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Tips for Tracking Expenses as a Trucker

A truck driver is one of those professionals who is on his own when performing his job. There is no manager to report to on a regular basis and there is no clock to punch every morning. Some truckers work for trucking companies, while others contract themselves out various clients. When it comes to claiming taxes or billing clients, it is important that a trucker keep good records on expenses.

A per diem is just one kind of expense that truckers have to worry about. When it comes to getting their money's worth out of every trip they take, truckers need to become skilled at keeping good records and managing their expenses.

Internet Access

Truckers rely on the Internet to find their way to the next stop and to also find safe places to stop for the night. Since you use the Internet to get around, it only makes sense that you can write-off the costs you incur for accessing the Internet. Keep good receipts on the different expenses you have for Internet access and submit those at the end of the year as deductions.

Financial Administrative Fees

When you are a trucker on the road, cash is extremely important for tolls and other expenses. When you use an ATM, you will be charged fees. Those fees can be deducted on your taxes at the end of the year. If you have to pay a hotel or other facility to cash a check for you, then those check cashing charges are tax deductions as well. It is important to keep a detailed log of every financial administration charge you pay so that you can deduct it at the end of the year. You will be surprised at how those charges add up throughout the year.

Cleaning Products and Costs

An area of trucking expenses that often goes undeclared is cleaning costs. When you clean the interior of your truck, you have to pay for the paper towels and cleaning solution that you use. If you want to impress a new customer, then you may have your rig cleaned before heading over to discuss the next load. Any time that you clean your truck, all of those expenses should be logged and deducted from your taxes. Don't forget to keep track of the maintenance costs for your rig as well. All of that money can come off your taxes at the end of the year.

Industry Reference Materials

Do you subscribe to magazines about trucking? Do you have any annual certificates or licenses that you renew? When you subscribe to any trucking reference service, you can log those expenses and write them off at the end of the year. Any time that you renew a license or a certificate, that is also an expense you can write off. As long as the reference material you are using online or offline has to do with trucking, then you can go ahead and write that expense off at the end of the year.

Deductions You Cannot Make

While it is helpful to know what you can write off for expenses, it is also important to understand what you cannot write off. For example, you can write off your cellular phone as a business expense, but you cannot write off your home phone. You cannot write off any expense that an employer or customer reimburses you for. As an example, if you have to get a special permit for a load and the customer pays for the permit, then you cannot write it off. You can write off the interest on the loan for your rig, but you cannot write off interest on personal loans.

A working trucker has a lot of things to try and keep track of, which is why it is so important that a trucker be organized. When it comes to tracking expenses, there are certain expenses that can be written off on your taxes at the end of the year. When you put in the extra effort to keep track of all of your deductible expenses, then you will be able to save money on your taxes and put more money in your pocket at the end of the year.

Keep a personal log handy that you can use to keep track of all of your expenses and also as a place to store your receipts as well. At the end of the year, you will have thousands of dollars you can write off that you may have not taken advantage of in the past.