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Tax Tips for Truck Drivers LifeBack Tax

Tax Tips for Truck Drivers - LifeBack Tax

Dealing with taxes can be a great source of confusion for truck drivers. Due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminating the per-diem allowance and other unreimbursed expenses for W-2 employees, many company drivers now benefit more from the standard deduction than itemizing. However, owner-operators and self-employed truck drivers may still take advantage of a variety of deductions when paying their income and self-employment taxes.

Vehicle Expenses: As self-employed drivers, an owner-operator may deduct any expenses related to their truck, including oil changes, new tires, car washes, repairs, lease payments, and insurance premiums. Leased truck drivers may deduct leasing fees, while drivers who purchase their own truck may depreciate the cost over several years. They may also deduct truck leasing fees or interest payments on a truck purchase loan. Independent contractors may only deduct vehicle expenses that their carrier did not reimburse.

Professional Fees: You may fully deduct any costs associated with obtaining and maintaining your commercial driver's license (CDL). As with other professions, truck drivers may also deduct continuing education costs that are needed to maintain their license.

Per Diem Expenses: Owner-operator truck drivers may claim a per-diem deduction on 80% of meals, lodging, and other travel expenses when traveling overnight and away from home. As with vehicle expenses, independent contractor drivers may only deduct travel expenses that they were not reimbursed for. While W-2 employees may no longer deduct per-diem expenses, their employer may still offer per-diem reimbursements that are excluded from taxation.

Operating Expenses: Business equipment and supplies may be partially or fully deductible as business expenses, depending on how much they are used for work and not personal reasons. This includes phones, computers, office supplies, log books, flashlights, load chains, and other items that you use to run your trucking business.

Pass-Through Deduction: As business owners, owner-operators may qualify for the 20 percent 'pass-through' deduction. Many self-employed truck drivers are organized as sole proprietorships, partnerships, S-corporations, or LLCs, and may deduct up to 20 percent of their business income.

If you are a truck driver and need assistance with your taxes, please contact us at LifeBack Tax Relief. Running afoul of the IRS can lead to dire consequences for your business. We are well-versed with the intricacies of tax legislation, and will fight for your rights as a taxpayer.

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