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Tax Tips For Truck Drivers

Mar 11, 2022

Tax Tips For Truck Drivers

Whether it is your first year filing taxes as a truck driver or you think you’re a trucking tax pro, you will want to ensure you get your maximum refund by taking advantage of all trucker tax breaks and credits. Tax day is quickly approaching, and there are specific tax deductibles that you can claim as a self-employed truck driver.

We have compiled a list of some top truck driver tax deductions you will want to be aware of, but be sure to seek advice from a tax professional before filing.

Who Is Eligible For Deductions?

The deductions and tips listed below apply to self-employed truck drivers, any individual who is an owner-operator or contract driver. Drivers who received one or more 1099s are eligible for the following deductions. If you received a W-9 for the previous year, you are not qualified for these tax deductions.

11 Truck Driver Deductions To Save You Money

You can deduct them if you paid for a truck driving school or other courses to get your CDL license. Any education related to your truck driving career is eligible; this also includes business courses that may help manage your small business.

Meal Expenses
Pay attention to what qualifies as a tax-deductible meal. You can only deduct a meal while working if you are OTR and are at a far enough distance away from your "tax home" that it requires a stop to sleep.

This deduction is only for long-distance drivers subject to the Department of Transportation's "hours of service" limits allowing the individual to deduct 80% of their meal expenses.

You can deduct the total cost of any trucking-related subscriptions; this includes magazines, websites, and the expenses of being a member of a union or trucking association. Anything that helps your business or truck driving career is deductible.

Travel Costs
If you are far enough away from your "tax home" to require rest, you may be allowed to deduct hotel rooms, parking fees, and tolls.

Medical Exams
Any out-of-pocket expenses you pay from a required medical exam for your truck driving job are deductible.

Truck Repairs and Maintenance
100% of all truck repairs and maintenance that you pay are deductible since the IRS considers the semi-truck a non-personal-use vehicle.

The following items listed are covered:

  • Depreciation
  • Fuel
  • Insurance
  • Loan interest, if you financed the purchase of your truck and trailer
  • Registration
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Tires
  • Washing

Personal Products
Many everyday personal items that drivers use to set up their sleepers and for driving are tax-deductible for business. These items include:

  • GPS
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Bedding
  • Cooler or minifridge
  • Logbook
  • Flashlight
  • Storage containers
  • Sunglasses
  • Gloves
  • Coffee machines
  • Curtains

Office Supplies
Traditional office items to run your business such as pens, notepads, cost of accounting software, faxing, and photocopying costs can all be deducted. Larger items such as laptops and iPads are also tax-deductible depending on how much of the device usage is used for business.

Tools and Equipment
Good news! Tools for your truck are also deductible. You'll probably want to invest in a tool kit if you haven't already.

Taxes and Licenses
Any taxes and licenses that you use for your business can be deducted. The cost to obtain a CDL and any additional endorsements are deductible, along with the Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax.

Itemize or Standard?

The choice is yours. We recommend doing what you will get your biggest return on after adding the items listed above to maximize your itemized returns and consult with a tax professional.

You will need to record what you purchased to enhance your truck driving business. Be sure to keep track and organize all receipts if you opt to itemize your return. Stay organized with a simple file organizer like this one to save yourself the hassle of scrambling for receipts and other documentation later.

The key to being ready for tax season is to keep organized all year long.
Happy filing!

Posted: Mar 11, 2022

Edited: Mar 11, 2022

Tax Tips For Truck Drivers

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