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  1. #1
    Senior Member Olko's Avatar
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    How long to keep Log Books?

    It's been a little over three years since my wife and I had to come in off the road, and in doing some cleaning before moving we started wondering if there was any legal reason to keep our old log books. The only thing I can think of would be if we got audited after all this time, which would be just our luck :7

    I still see a few names from the past are still here, and I want to say Hi to them, and I hope everything is going well for you.

    Thanks
    Olko and WendyCal
    For information on several Health Topics which might be helpful to drivers.....Better Your Health

  2. YOU decide your loads, your schedule, your home time with Landstar
    Landstar Express America
    As a "Business Capacity Owner" or BCO with Landstar, you control your business the way YOU want. You select the freight. You set your schedule. You decide on home time. At Landstar, owner/operators are compensated based on a fixed percentage of the revenue generated from the freight they haul. As rates increase, so does your compensation. Landstar is hiring Owner/Operators... Apply now!
     

  3. 1,125736,16703,7
  4. #2
    Senior Member
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    Edgewater, Florida, USA.
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    RE: How long to keep Log Books?

    My account said 7 years. Sounds nutty but better be safe than sorry. I've been audited in the past, and they went back 3 years then. Good luck with the storage problem.

  5. 2,125737,16703,7
  6. #3
    LDB
    LDB is online now
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    RE: How long to keep Log Books?

    Unless I'm mistaken logbooks only have to be kept 6 months. For financials those should be kept 7 years but I believe only 6 months for the DOT logbook.

    Leo
    truck 767

    Support the entire Constitution, not just the parts you like.
    It's okay if you disagree. I can't force you to be correct.

  7. 3,125738,16703,7
  8. #4
    Senior Member raceman's Avatar
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    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
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    RE: How long to keep Log Books?

    You can go to the DOT site and ask them and you will have the exact answer sometime Monday in your email. Usally a legal record of this sort is seven years. I really do not remember because there are so many dag on dates and things to keep up with. LDB may again be right on the nose with 6months for the driver. Check with your company and see how long they have to hang on to them. One place where this can become an issue is in some type of court appearence or investigation. The legal records (logbooks) may be needed. It is more likely that a company would have to produce records years later than you personally but to be sure, I say go to the source. With everything we have to keep when in business and extra truck in the backyard for storage will soon be needed. :)

    RaceMan

    ---Why Hug a tree when you can sit on a Diesle---

  9. 4,125739,16703,7
  10. #5
    Senior Moderator davekc's Avatar
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    RE: How long to keep Log Books?

    I would follow IRS guidelines. Most would be taking per diem ect. As Glen mentioned, they can go back three but keep them for seven.
    Davekc
    fleet owner
    29 years
    Panther & Load One


  11. 5,125740,16703,7
  12. #6
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    Buchanan, Michigan, USA.
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    RE: How long to keep Log Books?

    I agree with all the seven year people. IRS would only go back 3 years, but since it's a legal document I'd save 'em for seven. Log books don't take up much space - I'd just be safe and hang on to 'em. Take care - X

  13. 6,125741,16703,7
  14. #7
    LDB
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    RE: How long to keep Log Books?

    FMCSR 395.8(k)Retention of driver's record of duty status. (1)Each motor carrier shall maintain record of duty status and all supporting documents for each driver it employs for a period of six month from the date of receipt. (2)The driver shall retain a copy of each record of duty status for the previous 7 consecutive days which shall be in his/her possession and avialable for inspection while on duty.

    That's according to the FMCSR revision of 2003. One commonality of this thread seems to be trying to compare logs to financial records and IRS requirements. They are totally separate things and shouldn't be in the same thought or thread.

    Keep your logs as long as you want but in actuality you are only required to produce the prior 7 days as a driver. I used the 6 months the carrier is required simply because it works if you have your own authority etc. and 6 old books are nothing to keep. I don't really want 84 or more old books laying around though.

    Leo
    truck 767

    Support the entire Constitution, not just the parts you like.
    It's okay if you disagree. I can't force you to be correct.

  15. 7,125742,16703,7
  16. #8
    Senior Moderator davekc's Avatar
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    RE: How long to keep Log Books?

    They are common in the process of an audit to determine hours and location if a per diem is being used. The alternative would be to gain them from your carrier. In the process of an audit, it would be your responsibility to provide them, not the carrier. You have a bigger problem if the carrier has lost them or went out of business.
    You are correct that FMSCA only requires what you indicated.
    It will be of little solice in the event of an audit unless you have other very specific documents indicating hours worked through a day, date and location. Logs would be your first defense if you are challenged in an audit for per diem deductions. IRS has stepped up reviews in this regard because many carriers have opted to start paying their drivers a per diem through settlements.
    Davekc
    fleet owner
    29 years
    Panther & Load One


  17. 8,125743,16703,7
  18. #9
    Senior Member Olko's Avatar
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    RE: How long to keep Log Books?

    Thanks for the input. Guess we will stick them in a back corner somewhere for another 4 years.

