Truck drivers can claim a variety of tax deductions when on the road. Mileage, daily meal allowances, truck repair and maintenance, insurance costs and union dues are some of the tax deductions available. To claim these deductions, truck drivers must keep an accurate log and save receipts. Claiming these deductions helps lower your tax liability and helps you recoup some of the money spent during the year for travel.
Truck Driver Records and Receipts
Keeping a truck driver's log (book or computer software) is essential if you want to earn maximum tax deductions. Without accurate dates supporting your deductions, you may not be able to claim these deductions on your tax return.
Mileage, toll payments and dates of truck repair and maintenance are typical entries found in a truck driver's log.
The per diem meal allowance for truck drivers is determined by the IRS and varies from year to year. If you don't want to save every receipt for food purchased, you can take the standard deduction instead of itemising meals on your tax return. For truckers who travel heavily throughout the year, this deduction removes the hassle of saving receipts.
Updating your log daily saves you a lot of time and reduces stress during tax season. Falsifying records, even accidentally, can lead to legal troubles or loss of your job.
In addition to routinely updating your driver's log, create a place for receipts. Receipts for repair and maintenance, mileage, insurance and other travel expenses should match what you record in your log book.
Store receipts in a safe place at home after each trip.
Truck Repair and Maintenance Tax Deductions
Save all receipts pertaining to truck repair and maintenance during the year and record these incidents in your log book.
Typical truck repair and maintenance include tire replacement and rotation, brake repair, engine parts repair, windshield wiper replacement, inspection costs, insurance costs, fuel costs and oil changes.
Replace truck parts immediately to prevent further problems. Regular maintenance checks will save money and time during the year.
Additional Tax Deductions
In addition to repair and maintenance costs, truck drivers can also deduct the cost of lodging, uniforms (if required by your company), union or organizational dues (related to the trucking industry), and items such as maps, pens and magazines when purchased during business trips.
If you're unsure whether an expense will be covered, save the receipt anyway.
To claim these tax deductions on your return, you must either own a home or rent a home or room from relatives or friends. This is to prove that you travel away from home for business. You cannot claim a hotel room or your truck as your home when you're not on the road.