As a member of the tax professional community, my first priority is to keep as much of your hard-earned money in your pockets as possible. One of the ways that tax preparers help freight trucking professionals all across the country save money is by finding overlooked deductions.
Here are six of the most overlooked deductions for truckers that we see every day:
Supplies: Whether purchased at home or on the road, everything from tarps and tie downs to logbooks and linens can qualify as a tax deduction. Even if you don't have receipts for your purchases, at least write down the details of what you buy in your logbook.
Mileage at Home: These "home miles" could either of the following:
- Work-related miles you drive to buy supplies, check on parts, repairs, etc.
- Work-related miles driven by your spouse or dependent for supplies or any other work-related miles.
Road Expenses: These are often paid by cash, but again write these expenses down in your logbook even if you don't have a receipt:
- Truck supplies
- Scale fees
- Rental cars
Business Furnishings: These could be in your sleeper or at home:
- File Cabinets
Fuel: Every driver obviously has fuel expenses. It's the single biggest expense for owner-operators, yet one out of two drivers understates their fuel expenses, mainly due to lost receipts.
Repairs: Probably the second most understated expense. This should include the following, purchased on the road or at home:
Above all, you need a good record of your expenses to be able to deduct them later at tax time. Keep your receipts or have a written record of all of your expenses. Using a simple trucking management system can also help you capture all your expenses, whether paid by check, cash, credit card, or Comcheck.
Remember: Even a minor improvement to your records can easily cut your tax bill by thousands, year after year!
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Dennis Bridges is a CPA and founder of eTruckerTax.com. His primary focus for the past 20 years has been assisting truck drivers pay the legally lowest amount of income taxes. A recognized leader in finding the best solutions to severe IRS problems, he's written numerous articles for trucking and tax publications, as well as 2 books – "The Truckers Tax Relief Toolkit" and "On Level Ground With the IRS." To learn more, visit eTruckerTax.com.