Owner Operators Must Keep Good Records To Maximize Tax Deductions

There are numerous tax deductions for owner-operator truck drivers. The only way to ensure that you can make the most of them is to keep comprehensive and accurate records. Use this guide to help you understand what you can and can not deduct and to make sure you are filing correctly.

You have a lot of potential deductions as an owner-operator, including virtually all of your travel expenses. To maximize your tax savings, you’ll want to keep accurate records of things such as:

  • Membership dues
  • Costs associated with maintaining and operating your vehicle
  • Travel expenses
  • Licenses and regulatory fees
  • Specialized gear used exclusively for work
  • DOT testing and physical fees if necessary for work
  • Leasing costs

Why You Need To Keep Good Records

Individual deductions aren’t the only things you need to be concerned about when filing taxes as an owner-operator. These three things can seriously impact how your taxes are prepared and where you need to send them:

Per diem rates: It is often simpler and just as effective to use a per diem instead of individual deductions for meals and incidentals. You’ll still need to track spending on accommodations and travel expenses.

Your tax home: If you have a residence and you contribute to it, that is most likely your tax base and where you will file taxes.

Changes to tax rules: Any changes to tax rules during the year can impact what is and is not deductible.

Knowing what records to keep and how to manage them can help you maximize your earnings when you file annual taxes.