Owner-operator tax deductions

| April 01, 2014

As an owner-operator, you are self-employed, so any expense related to operating your business is tax-deductible. The Internal Revenue Service requires you to provide written proof of an expense. That may include a receipt, canceled check, settlement statement, bill, log or, when no document is available, such as business-related use of your personal vehicle, your records in a notebook. You must provide the date, place, type of expense and the amount. All deductions must be business related.

CATEGORIES

CASUALTY FINANCIAL LOSS. This is from damage such as hail, wind, theft and accidents.

DEPRECIABLE PROPERTY. The types of property that can be depreciated include tractor, trailer, equipment, buildings, computers, fax machine, copy machine and furniture used in business.

ENTERTAINMENT. For entertaining business associates. Personal entertainment, such as movies or games, is not deductible even while on the road.

GIFTS. Limited to $25 value for any person.

INSURANCE PREMIUMS. Includes personal insurance, such as health.

HOME OFFICE. To qualify, the home office must be your principal place of business. You must use the home office, including a computer and other equipment, regularly and exclusively for administration and management of your business. You may not have any other fixed location where you regularly conduct administration and management activities of the business.

RETIREMENT PLANS. These include Keogh plan for self or spouse, SIMPLE, Simplified Employee Pension (SEP), IRA and others.

BUSINESS LOANS AND MORTGAGE. Interest paid during calendar year.

PER DIEM. Covers meals and incidentals at a fixed daily rate when you are away from home overnight. There is no need to save receipts.

START-UP COSTS. Trips to visit truck dealers, bankers, carriers, etc.

SUPPLIES. For home office or truck.

TAXES, LICENSES AND OTHER GOVERNMENT FEES. Half of your self-employment tax is deductible. Fines and citations for illegal activity, such as speeding or weight violations, are not tax-deductible.

TRAVEL. Airline tickets, rental cars, lodging.

TRUCK LEASE. Under a lease-purchase, 100 percent of your truck payments are deductible. Security deposits are not deductible

 Here are some of the more common, specific deductions available:

ADMINISTRATIVE FEES / BUSINESS COSTS / OFFICE SUPPLIES

Accounting services                           

ATM fees, bank fees

Broker fees

Calculator                                           

Comdata, Comchek                

Co-driver, lumpers

Clipboard                                           

Computer supplies                

Credit card fees

Education                                           

Envelopes                                          

Fuel card fees             

Ledger book

Legal costs                                         

Paper, pens, ruler       

Photocopies and faxes                       

Postage, FedEx, TripPak       

Receipt book

Software                     

Stapler and staples                 

Trade magazines                                

Trade memberships

Transaction fees         

COMMUNICATIONS

CB radio, repairs, antennas, cables    

Cell phone and accessories                

Pager

Phone cards    

Qualcomm, satellite, Internet

Satellite radio

INSURANCE

Bobtail/liability                                              

Cargo insurance/cargo claims 

Disability

Health, dental, vision                         

Occupational accident            

Physical damage                                 

PERMITS, LICENSES, FEES

Door signs, decals, lettering               

Fuel taxes and road taxes       

Federal Highway Use Tax (Form 2290)        

IRP, licenses and permits                              

Parking, scales                        

Tolls, Pre-Pass

PERSONAL

CDL fees                                            

Caps, coats, shirts (with carrier logo)            

Drug test        

Eye exams, glasses, sunglasses                      

Gloves, coveralls                                

Laundry 

Mileage on personal vehicle               

Motels                                               

Raingear         

Safety shoes/boots                             

Uniforms

TRACTOR-TRAILER – EXTERIOR AND UNDER THE HOOD

 Chains, tarps, pallets, bungee cords  

Chrome                                              

Coolant, antifreeze

Fuel and fuel additives, filters            

Headache rack                        

Kingpin lock, padlocks          

Load locks                                          

Oil, lube                                 

Power washer            

Repairs, parts, labor                          

Shop equipment, power cords           

Tires and repairs        

Trailer wash, tractor wash                 

Vacuum                                  

Wax

TRACTOR – INTERIOR

Accessories                                        

Air fresheners                        

Alarm clock    

Appliances                                         

Atlas and maps                                  

Bedding, sheets

Electric blanket, bunk heater              

Camera, film                           

CD player

Cleaning supplies                   

Coffee pot                              

Coolers and ice           

Crockpot                                            

DVD player                           

Flashlight and batteries

Flyswatter                                         

Hangers                                              

Hoses and cables        

Ice scraper                                          

Luggage                                              

Microwave     

Paper towels                                      

Refrigerator                            

Rugs, floor mats

Seat covers, cushions                         

Storage                                               

Thermos                     

Tools (hand and power)

Trash bags                              

TV

Video players              

 

 

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