Truck Driver Tax Deductions for 2014

calculator and penNEWWith 2014 winding down, tax time is just around the corner. To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a quick resource of items you can list as deductions on your 2014 tax return.

This is a general list; the majority of tax deductions for truck drivers apply to both self-employed drivers and drivers who work for a company. However, some tax deductions apply only to drivers who are self-employed. If you are self-employed, review the list on the 2014 IRS Schedule C  for your list of deductions. If you are employed by a company, check out the 2014 IRS Schedule A for a list of deductions.

Below are a few common (and sometimes skipped over) tax deductions for truck drivers:

  • Travel expenses. Food, lodging and other travel expenses are tax-deductible. You may be able to claim a standard daily meal allowance of $59/day. For more information, check out the 2013 version of IRS Publication 463 (the 2014 version is not yet available).
  • Vehicle expenses. Many truck drivers gather a large number of receipts in this category throughout the year. Vehicle expenses include everything from fuel and parking expenses to road tolls and maintenance costs. Your licensing fees are also tax-deductible.
  • Liability insurance premiums. This may be a necessary evil of truck driving, but at least it’s deductible!
  • Cleaning supplies.You can deduct the cost of paper towels, window cleaner and other supplies you need to maintain your truck.
  • Association fees.If you drive for a company that requires you to join a union or group, you can deduct the membership dues from your tax return.
  • Doctor’s exams. DOT physicals, sleep apnea studies and drug tests can all be deducted from your taxes.
  • Personal care items. Remember to deduct the cost of the items you purchase on the road that you would otherwise have at home: tissues, razors, hand sanitizers, pillows, first aid supplies, and many other personal care items can be deducted. You may also deduct your expenses for paying to use laundry and showering facilities.
  • Clothing. If you’re required to wear a uniform, the cost is deductible, as dry cleaning to keep it fresh and wearable. This category also includes special accessories and footwear that are required for your job, like a hard hat, steel toe boots, safety glasses and other safety gear.
  • Postage. If your position requires you to mail anything to your company, the cost of the paper, pens, envelopes, stamps, etc., is tax-deductible.
  • Load securement. Items required to ensure a safe load are also deductible, including load chains and bars, tie down straps, bungee cords, tarp straps, and wide load flags and signs.
  • Cab essentials. Everyday items like an alarm clock, bedding, and curtains for the cab are generally deductible, as are extras storage bins, thermos and food storage items, and small appliances like coffee makers and refrigerators.
  • Tools. Don’t forget to include deductions for basic tools for the road: crowbar, hammer, flashlights, pliers, wrenches, duct and electrical tapes, and other essentials.
  • Fees. If you’re required to take classes or training to maintain your license, those fees are tax-deductible. Whether the training or class is mandatory to federal law, state law or just your employer, the fees are still tax-deductible. Other fees that are deductible include those for ATMs, check fees, and CDL licensing.
  • Office supplies. Every day in-cab items like log books are deductible, but don’t forget to deduct the cost of items like a calculator, pens, and pencils and other traditional office supplies, as well as money paid to make copies or send faxes.
  • Connection costs.This category refers to internet and satellite access for your cell phone or Sirius/XM. You can deduct 50 percent of your access fees. The entire cost of your cell phone and laptop is deductible. In fact, the cost of deprecation on your PC can also be deducted if you are required to use it for work. However, the cost of a home telephone is NOT tax-deductible.
  • Business-related magazine subscriptions.This category includes only industry-specific magazines about trucking, transportation, etc. Leisure and hobby magazines are not tax-deductible.

Please keep in mind this is not a full, comprehensive list, but a great starting point and a reminder to look into items you may not think are deductible.

If you are new to the trucking industry or don’t keep your receipts well-organized throughout the year, consider putting a filing system in place for 2015. Use the list above as a starting point to help you create files for your receipts.

Also, remember that tax deductions can ONLY include expenses for which you have not already been reimbursed.

Everyone’s employment and tax situation is unique, so always consult with a tax professional if you have questions or concerns about possible deductions. This article is not intended to provide specific tax advice.

 

 

10 Great Gift Ideas for Men

Swrapped_presentso we may be mid-way into December already, but if you’re still stumped on what to buy for the guys on your list, read on.  We’ve complied 10 great ideas, many of them under $30. And with our fast shipping, order it today and it should arrive in time for Christmas-  see our shipping page for transit maps and shipping options for all the details.

 

42226-11-black-ball-bungees-bundle-of-100_1_375Ball bungees.  These simple little pieces are just a round loop of stretchy bungee cord with a plastic ball, but the uses are endless: use to secure tarps on a load, canopies on a porch, or flap on a tent. Bundle sticks for carrying, sporting goods for storage, or secure open doors or lids on garbage cans. We could go on, or you could just check out this post that’s full of ideas. Pack of 100: $33.

 

34795-116-pc-tool-kit-with-carrying-case_1_375Tool kit. This complete 116-piece set is housed in a heavy duty, hard –shell carrying case so it’s easy for him to throw in his truck or trailer at a moment’s notice. At just $49.99, it’s a good idea to buy an extra to keep in your house or garage too.

