month or more.
The amount of money Uber Eats drivers spend on gas depends on how much they drive, how good or bad their car’s gas mileage is, and to some extent, even how much traffic they do or don’t get stuck in.
Does Uber Eats Pay Hourly?
Uber Eats does not pay its food delivery drivers a set rate per hour, as its food delivery drivers are independent contractors and not direct employees. Rather, Uber Eats drivers get paid an amount for each delivery, plus an optional tip from the customer.
Uber Eats drivers report earning $9-$24 per hour overall, with most people reporting about $15/hour. Some outlets report that after taking into account gas and other expenses incurred by the delivery drivers, the average net pay comes out to about $8-$12/hour.
Can Gas Expense for Uber Eats be a Tax Deduction?
Although Uber Eats does not reimburse its drivers for gas, it’s important to keep track of your mileage because you likely can at least get a tax deduction for them.
Every year, the IRS publishes a standard mileage rate for a tax deduction cost per mile driven for business purposes. For 2021, that rate was $0.56 per mile. (This was a bit less than the standard mileage rate for the previous year.)
Alternatively, the IRS website states, “Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.”
The IRS website continues on to explain that if a taxpayer uses the standard mileage rate, they must do so in the first year the car is available for business use. In subsequent, they can choose either the actual expenses or the standard mileage rate.
You should note that the IRS website also specifies that for leased vehicles, if the standard mileage rate is chosen, then that must be used for the entire lease period, including a lease renewal.
It’s important to discuss with your tax professional whether you should calculate the actual costs of your Uber Eats driving, or whether you should take the standard mileage rate deduction.
Whether you use the standard mileage rate or actual expenses, you need to keep track of your mileage. (It’s also a good idea, either way, to keep track of the actual costs of your gas and any other driving expenses, as well.)
How Do I Keep Track of my Uber Eats Mileage and Gas Costs?
It’s important to know that only certain miles are deductible for business use. Personal miles (for example running errands, picking up your own meal, etc.) and commute miles (driving to and from your home) do not count.
Although you can turn on the mileage tracking option on your Uber Eats app, it’s usually more accurate and IRS-compliant to use an app specifically designed to track business miles, or an old-fashioned mileage log.
A couple of apps that are recommended for this purpose include MileIQ and Stride Tax. They work by using the location tracking on your phone and create a mileage record that you could show to the IRS if needed.
Another option is to keep a log that you fill in on a lap top, tablet, or by hand.
However you choose to track your mileage, your mileage log should have the following information. Make sure to keep track of the date, the starting and ending location of each trip, the purpose of that trip, and any other expenses incurred, such as tolls or parking costs.
Also, keep track of how many miles you drove overall for the year by noting the odometer reading at the beginning and ending of the year.
If possible, it can also be helpful to have a separate bank account that you use only for your business expenses.
It’s always best to enter information into the mileage log from the very beginning. Trying to figure it out later might be somewhat possible, by will be more difficult and runs the risk of being inaccurate.
Is Driving for Uber Eats Worth It?
Despite the costs and lack of gas reimbursement by the company, many drivers feel that driving for Uber Eats is worth it overall. Uber Eats and other gig economy jobs offer certain benefits that are valued by many people for a variety of reasons.
Many Uber Eats drivers enjoy the flexible scheduling opportunities. This is a great option for people who are juggling other responsibilities such as school, another job, caring for family members, or who just prefer flexibility over a rigid schedule!
Delivering food for Uber Eats is also often considered a safer alternative compared to driving passengers in one’s car. This is a major consideration for anyone avoiding possible COVID exposure, or who may concerned about having strangers in their car.
Also, although the cost of gas is not reimbursed by the company, if you keep your records properly, you can deduct some or all of the cost of gas, as well as other driving expenses, from your taxes. Make sure to check with your tax professional to ensure that you are correctly maximizing any tax deductions to which you may be entitled.
Does Uber Eats Reimburse Drivers for Gas?
No, just like other “gig economy” delivery companies, drivers are basically independent contractors and so have to pay for gas themselves. Gas and other expenses, however, may be tax deductible, so be sure to check with your tax professional to get all tax deductions to which you may be entitled.