As a truck driver, you likely have a lot of questions about your taxes. What truck driver deductions are available to you? How do you file? What records do you need to keep? Is there a truck driver tax deductions worksheet?
Don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this post, we’ll go over the most common tax deductions that truck drivers can claim. We’ll also provide some tips on how to keep track of your expenses and make your truck driver’s tax preparation process as easy as possible.
Tax Breaks for Truck Drivers
If you’re a truck driver, there are a few tax breaks that you should know about. For example, did you know that you can deduct the cost of truck and trailer repairs? That’s right—if you had to fix a flat tire or replace a broken taillight, you can write that off on your truck driver taxes.
You can also deduct the cost of any tools or equipment that you need to do your job, like a GPS system or an E-ZPass transponder. And if you’re ever required to stay overnight in a hotel because of bad weather or construction delays, you can deduct the cost of your hotel room, too. Long-haul truck drivers can even claim 50% of their meal expenses.
So if you’re a truck driver, make sure to keep track of all your truck driver expenses throughout the year. Come tax time, you’ll be glad you did!
Who Can Claim Truck Driver Tax Deductions?
There are also a few tax deductions for truck drivers who are eligible. However, recent changes to the tax code (known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) have made it so that only self-employed truck drivers are eligible for expenses on their taxes. You must be a contract driver, owner-operator or company driver to qualify. So, examine the tax documents that you received at the end of the year to determine if you are eligible for these deductions.
You are considered a company driver if you receive a W-2 Form. Unfortunately, no deductions can be made for those job-related expenses. But, you can claim trucker tax deductions if you get one or more 1099 forms.
Common Truck Driver Tax Deductions
As highlighted above, since you’re on the road so much, there are a few expenses that you can deduct that other people can’t. For example, you can deduct the cost of your insurance policy, as well as any repairs or maintenance that you have to do on your truck and trailer. You can also deduct the cost of your GPS system and any other tools that you need for your job.
You can also deduct the cost of your lodging and meals while you’re on the road. This is a great deduction if you’re staying in hotels, but it also applies to RV parks and campgrounds. And, if you’re buying your meals while you’re on the road, you can deduct a portion of those costs as well.
Finally, you can also deduct any fees that you pay to get your trucking license or permit, as well as any costs associated with getting your medical card. These are all expenses that are specific to being a truck driver, and they can really add up!
If you’re a member of a union or professional trucking association, the dues you pay to belong can be deducted from your taxes. This is just one more way that you can save money as a trucker!
If you use a cell phone or computer for business purposes, you can also deduct a portion of your monthly bill. Just how much you can deduct depends on how much you use the device for business. If you use it 50% of the time for business, then you can deduct 50% of the cost.
To calculate, simply take your monthly bill and multiply it by the percentage of time you use the device for business. So, if your monthly bill is $100 and you use your phone 50% for business, your deduction would be $50.
Yes, you can deduct the cost of your truck driving education from your taxes. That’s right – if you’ve attended a truck driving school in order to get your CDL, you can deduct those costs from your taxes.
The cost of tuition, books and other materials are all deductible, and can really add up. So if you’ve been thinking about getting your CDL, now is the time to do it. Not only will you be able to get a great job, but you’ll also be able to deduct the cost of your education from your taxes.
However, relevance is important. If you are a truck driver and completed a degree in psychology, it is unlikely that you can deduct the cost from your taxes.
Tools and Equipment
Drivers can also deduct the cost of any tools or equipment they purchase for their trucking business. This includes items like GPS units, computers, software, satellite radios, seat cushion and more. And if they lease their truck, they can deduct a portion of the lease payments. They can also deduct the cost of repairs and maintenance for their truck.
To operate your trucking company legally and safely, you will need several types of business insurance. You can choose from cargo insurance, general liability, non-trucking liability, and commercial auto liability.
These policies can be deducted from your taxes. Owner-operators that pay for their own insurance policies can also deduct these costs from their taxes. However, it must be done separately on their truck driver tax returns.
You can deduct a whole range of vehicle expenses on your taxes, including oil changes, repairs, and tires. You can also deduct the cost of any equipment you need to do your job, like a GPS system or a CB radio. If you’re leasing your truck, you can deduct the lease payments. And if you’re buying a truck, you can deduct the interest on your loan.
Fuel expenses can also be deducted from your taxes if you are an owner-operator truck driver or independent contractor. Company drivers, however, cannot deduct fuel costs.
Other expenses such as loan interest and depreciation are also eligible for trucker tax deductions. But, you must track actual costs as truck drivers are not allowed to deduct the standard mile. Regular servicing, emergency repairs, and even car washes are all vehicle expenses that you put on your truck driver tax deductions list.
You can deduct travel expenses such as parking fees and tolls in addition to fuel expenses for additional tax savings. This applies to an owner-operator driver.
Regular medical examinations are part of being a commercial truck driver. You can claim them as an itemized deduction if you have to undergo medical examinations for work-related reasons. Even if these exams are not entirely work-related you may still be eligible to deduct them from your taxes.
Taxes and Licenses
All taxes and licenses paid for your business can be deducted. This includes the Heavy Highway Vehicle Use tax and the cost to maintain a CDL license.
You can get expenses for setting up your sleeping area in your truck if you are on the road. These expenses include bedding, a mini fridge, and storage containers. And as mentioned, drivers who spend the night in hotels as part of their job can also deduct any associated expenses.
As a truck driver, you are eligible for a number of tax deductions that can help you save money come tax time. Keep track of your expenses throughout the year so you can take advantage of all the deductions available to you.
Remember, deductibles can change from year to year, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest changes. Consult with a tax professional if you have any questions about which deductions you can take or any truck driver tax deductions list.
Sasha is a freelance writer, with expertise in writing topics in the transportation and farming industry, She is a wife, a mother, and co-owner of DreCampbell.com.
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