Sometimes it is the little things that make the biggest difference.
While being a truck driver puts you in control of one of the largest vehicles on the highway, when it comes time to file your taxes, it is the little things that make the difference. With that being said, it is essential for a truck driver to keep track of every purchase, no matter how big or how small it may be. Generally, most truck drivers will purchase a few items here and there and, without thinking, dispose of the receipt(s). However, even the smallest purchases may qualify as a deduction in the trucking world.
Of course there are the obvious deductions, including the cost of routine maintenance and/or the tools to complete said maintenance. Aside from the obvious though, truckers can take advantage of a number of other deductions, most of which would be overlooked in most situations.
For instance, let’s say that your last stretch of highway subjected your truck to some of the worst infestations of insects; in other words, your windshield is now littered with the pulverized carcasses of bugs. At the next stop you purchase a $3.00 spray bottle of generic window cleaner to rid your windshield of the mess. Because the window cleaner is considered cleaning supplies, and the IRS allows truckers to deduct for certain cleaning supplies, even that $3.00 bottle of window cleaner can be deducted.
The same can be said for any personal hygiene products you may need on your travels as well.
Since it is important for truckers to maintain a normal level of hygiene while traveling, the purchase of toiletries and personal care products such as Vaseline, toothpaste, deodorant, and similar products may qualify as a deduction as well. As most truck drivers know, a good shower is hard to come by and when presented with the opportunity, it sometimes comes with a cost as truck stops need to make money too.
Luckily though, the cost of a shower and even dry cleaning can be deducted.
With a little research, you will find that there are so many tax benefits a trucker can take advantage of, and there is a reason for that. You see, the IRS classifies these expenses as travel expenses, which are deductible in the eyes of the government. When you think about, the occupation of “truck driver” is composed almost completely of travel expenses. For this reason, while you may not be able to deduct everything, as a truck driver you are able to take advantage of a plethora of tax benefits.
Owner operators know everything is deductible. However, many company drivers may not know that so many purchases are worth recording.
Generally speaking, anyone who files taxes has a choice- take the standard deduction, or itemize your deductions. People who take the standard deduction normally do not need to save receipts. However, when it comes to trucking, even if you take the standard deduction there are still all these and even more expenses you can deduct.
Written by Jackson Bennett.