(March 11, 2014) Are you an owner-operator? A small company owner with five or ten truckers? Or even a substantial logistics or 3PL concern with multi-national ports of call?
Whatever your “size”, I can virtually guarantee you are leaving “money on the table” at tax time.
Whether you normally owe the IRS at tax time or you hope for a nice little refund to pay for some work on your pick up truck, our job and our goal is to amp up your trucking and other deductions without throwing up red flags everywhere.
The fun for us at tax time is in helping you pad your wallet with perfectly legal but often overlooked deductions – expenses that you either forgot about or didn’t even realize were deductible.
So let’s get down to business!
Following are six of the most overlooked deductions that we see every day:
1. Supplies - Whether purchased at home or on the road, everything from tarps and tie downs to logbooks and linens. If you don't have receipts, at least write it down in your logbook.
2. Mileage at home
- Work-related miles you drive to buy supplies, check on parts, repairs, etc.
- Work-related miles driven by your spouse or dependent for supplies or any other work-related miles.
3. Road Expenses - These also are often paid by cash. Again, if no receipt, write them in your logbook.
- Truck Supplies
- Weigh fees/scales
- Rental Car
4. Business Furnishings - In your sleeper or at home:
- File Cabinets
Believe it or not...
5. Fuel - Every driver obviously has fuel expense. It's the biggest single expense for every owner-operator. Yet 1 out of 2 drivers understates their fuel expense simply because of lost receipts. If you have at least three consecutive months of consistent usage, the IRS will allow some breaks in record-keeping
6. Repairs - Probably the second most understated expense. This should include the following, again, whether purchased on the road or at home:
A simple system can help you capture all your expenses whether paid by check, cash, credit card or Comcheck.
Even a minor improvement can easily cut your tax bill by thousands, year after year.
This question may be worth at least $1,000 to you: what expenses are you paying by cash on a weekly or monthly basis that you are not keeping up with at all?
And again, whether you are small, medium or large… or even XXL, it’s worth taking a little extra time to capture those often – overlooked deductions.
If time is running short for you, at least file an extension with a good-sized payment to put a dent in your tax bill, and then catch your breath. Then catch the tax savings from these valuable deductions. And this all applies whether you are a sole proprietorship or a corporation complete with a Board of Directors.
Dennis Bridges is a CPA and recognized leader in tax and financial issues for logistics professionals and logistics-based enterprises. He is the author of The Truckers Tax Relief Toolkit, and co-author of Amazon best-seller, Breaking the Tax Code, 2nd Ed.
In honor of the sacrificial work effort expended by drivers and other logistics professionals, he has created the “Truckers Million Dollars Tax Cut”, a nationwide initiative to save over $1 million in income taxes for at least 2,014 truck drivers and others. He welcomes inquiries from individual drivers and others for tax preparation.
Dennis strives to bring the maximum value to every client relationship, whether income is measured in six figures or nine figures. He is best known for reaching innovative solutions to tax and business problems.
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- Address a tax or financial question for consideration by Dennis Bridges or another member of his Logistics Finance Panel.
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