Here’s help literally from the heavens for one of the most nagging chores with which the Internal Revenue Service saddles business professionals: logs of business-related mileage and stops.
The IRS rarely examines such logs, but heaven help you if you’re audited and don’t have the logs to back up mileage claims.
Well, there’s help literally from the heavens: a device the size of a deck of cards that by reading global positioning satellites can record where your car has been and transcribe the date to your laptop or your PC at home or at work.
According to a Houston firm named Advanced Tracking Technologies Inc., the TravelEyes2 saves the headache not only of keeping but also compiling logs for tax purposes at the end of the year. Likewise, its readouts can save time and trouble for accounting departments in corporations that pay mileage reimbursements.
The firm claims that, if one spends half an hour per day on log work, the device can save 12 days of working time per year.
Together with its software, TravelEyes2 retails in some electronics specialty firms for a suggested $499.95. General retailing is expected to begin in spring.
Advanced Tracking says that the TravelEyes satellite receiver gathers and stores up to 50 hours of GPS signals, showing the exact locations visited by the vehicle, its time on site, speeds en route and the time the vehicle left the site.
Used with its mapping and reports software, TravelEyes tracks miles driven on a daily basis, maintaining a time log and producing comprehensive reports on all travel. One activates TravelEyes by plugging it into the car’s cigarette lighter.
Plugging it into one’s laptop also transforms the computer into an on-board real-time navigator in the style of Q’s developments for some of James Bond’s more advanced cars.
It displays the vehicle’s current location and planned destination routes.
Interestingly, federal law enforcement has used earlier versions of the product for some time as a surreptitious surveillance device. Agents could install it in a hidden location on a car and retrieve it periodically to obtain read-out of the vehicle’s movements.
And Advanced Tracking advises that it sells a cable that allows one to conceal the device on the family car so as to find out where junior has been on Saturday night, whether he was speeding, and how long he spent at each destination.