When you’re a trucker, computing taxes isn’t quite as easy as it would be if you were an employee at a factory. Instead, you own your own business, so your filing becomes more complex, even though it might end up saving you money in the long run. Even if you’re not an owner/operator, you’re most likely viewed as an independent contractor, so filing is still tricky. If you have a good accountant who knows the ins and outs of deductions, you can often end up keeping more of your hard earned cash than many.
While deductions for tools and maintenance on your truck are easy to remember, you can actually claim deductions for almost anything that’s involved with running your business. These include everything from the money it costs you to access the Internet on the road to using your cell phone for business to ATM fees and physicals that your employer requires. These and a longer list of deductions is available at The Truckers Report, where truckers can view a whole host of deductions that might end up saving them more of their money in the long run.
Although a good accountant can find these deductions and more, it is important to make sure that you don’t claim bogus deductions. This can quickly lead to an audit, a fine, and even jail time, if you did so willingly. Of course, most truckers don’t mean to make phony deductions, but when truckers and their accountants make these kind of mistakes, it can end up costing time and money, as well as creating a toll on you mentally, emotionally, and physically. To avoid these problems, make sure you don’t claim deductions for expenses that were already reimbursed or items and services that you may have used while on the road, but could easily be adapted for personal use, such as clothing and home phone lines. The Truckers Report contains a longer list of deduction faux pas for drivers.
Because you’re a trucker, you have an advantage over many, since quite a few of your everyday expenses can be deducted from your taxes. If you’re applying for a home mortgage or some other line of credit that requires you to prove income, however, you should be aware that these deductions change the amount of your income, sometimes lowering it to a standard that your financial needs provider finds unacceptable.