Tax Write-Offs for Truckers
Whether an individual drives for trucking companies or is independent, there are many expenses that can be deducted when it comes time to file income taxes. Tax liability can be lowered by deducting eligible trucking expenses from gross income. Many employers may pay for some expenses but not others. If a driver pays for any work-related item but is not reimbursed by his employer, then generally he may claim that deduction. Truck drivers who are self-employed may claim all work-related expenses that are incurred. Some common deductions for truck driving jobs are listed below.
• Vehicle Expenditures
The largest cash outlay by far is for operation and maintenance of the truck. A self-employed trucker should keep track of upkeep expenses such as gas, maintenance, repairs, and even depreciation so that he may deduct these. Employees of trucking companies should deduct work-related expenses such as parking and toll fees.
• Travel Expenditures
The second-largest incurred expense on a truck driving job is for travel. Although truckers who remain in the local area don’t typically travel far enough from home to need a hotel room overnight, many long-haul truckers may claim those expenditures that are incurred solely due to travel. These expenditures can include payment for items such as lodging, meals, or laundry. A good way to keep track of expenditures is to keep a log book that records receipts, times, places, purpose of business, and any other miscellaneous travel-related expenses. Save all the receipts in case your tax advisor needs them to support your log book.
• Miscellaneous Expenditures
There are other deductible expenses that many truckers fail to claim but that will reduce the tax liability. Expenses such as employment taxes, fees for local or state licenses, damage or loss to cargo, the cost of liability insurance, and even trade magazine subscriptions are all considered deductible.
• Uniform Expenditures
If a trucker is issued a uniform with the company’s logo, he may deduct the cost of upkeep such as laundry expenses. If the trucker is required to wear the uniform but must purchase it himself, it is considered a deductible expense. If, however, wear of the company-issued uniform is not mandatory, then the deduction cannot be taken.
Verify tax deduction eligibility with your professional tax advisor. Truck driving jobs have many work-related expenses that truckers may not typically have considered.