Tax Preparation for Truck Drivers: Tips for Owner-Operators

Posted on August 24, 2022 in Debt

If you are the owner-operator of a trucking company, you know that the industry is heavily taxed. You also know that not paying your taxes or filing tax forms incorrectly can result in heavy fees. According to Simplex Group, there are a few tips you should know when it comes to truck driver tax preparation. If you know these tax tips as a truck driver, you will have one less thing to worry about, and can save yourself money when filing your taxes. 

Don’t be Late Filing Your Truck Driver Tax Return

Self-employed drivers and owners of small companies must file taxes just like any other independent worker. They are encouraged to file their taxes quarterly. All you have to do is tell the Internal Revenue Service that you want to pay quarterly, and they will send you vouchers to do this. You can also pay online. Appropriate tax preparation for truck drivers, including paying quarterly can help you save and manage your money better

Remember to Write Off Per Diem Meals to Save Money

Independent truckers are allowed to write off the meals they eat on the road. You will not be taxed on per diem meals. Although it may sound like a small thing, it will save you plenty of money in the long run. You will not have to report as much gross income as you otherwise would. 

You are only allowed to take per diem meals if you are away overnight. The amount of the deduction is $69 per day as of 2020.

Truckers and Owner-Operators Should Document Expenses Carefully

You should never guess the amount of your expenses with truck driver tax preparation. If you guess too high, the government may impose significant fines on you. If you guess too low,  you are cheating yourself out of money. 

Anyone documenting expenses, no matter the industry, they should try to get as close to the actual amount of money spent as possible. Rounding up or down will capture the attention of the IRS. You are more likely to receive an audit if you have round numbers on your tax return.

People who own small trucking companies or simply operate a truck independently have a lot to do. You may think that it would be too time-consuming to document every single expense that you have. 

Fortunately, there are companies that can manage your paperwork and bookkeeping for you. Many of these companies will also help you manage compliance and tax issues. They will have computer programs you can use to help you track expenses.

Take Every Tax Deduction Available for Truck Drivers

Trucking companies may pay plenty of taxes, but they can also take quite a few deductions. You may be allowed to deduct a certain amount of money for your cargo, liability, and general insurance. If you have a dedicated phone for business, you should be able to deduct your cell phone bills and the device itself. You should also be able to take a deduction for any state licenses you need to operate your trucking business. If you’ve ever wondered, why is my tax return so low, know that you are also entitled to deductions for the following: 

  • Loading expenses
  • Dispatching
  • Tools 
  • Repairs 
  • Lodging 
  • Food 
  • Fuel

Find the Best Tax Preparation for Truck Drivers Today

Some of these deductions can be rather complicated, so it is best to hire a professional company to handle your truck driver or owner-operator tax filings for you. With the help of professional tax services for truckers, you won’t miss an opportunity to save money.

Running a trucking company is a complicated job. If you keep good records and take all the deductions you can, the road ahead should be smooth and trouble-free. 

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