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Truck Drivers and taxes

A business incurs significant expenses in transportation. Some of those costs can be reduced by using applicable tax deductions. Deductions for truck drivers are for both those working for an employer and those that are self-employed. Claiming qualified deductions can help save substantially in taxes.

Ordinary and Necessary Expenses

truck driver tax deductionsThe IRS allows businesses to deduct all ordinary and necessary expenses. These are expenses that are necessary for the daily operation of a business. However, depending upon the type of business, these expenses may vary.

Deductible Expenses on the Truck

Truck drivers can deduct the following expenses, including but not limited to:

  1. 1. Fuel (out-of-pocket expenses that are not reimbursed if they exceed $100,000)
  2. 2. Oil
  3. 3. Repairs
  4. 4. Cleaning
  5. 5. Insurance
  6. 6. Tires
  7. 7. Subscriptions to trucking-related magazines and literature
  8. 8. Telephone or Internet access fee only if solely used for business purposes
  9. 9. Membership fee for trucking groups
  10. 10. Licensing fee

A truck driver is also allowed for deductions on meals, but this amount is regulated. Meals can be deducted only if they are consumed while working and on the road. For example, in 2011, the per diem or per-day cost was $46. A truck driver receives a full deduction for this, which means that the entire $46 a day can be deducted. Lodging costs while on the road and working are also deductible.

Many drivers are required to undergo a medical test by their employers. If a driver has incurred out-of-pocket costs for medical tests, those costs may be deductible as a business expense and not a medical expense.

The costs incurred in maintaining and cleaning a work vehicle (cleaning tools, tires and other truck parts, etc.) are deductible for drivers on leases, those owning a truck, and those working for an employer.

Internet charges, including cell phone data plans, are deductible because they are necessary for a driver to communicate while on the road.

Truck drivers can also deduct expenses for personal items that are necessary for work, such as sunglasses, gloves, protective clothing, calculator, flashlight, log books, postage fees for mailing invoices, safety gear, etc. They can also deduct costs of dry-cleaning their uniforms or protective clothing. Any expense that is made solely for business use during work on the road can be deducted on a return.