 

2345-moving-blanket-supreme-mover-cotton-blanket-sold-ind_1_375Supreme moving blanket. You may be thinking- a moving blanket for a gift? Yes. Think of these as an all-purpose blanket, great for everything from pet beds to lining tents. See more great use ideas in this post. $17.99

 

2235-forearm-forklift-moving-straps_5_640Forearm Forklift. Moving straps are a must-have for moving, but great to have on hand for those times when you need a little extra muscle: moving out an old appliance, moving a heavy tool box during a garage clean-up, etc. Check out our moving straps & mover bands page for a couple of other moving straps options. $22.99

 

2270-e-track-5-horizontal-galvanized_3_640E-track and E-track straps. These handy pieces of track are easily installed in utility trailers, shop walls, etc…. anywhere you want to secure items quickly and easily. The straps are manufactured with a fitting that snaps into any spot in the track. You can pick up a 5-foot length of vertical track or horizontal track for under $15. Cam buckle straps and ratchet straps start under $10. Additional pieces like rope tie-offs and O-rings are also available so he can customize as he wishes.

 

25165-6-wool-strap-protector_1_375Plush strap covers.  If your guy has a motorcycle or ATV he transports using tie down straps, pick up some of these strap covers. They’re easily placed along any 1″ wide strap to provide protection from potential scratches and dings. 6″L cover, each: $2.35

 

23573-anchor-point-tie-down-kit-w-round-base_1_375Anchor point tie down kit. Similar to E-track, these L-track pieces snap right into the base to create a quick and easy tie down point. These are handy because their small size fit places where full track will not like pick-up truck beds. See this video for more information on installation. Kit, $19.99

 

2315RCVWH-4PK_1_3754 pack ratchet straps. 1″ straps are a must to have on hand.  Great for securing motorcycles, lawn mowers, boxes, nearly anything, thanks to the polyester webbing and rugged ratchet assembly. This value pack ensures he’ll have enough to get the job done, while saving you a little cash. $22.29

 

3199-recovery-straps-w-cordura-eyes-2-x16_1_375Recovery strap. If your guy has a truck or ATV, loves 4-wheeling, and that whole thing, a good quality recovery strap is a requirement.  A good starting point is a 2″ x 20′ strap, but check out our Recovery Straps & Tow Straps page for a video on how to choose a recovery strap and a handy chart with towing capacities. $26.99

 

22479-36-x-48-bungee-nets-with-12-hooks_1_640Bungee net. Another great idea for guys with trucks, a bungee net is always a great little extra piece of equipment to have on hand. The spider web design and built-in hooks make it easy to secure cargo in the truck bed in minutes. We also sell a larger 72″x96″ size and a 15″x15″ motorcycle net. 36″x48″ size, $8.99

 

Have questions about any of these products? Give our sales team a call at 866-444-9990, they’ll be glad to help. Happy shopping!

New Snap-Loc® Industrial Moving Dollies Added to Line of Professional Moving Supplies

Sarah Watson, Director of Business Development – Moving Supplies
Sarah Watson, Director of Business Development – Moving Supplies

The moving supplies category of products continues to expand with the addition of new Snap-Loc moving dolly products.

The new items were brought in to better serve our growing customer base of professional moving companies, and were based on suggestions from current customers.

58583-snap-loc-dolly-with-panel-bar-set_1_375
Snap-Loc Moving Dolly Panel Cart

We’re always open to adding products that are suggested by our customers. Our team takes great pride in developing our product line tailored for our customers. We consider them to be the ultimate feedback providers, equipment inventors, and field experts.

58582-snap-loc-dolly-with-push-bar-set_1_375
Snap-Loc Moving Dolly Push Bar Platform Truck

The new products include a Snap-Loc Panel Cart and a Snap-Lock Push Bar Platform Truck. Both products feature the heavy duty Snap-Loc dolly, which boasts a 1,500 lb. capacity, but the two new handle configurations offer users easier and safer methods to maneuver the dolly. The Snap-Loc carts also feature E-track singles on the sides of the cart, which accept tie down straps with spring E-fittings to make it easy to secure a load to the cart, or to secure the cart to an E-track rail installed in a trailer. A Connector Strap can also be used to connect two carts together to increase the working surface area.

72" Pallet Band
72″ Pallet Band

Heavy duty pallet bands were also recently added to our  Moving Straps & Mover Bands category, offering customers three larger options in addition to our popular rubber mover bands.

More new products are also planned for the first quarter of 2015, including an appliance truck with a new kickback feature, black floor runners, and reflective seatbelt covers.

Custom stenciling options for our popular line of tie down straps is also a new feature that will be available in 2105. Straps stenciled with a company’s name are an excellent way to create a professional image, as well as offer a method of loss prevention, so we’re extremely excited to be able to offer this option to customers.

Do you have a suggestion for a product or service we could offer? Please let us know! Give our moving supplies team a call at 800-867-1210, or send us an e-mail at MovingSupplies@USCargoControl.com.