It doesn’t matter what occupation you are in. You want to do everything you can throughout the year to ensure you get a bigger tax refund. If you are a truck driver, saving receipts is one of the best thing you can do for yourself. You can deduct things like meal and travel expenses, insurance costs and vehicle expenses. Read on to discover what you should be keeping track of.
1. Travel Expenses
If you want to deduct travel expenses, you must be kept away from the general area of your home for more than a typical workday. You need to be forced to sleep away from home in order to meet the demands of your job. Most local drivers won’t be able to claim these expenses, but long-distance drivers can.
Keep receipts of your expenses while you are on the road. Maintain a written log of the business purpose, time, place and amount of time you were gone. The names of cities, distance traveled and driving time may not be enough of a record to allow you to take a travel expense deduction. There are also apps that can help keep track of these expenses and miles automatically.
But what constitutes your home? For tax purposes, your “area of home” is the regular place of business. It may include a specific city or geographic area. If you don’t have a regular place of business, your tax home is the place you regularly live. A tax professional can help you sort this out.
2. Meal Expenses
Meal expenses come with a standard deduction if you don’t feel like calculating exactly what you’ve spent. For most localities, the allowance is $46 per day. If you work in the transportation industry, the allowance is $59 per day. You have to choose one or the other. For example, if you choose the standard allowance of $59 per day, you can’t decide to take a different allowance. Typically, you can deduct 50 percent of your meal allowance on your taxes. Special circumstances do apply, so it is best to speak with your tax professional when deciding which deduction to take.
3. Other Expenses
There are other expenses you can claim on your taxes as a truck driver. These expenses include union and trade association dues, subscriptions to trade publications, leasing costs, parking fees and tolls, maintenance expenses and liability insurance premiums. There are a variety of expenses you may claim as a transportation professional. Speak with your financial advisor to determine which deductions you may qualify for.
When tax time comes around, you want to keep as much in your pocket as possible. Use the tips above to be sure that you aren’t overpaying Uncle Sam.
While you are making sure that you are taking all of the deductions you deserve, take a moment to make sure your commercial roadside assistance policy is up to date. Reach out to our team for more information about how one of our roadside assistance policies can help ensure your safety while you are out on the open road.