Truck drivers are professional drivers with an extensive skill set. They carry large cargo to different parts of the country, often traveling for days or weeks on end. Like everyone else, they also need to pay their taxes and manage their income. The only difference is truck drivers are subject to different rules and regulations when it comes to filing taxes.
Here are some things to note when it comes to tax preparation essentials for truckers:
Tax deductions for truckers
Truck drivers, as well as operators and owners, are allowed to claim various tax deductions while they are on the road. They can deduct truck repair and maintenance, overnight lodging expenses, union dues, as well as allowances for meals and other incidental expenses like telephone and Internet fees. Claiming these deductions can help defray some of the money spent while traveling and lowers a trucker’s tax liability by a small – but still significant – amount.
The per diem allowance
Truck drivers who work away from home are also allowed to deduct meals and entertainment expenses in the form of the per diem allowance. There are two ways to go about this. Either the trucker keeps all of his receipts for meals and other expenses and deducts it in full from the taxes he has to pay, or he can deduct a standard amount each day, around $59, for every day he is out. The latter is the easier method since it does not require collecting and accounting for receipts. Asking for an official receipt for a meal at a truck stop can cause additional delay in terms of time and can be tedious for the person in charge at the establishment.
Besides these two items, truckers must also prepare quarterly fuel tax or IFTA from different states. It can be nerve-wracking and time-consuming, so most truckers normally opt to hire a professional accountant to take care of all of these for them during tax season.