The average truck driver may not know it at first, but there are lots of opportunities to cut down on day-to-day driving expenses through specific truck driver tax deductions. This goes for both independent contractors and company drivers.
While it’s true that some companies are quite liberal with tax deductions for their truck drivers, independent drivers need to examine every chance they have to save money through deductions. Look over this list of some common truck driver tax deductions that can be written off (just be sure to have the final deductions you claim examined by a licensed tax attorney before you file).
- Travel Services: While we’re not necessarily speaking of hotels and room service, there are lots of unique truck driver tax deductions that long-haul truckers can claim from their day-to-day travel costs. Some common ones are meals, laundry services, and showers. You can keep track of all costs using either a simple log book, or something like the FuelLog Pro mobile app, which will organize every kind of cost a trucker accrues during a job in an easy to read spreadsheet. When tax time rolls around, you can export all of your reports to an Excel file so your tax adviser can inspect them. Find out more about FuelLog Pro here.
- Road Costs & Vehicle Maintenance: This is the largest cost for any truck driver, bar none. A self-employed truck driver should keep track of upkeep expenses such as gas, maintenance, repairs, and even depreciation for tax deductions. This will also include parking and toll fees. Many OTR truckers are quite surprised at how much they can save once they begin tracking and writing off common truck driver tax deductions.
- Company Clothing: 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 can be written off as a tax deduction. This write off doesn’t apply only if a company uniform isn’t mandatory.
- Odds & Ends: Don’t forget that you can also claim expenses such as employment taxes, fees for local and state licenses, damaged cargo, insurance, and even trade magazine subscriptions as truck driver tax deductions.
Do you have any examples of common truck driver tax deductions? Let us know in the comments section!