My Uber week in review – July 23 to July 29

In my quest to find out if I can make any kind of living driving for Uber, I completed my first whole week of driving for the ride share company. When I refer to a week, I’m referring to a traditional work week, Monday through Friday. Here’s a snapshot of my week:

My Uber week in review - July 23 to July 29 - Bent Corner
I was logged into the Uber app available to accept rides for almost 21 hours. I accepted 16 ride requests and earned close to $262 for my effort. That works out to be around $12.47 an hour, more than I could earn stocking shelves at Walmart. One huge difference between driving for Uber and getting a low-paying conventional job is I will end up paying very little in taxes on the money I earned this week. The reason? The amount I can deduct for mileage this week.

From the moment you leave your driveway to begin driving for Uber to the moment you drop off your last passenger and return home, your mileage is tax-deductible. The IRS allows you to deduct $0.535 per business mile driven. Not only can you deduct the mileage someone is in your car, but you can deduct the mileage you drive in between rides when you are looking for a place to park were there are no other Uber drivers around. When waiting for a new ride request, I often fire up the Uber passenger app and try to find areas around Hagerstown where none of my fellow Uber drivers are waiting. When I see such a spot, I drive there and park.

I can deduct those miles too.

This past week with Uber, I drove a total of 527 miles. That means I can deduct $259 from the $262 Uber will be paying me. That results in a total of $3 in taxable income for the week.

My Uber week in review - July 23 to July 29 - Bent Corner

That doesn’t include the gas I spent this week. I burned gas not only driving, but sitting in park waiting for a ride. There were days it was in the 90’s and I had to run the air conditioning while parked. It also don’t doesn’t factor in the so-called wear and tear I put on my vehicle. It is what it is. Most of the conventional jobs I’ve had required me to commute. I burned a lot of gas commuting to those jobs. I put a lot of wear and tear on my vehicles commuting to those jobs.

Again, it is what it is. I had fun driving for Uber this week. I got to meet people I’ve never met before and I had some great conversations with most of them. For me, there’s real value in that.

My goal for next week is to do better than this week. I should be able to log in with Uber for more than 21 hours next week.

Writer Peter David asks fans to pay his taxes

Comic book and Star Trek novel writer Peter David is in trouble. He has a massive tax bill due and he doesn’t have the money to pay it. As of now, he owes $88,000 in back taxes, interest, and penalties.

All this is from money he earned making a Canadian kid’s TV show called Space Cases. It appeared on TV for two years, beginning in 1996. According to Peter David, his now ex-wife pilfered half the money he set aside in a bank account for taxes. She used the money to hire a divorce lawyer. He then used the rest of the money to hire his own divorce lawyer, leaving no money for his taxes.

Peter David says he tried to make payments to the IRS. He would make payments, but then when April 15 rolled around, he wouldn’t have any money to pay that year’s taxes. He had already spent his money on paying his past tax bill.

Then, according to Peter David, the IRS forgot about it.

As fate would have the IRS recently remembered Peter David’s owed a lot of money. They now want him to pay what he owes. Imagine that.

Peter David wants donations to pay his taxes - Bent Corner

Peter David is now asking each of his Facebook and Twitter followers to send him $10. According to him, he has 5,000 followers on Facebook and 13,000 followers on Twitter. That means if each of these fans sends him $10 as he’s asked them to do, that will give him $180,000. That amount is much more than what he says he owes the IRS.

Fans can send him money through his PayPay account or special Go Fund Me page. As of this morning, his Go Fund Me page is showing people have given him over forty grand.

It’s things like this that make me glad I deleted my Facebook account. I’d hate to have some minor celebrity I follow on Facebook hit me up for money so he doesn’t have to go to prison. I do have a Twitter account, but I’ve never followed Peter David on Twitter. For all I know, he’s got me blocked.

I don’t know what’s worse: cheating on your taxes or begging fans to pay what you owe the government. Both scenarios involve you not paying what you owe. For me, asking people I don’t know for money because I decided not to pay the IRS like a regular person is much worse. It’s embarrassing. A worthy cause this is not. I will not be sending Peter David any money. He needs to pull up his big boy pants and pay his own taxes and not beg his fans to do it.

I pay my taxes every year. He should do the same. Endless wars in the Middle East don’t pay for themselves.

When Peter David is convicted for tax evasion and goes to prison, I might donate money to his prison commissary account. He could use it to buy beef jerky and Gatorade, items I’m told are quite popular in federal prison. If he gets sent to Cumberland, I could even visit him in person. It’s not that far from here.