DEDUCTIONS Generally speaking all money spent to realize your income and to operate your truck is deductible. A good accountant specializing in the trucking industry will help guide you through the income tax process, but being aware of all your decutions is a major key in reducing your taxes. We have compiled the following comprehensive list of common business and industry-specific deductions. Access Fees Agent/Broker Commissions/Fees Internet Service Claims and Damages Fax Charges Idle-Aire Entertainment: Qualcomm Business related such as lunch or Administration Fees dinner for a customer, broker employee, associate, dispatcher, or Annual credit card fee-business credit card business personnel. Bank account service charges ATM Fees Equipment Operations/Maintenance ComChek ComData Fuel Motor Carrier Fees Oil Additives Accounting Fees Oil Analysis Parts (All business related accounting fees) Repairs and Maintenance Bookkeeping Tires Tax Preparation Towing Financial Planning Truck Wash Consulting Postage Advertising Mail Box/ PO Box Rental (Standard advertising as well as Air Borne customized signage on your equipment) Federal Express UPS Professional Dues, Subscriptions Courier Fee and Publications (Trucking and Business TripPak Related) Safety Tools and Equipment Association Dues Books Alarm System Newspapers Anit-theft devices Magazines/Subscriptions/Journals Batteries Maps/Atlas/Thomas Guides Binoculars/Safety Glasses Household Movers Guide Camera (including film and developing) Redbook Chains Emergency Lighting Taxes Fire Extinguisher First Aid Kit and supplies Estimated Tax Payment-Federal and State Flares and Flashlights Fuel Tax Generator Heavy Vehicle Use (2290) Gloves/Hard Hat Payroll Scapper Personal Property (Equipment) Load Locks Protective Gear Telephone Thermals/Weather Gear Pagers Theft and Casualty Losses Cellular Phone-Business Usage Home Phone-Business Usage Tolls and Parking: (50% of prepaid phone cards) Scales Travel Expenses EZ Pass Parking-Truck Hotel/Motel Parking-Trailer Showers Drop Fees Laundry Auto Rental Truck Supplies-Business Office Cab Fare Airline Tickets (business usage) Log Book and Cover Daily Planner Truck Supplies-Sleeper Calculator Magnifying Glass Bedding Map Lamp Refrigerator Clip Board Microwave Television (Portion that is business use) Uniforms Truck Supplies-Business Equipment Any clothing required by company or with company logo on it Antennas CB Wages Cell Phone GPS-Global Positioning System Payroll Laptop Computer Pager Gifts-Business Related Satellite System Scanner (Limit $25. Per Person) Truck Supplies Insurance Tools/Tool Box Bobtail Tarps Cargo Cables/Tie Downs Disability Ropes Liability Reflectors Medical Placards Physical Damage Duct/Electrical Tape Worker Compensation Cleaning Supplies Deductible Locks Lights Pressure Washer Interest Labor Truck or Trailer Business Credit Card Contract Labor Other (Business Related) Loading/Unloading Lumpers Medical Expenses Legal Fees DOT Physicals Drug Testing All Business Related Legal Fees Lease/Rent-Equipment License Truck or Trailer Base Plates Pick-Up CDL Fee Auto Permits Registration Other Business Equipment Meals Office Expenses-Supplies (Deduction is a percentage of one of the two Accordion Folder options listed below) Binders Per diem (Based on the number of overnights Business Cards from Logbooks/no receipts needed) File Folders Actual Costs (Must keep all receipts for meals) Ledgers Letterhead Office Expenses-Equipment Pens, pencils, paper clips, staplers etc. Computer Paper Answering Machine Copier Computer-Desk Top Computer-Laptop Computer-Software Computer-Printer Computer-Cables/Connectors and Accessories Fax Machine Telephone Deductions for Company Drivers While self-employed individuals can generally deduct any expenses incurred to earn their income, company drivers are limited to non-reimbursed expenses required by their employer. You are entitled to per diem for overnights and motel expenses. A good rule to follow for deductions would be any expenses incurred that are necessary or required in the performance of your job and/or operations of the truck but are not reimbursed by your company, such as uniforms, gloves, logbooks, maps, cell phone, CB, tools, windex, paper towels, showers etc. Remember, as a company driver these deductions are available only if you itemize and are not available if you take the standard deduction. Commonly Misunderstood Deductions Meals As an over the road trucker, when working you may deduct your actual cost for meals with receipts or deduct the IRS per diem allowance with logbooks as substantiation. A percentage of your total is deductible regardless of which method you choose. Corporate shareholders are not entilted to per diem and must use actual costs. Depreciation Is the systematic write-off allowed by the IRS to deduct the cost of equipment expected to last more than one year. Mileage-Personal Vehicle All business miles put on your personal vehicle are deductible. Trips to the bank, post office, stationery store, picking up truck parts, attending truck shows. Keep track of the total annual miles as well as business miles. Home Office To qualify for home office deduction you must maintain a room or area in your home that is used regularly and exclusively for business administrative and management purposes. To determine the business percentage of use, divide the area used for business by the total area of the home. If the business use of the home equals 10% the deductible business expense would be 10% or the mortgage or rental payment. Dog and Security Many truckers travel with their dogs. Dogs can provide personal protection, equipment and load security and act as an around the clock theft deterrent. However, this is what we would call a gray area that may or may not be allowed under the scrutiny of an IRS audit. If you choose to take the deduction we recommend keeping records of food, supplies and medical costs when the dog travels with your for business. What To Do When You Don't Get a Receipt Always get receipts whenever possible. However when getting a receipt is not possible, we recommend keeping a planner or calender type book to record all business purchases. Record the date, to whom paid, description of the expense, amount and location. What's Not Deductible Do-It-Yourself Repairs and Maintenance You cannot deduct your own time for working on your equipment. The benefit of doing your own repairs and maintenance is the money that you save by not having to pay someone to do it for you. Downtime You cannot deduct for downtime. Even though you may be waiting for a load, or if you can prove you are empty and away from home, it is not an allowable deduction. Deadhead and Unpaid Miles Another misconception concerns deadhead and unpaid miles. Many truckers think that income lost as a result of deadhead and unpaid miles is a deductible item. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Only the cost to operate the truck during that time is deductible, such as fuel or tolls and scales.
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