Tax season will soon
be upon us. Here are some tips to help truck drivers, both company drivers and
owner/operators, stay organized and make the most of their deductions.
Make Record Keeping a Priority
Over the year, you’ll
gather a stack of receipts, invoices, bills and statements. Make an effort to
keep these organized from the start by getting a number of boxes or envelopes
and labeling each with a month of the year. Place the documents into each
container according to the month the transaction was made.
Utilize your credit
cards’ detailed expense tracking features. For example, the Cenex Voyager Fleet
card provides detailed reports of how many gallons you’ve purchased and how
much you paid, in addition to tracking spending outside of Cenex stores. You
won’t be able to claim these expenses without supporting records.
Know What Deductions Are Available
Both truck drivers and
owner/operators can reduce their tax burden by deducting expenses. This is
where the folder system will play a key role. Save all of your receipts and
keep them organized. These items add up to hundreds of dollars of tax
Some of the deductions
- Vehicle expenses and maintenance costs – You can deduct fuel, parts, repairs and supplies, including floor mats, bungee cords, tarps, oil changes, jumper cables, cleaning products, CB maintenance, vehicle inspections, etc.
- Travel expenses – Expenses that drivers incur while on the road are deductible. This includes meals, lodging and laundry, as well as toll booth and parking costs.
- Personal care items – This includes items you’ll need to take care of yourself on the road, including sheets, blankets, grooming supplies, detergent, shaving supplies, toiletries, etc.
- Subscriptions to trade publications
- Union and trade association dues
- Licenses and regulatory fees
- Liability insurance premiums
This isn’t a complete
list, but it should give you an idea of things to look for. Consult a tax
professional for more information on deductions and planning for 2017 taxes.
Photo credit: Flickr user teegardin
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