What is a tax write-off?

writeoff is also called a tax deduction. This lowers the amount of taxable income you have during tax time.

A few tax deductions to consider before you file April 15th!

• Meals

As a truck driver you are able to write0ff up to $59 a day in the United States or $65 a day outside of the United States. Drivers who are spending long hours on the road away from home are allowed to deduct a “per diem” rate of $63 per day. The IRS understands that you’re spending a lot of time behind the wheel and food costs add up! For each day you are on the road, you are allowed to deduct $63 dollars from your annual income. If you plan to claim per diem rates. Local drivers are not allowed to deduct food costs because you are able to eat at home after your route is complete.

• Truck repairs and Maintenance

Any expenses you paid to repair or maintain your truck that were not reimbursed can be claimed! Whether you are a company driver or an owner operator, cleaning and maintenance costs are deductible. This could include truck parts, cleaning supplies, etc., but NOT the cost labor if you repair the truck yourself. 

• Fuel

Anything that you pay out of pocket that isn’t reimbursable through your company.

• Dues

Any mandatory union or trucking group dues. Voluntary group dues may also be written-off if you can prie they are applicable to your job.

• Subscriptions

To work-related magazines or newsletters.

• Clothing

Such as boots, gloves, hats, rain gear, safety, glasses, uniforms sunglasses, etc.

• Licensing Fees

Any fees associated with obtaining or maintaining your CDL.

• Personal Items

Work-related personal items such as bedding, coolers or calculators. 

• Telephone and Internet

100% cost of a laptop or cell phone, and 50% of the internet and cell phone bills.

• Tools

Such as duct tape hammers and pilers.

Non-Trucking Standard Deductions

In addition to the trucking specific deductions you get to claim as a trucker, don’t forget about the common deductions that aren’t related to your work. These could include things like child tax credits, lifetime learning credits, and child or dependent care among other things. 

Key Non-Deductible Expenses

We’re all for saving money, but there are a few common costs that are NOT deductible. Drivers are NOT allowed to deduct the following things from their annual income.

  1. Expenses reimbursed by your employer
  2. Clothing that can be adapted for everyday wear
  3. Commuting costs to the company headquarters. However many companies WILL reimburse for commuting costs to the truck yard. If you’re not sure, ask your company.
  4. Home phone line
  5. Owner Operators CANNOT deduct the time spent working on their equipment
  6. Owner Operators CANNOT deduct the income lost as a result of deadhead/unpaid mileage. But, Owner Operators CAN deduct the expenses incurred to operate the truck during that time such as fuel, tolls and scales. etc.
  7. Owner Operators CANNOT deduct for downtime

Reminder: File before April 15

It’s time. You’ve added costs and finished the paperwork. You’ll know by the time you submit your forms whether you need to send a check or will be getting a refund. You can file your taxes electronically or by mail as long as they are submitted by April 15. 

And with that, kick back and relax! Your taxes are done for another year!