    Olko, now heading back into Lurker mode!!!!
    For information on several Health Topics which might be helpful to drivers.....Better Your Health

  19. 9,125744,16703,7
  20. #10
    Senior Member
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    Silver Creek, New York, USA.
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    RE: How long to keep Log Books?

    Hi Wendy and Kevin! I hope things are picking back up for you. Keep the log books forever. You never know if or when you'll go back over the road, and they verify experience. If not that, they are fun to look back on and see where you went when you drove OTR. I even laugh to this day when I look back and see some of the places Thompson, Con-Way, FedEx, C&M and All-State have sent me. It's nothing short of amazing, yet I think nothing of it until I look at the old logs, which must be kept unlike taking pictures, which gets boring after a while. If that isn't enough, you can bore children with them!
    -Weave-


  21. 10,125745,16703,7
  22. #11
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    RE: How long to keep Log Books?

    We were audited in 1996 , for our 1994 return.The log books were used to verify road expenses.One thing we did was to clean up the logs and redo them with all the i's dotted and the t's crossed. After doing 24 logbooks the IRS Agent only looked at January and said all was OK.
    To this day I think a rotten neighbor turned us in to the IRS under the so called whistle blower program. i live on a good street with decent neighbors but there is always one old sob who has nothing to do.
    At that time Roberts told me they only keep log books for 6 months.

  23. 11,125746,16703,7
  24. #12
    Senior Member
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    mi, us.
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    RE: How long to keep Log Books?

    a driver only has to keep his log for the previous 7 or 8 day period after that month is over beyond that u dont have to keep them by law or codes but i agree with the others i always keep mine as a driver for 6 mnths if i were a owner operator i would prob. keep for the seven yr period though, just 2 be safe because u just never know what the irs might ask for, not that its a financial record but it goes a long way if they say are u sure u bought fuel here u can say well i have a receipt and my log from that date says i was in that area at that time.
    mike
    fed ex custom critical
    d 7267

  25. 12,125748,16703,7
  26. #13
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    RE: How long to keep Log Books?

    HI RICH,

    IN ANSWER TO THE QUESTION ABOUT KEEPING LOG BOOKS. ALL OF YOU ARE CORRECT EXCEPT WHEN IT COMES TO THE IRS. IF YOU ARE AUDITED MOST WANT THE LOG BOOKS AND ACTUALLY GO THROUGH EACH AND EVERYONE OF THE PAGES TO SEE WHEN YOU LEFT AND RETURNED TO YOUR MAIN PLACE OF ABODE, DUE TOTHE FACT THAT DRIVERS ARE TAKING THE WHOLE DAY FOR THOSE DAYS, THEY ARE SUPPOSE TO BE BASED ON 1/4 PARTS OF THE DAY. THAT WAY THEY CAN GET YOU FOR LESS DAYS LOGGED.

    THERE IS ANOTHER REASON THAT IF YOU ARE A COMPANY DRIVER, 3 YEARS IS ALL THAT YOU HAVE TO KEEP THEM.

    IF YOU ARE AN O/O THEN ITS 7-10 YEARS,

    IF THEY THINK THAT YOU ARE DISHONEST WITH YOUR LOG BOOKS OR YOU HAVE MADE A FRAUDLENT RETURN, THEN THEY CAN GO AS FAR BACK AS THEY WANT. AND AUDIT YOU FOR EVERY YEAR.

    SO IF YOU ARE AN INDEPENDANT, OR CORPORTATION HOLD ON TO THE LOG BOOKS FOR AT LEAST 10 YEARS.


    FRANK
    FRANK'S TAX & BUSINESS SERVICE

  27. 13,125747,16703,7
  28. #14
    Senior Member
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    RE: How long to keep Log Books?

    The rules on records can be tough to get a handle on. Keep in mind that when an audit is initially done, it is to check to see if you are honest. However, if the IRS finds that you appear to have been fraudulent in your record keeping and filing, they can go back farther and deeper in order to prosecute. Personally, I have always kept my records 7 years. It is your responsibility to provide the proof of your claims, not the IRS's.

  29. 14,125749,16703,7
  30. #15
    Junior Member
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    Dillonvale, OH, USA.
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    RE: How long to keep Log Books?

    Seven years of log books is 84 log books. I throw 'em away on the 9th of the month (you're required to show the last eight days) and if the IRS ever wants to audit my books I don't see any point in giving them any additional ammo to use against me. You are not required to keep logs for the IRS, they are for the DOT. If you have an accountant or suchlike do your returns, they are the party that's responsible for stepping up to the plate in the case of an audit (been there done that).
    I knew a guy that kept every one for thirty years. He took 'em all outside one day and burnt 'em; said he felt odd doing it but was actually glad to see 'em go.
    You'd have been well advised to have kept the original Dan'l Boone and Mingo action figures, but keeping log books for seven years so the IRS can HAVE 'em to torture you with...?

  31. 15,125750,16703,7
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