While most truck drivers may not find tax filing an interesting topic, this is still something that they need to do no matter what. So if you are an owner-operator, it is not enough that you complete your deliveries on time. You should also know how to manage your paperwork and reports, especially those that are needed for your taxes.
It is understandable that being on the road for long-hours every day, plus working on your logbooks are quite overwhelming. More so come the time when you already need to take care of your taxes.
Here are some essential tax-filing tips that you need to know:
1. Organize All Your Receipts and Log Books
Some truckers do not realize the importance of work-related receipts and logbooks until they start filling up their tax forms. You can’t just put random amounts, as this could compromise your business, especially if the IRS decides to audit you. You will be required to present proof of those expenditures that you have declared. And if you can’t do so, you may be penalized. To avoid all the hassles, you should organize all your receipts and books. Be sure to record every expense on a daily basis.
2. Familiarize Yourself With Deductions That You Can Claim
When filing your taxes, there are numerous deductions that you can claim but you need to have supporting documents for all of those. This is another reason why it is really important that you collect all the receipts and organize them as well as your logbooks and other records.
So what are the things that can be considered as write-offs? These include travel expenses, supplies, truck depreciation, tools and maintenance, office rental, and insurance just to mention a few.
3. Review Every Single Detail
Filling up the tax forms is a daunting task, so you really need to take your time. Before you put anything in, you must see to it that it is accurate. For instance, if you are putting in truck depreciation as a write-off, it is crucial that the amount that you are indicating is reasonable. Or else, you may end up paying more instead of having an income tax return.
4. Consider Hiring an Accountant
Some truckers may be hesitant to hire an accountant to prepare their taxes because they want to save money. Little did they know that a professional can actually help them get a higher income tax return by reviewing all the possible write-offs. This is something that start-ups may not be equipped to do. Furthermore, an accountant can ensure that the forms will be filled up correctly.
5. Prepare for a Possible Audit
You won’t know whether you will be audited or not. But either way, you should be prepared at all times just in case the IRS knocks on your door for an audit. As long as you have complete documents to support your claims, you should be good to go. The key is, you should never attempt to fudge your paperwork.