Usual Tax Deductions Every Trucker Should Know!

Filing taxes is never fun, but the thing that makes the process bearable is knowing the rules and deductions you are allowed. Truck drivers are given a significant benefit by the IRS allowing them to deduct “ordinary and necessary” business expenses. While there are plenty of general costs accepted, the deductions can vary even on an individual level.

If you are a truck driver, here are a few specifics to help you claim deductions:

Truck Maintenance

The IRS allows for truck maintenance costs to be deducted from your taxes, saving you a lot of out-of-pocket money in the long run. The expenses can include:

  • New tires
  • Oil changes
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Washer fluid

Remember: you can’t deduct these expenses if your employer reimburses you.

Union or Professional Association Fees

If you are a part of a union or a trucking industry organization, and you are paying fees for the “membership,” you can deduct this money from your taxable income.

Uniforms

If your position requires a special uniform your employer doesn’t pay for, you can deduct them from your taxable income. The gear that is deductible is:

  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Boots

When you are away from home, cleaning expenses for your clothing are deductible as well.

Office Supplies

Truckers usually keep track of their work day, routes, etc. and if you do, office supplies are deductible. Some examples of tax-deductible items are:

  • Clipboards
  • Logbooks
  • Maps
  • Writing supplies
  • Sleeper berth
  • Staplers

If you use a sleeper berth, the things that can be deducted are:

  • Cab curtains
  • Bedding
  • Alarm clock
  • First aid
  • Mini-refrigerator

Electronic Devices

If you have a work cell phone you use while on the road generally for business purposes only; the cell associated costs are deductible from your tax return. CB radios and GPS units are also deductible.

Travel Expenses

Overnight stays in hotels/hostels and per diem costs are deductible from your tax return, although the deductible amount varies by location. Check IRS Publication 1542 to get more information on the Hours of Service regulations and for current amounts.

Work-Related Fees

Work-related fees include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Driver license renewal fees
  • Drug testing fees
  • Sleep apnea study costs
  • DOT physical exams

Apart from the deductions mentioned above, there are several other common deductions you should consider:

Lifetime Learning and American Opportunity Credits

If you or anyone in your immediate family (your child or your spouse) is taking college classes, you may find yourself eligible for these credits. They reimburse students for:

  • School fees
  • Some of the tuition

Do keep in mind that you can’t use these credits if grants or scholarships are already covered.

Child and Dependent Care

To qualify for the credit, your child must be under the age of 13. Disabled spouses and children are eligible, regardless of age.

Earned Income Tax Credit

This type of loan can provide you with $6,000+ in reduced tax liability. It is an income-based refundable credit that was initially developed for low-income workers but is now extended to middle-class families and individuals.

Don’t let the above-listed tax deduction benefits slip your wallet. If you are unsure about particular elements of your potential tax deductions or you need additional advice, contact us at Golden Tax Relief to get the best overview and management of your accounts.

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