Tax Tips for Truckers
by Apex Capital | March 28, 2016
Tax time is one of the most stressful times of year for many independent truck drivers because it can mean owing hundreds or thousands of dollars to the federal government. Many truck drivers end up paying more in taxes than they should, but these tips can help you find ways to save on taxes.
According to the IRS, Trucking Tax Center, “If you operate a truck or other vehicle categorized as a heavy highway motor vehicle on public highways, you must file Form 2290, Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return, and pay excise tax. Filing and Paying Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax e-file Form 2290. All truck owners can now e-file Form 2290 and pay electronically. You get your Schedule 1 almost immediately after we accept your e-filed return, and you can get your taxes done from your computer while you are on the road, any time of the day or night. If you are reporting 25 or more trucks on a return, you must file electronically.”
Record-keeping may seem like a hassle, but without good records the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could deny your deductions for things like repairs, accommodations, and more. In some cases, these deductions could reduce the amount of taxes paid by 50% or more.
Keeping records of expenses is not as hard as it might seem. One tip for keeping good records is to dedicate a credit card for business-related expenses. Make sure to save your receipts and the itemized statements for the card each month. As long as the bill is paid by the end of the month, interest can be avoided, which makes this tip one of the best record-keeping tips for truck drivers.
Did you know that the trucking profession offers tax deductions for common business expenses? Reading the official IRS publications on business and travel expenses can be a real lifesaver when it comes to taxes. Many truck drivers don’t realize they can deduct over $63 each day they are on the road for meals. Other tax deductions that are commonly overlooked include vehicle maintenance, tools, job-related electronics, cleaning supplies, office supplies and clothing. If you use it for work, you can probably deduct it. Read our blog for a list of common deductions you can use to save big.
Not every tax is due in April each year. Sales taxes and fuel taxes are collected when the purchases are made. However, many states appreciate truckers buying fuel there instead of across the state line and may offer special tax breaks. To keep taxes low, it makes sense to buy fuel in states with the lowest taxes whenever possible. For additional fuel discounts and help finding the lowest fuel prices along your route, check out our Apex Fuel Card Program and Fuel Finder.
Tax law is one of the most complex types of law in the United States and changes every year. To make sure the right deductions are taken and that your taxes are filed correctly, hiring a professional accountant might be worth the additional expense. For more tax tips, check out our blog post on fillings and deductions.