Dollars & Sense

Kevin Rutherford

Why early tax prep is best

Kevin Rutherford | February 01, 2011

6, Total your expenses. Separate expenses into categories as they will be reported on the tax return, such as maintenance, tolls, etc. Using a calculator with a register tape, add all of the receipts in each expense category. Hit the total button, tear off the tape and staple it to the matching receipts. Then add them all up one more time to double-check.

7. Make an appointment with your tax preparer. Call as soon as possible and keep the appointment. Then take a break and reward yourself for getting this done early.

8. Review your work. Schedule time before meeting your tax preparer to review all of your lists and categories. Rake your memory to see if obvious deductions are missing. You’ll be surprised what you might catch and how much money you save. n


Expense Categories

These are some of the common expenses that could apply to your operation. All must be business-related:


Fees & commissions


Interest paid

Legal fees

Accounting fees

Office expenses

Rent or lease



Taxes & license


Per diem


Wages & payroll

Fuel, oil & additives

Scale fees

Tolls & parking

Loading & unloading

Physicals & drug testing



Kevin Rutherford is an accountant, small-fleet owner and the host of “Trucking Business & Beyond,” which airs on Sirius XM Radio’s Road Dog Trucking Radio. Contact Rutherford through his website, strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.