2016 Tax Deductions for Truck Drivers in the Trucking Industry

It’s tax time for truck drivers and every other worker in the United States. Because tax guidelines change year to year we’ve compiled a quick list of 2016 tax deductions available to truck drivers. This is not a complete list of tax guidelines, but a starting point, and a reminder of what may be deductible.

truck-driver-windshieldMost truck drivers qualifying for tax deductions will be self-employed drivers or drivers working for a company. Some deductions do apply only to the self-employed drivers. To be sure what deductions you qualify for, check the 2016 Instructions for Schedule A (Form 1040) which is an official IRS document. If you are a self-employed driver, you can also check out this 2016 Instructions for Schedule C (1040) Profit or Loss from Business form.

This blog is not written by a tax professional, nor is it intended to provide specific tax advice. Please consult an actual professional for specific questions or concerns about your possible deductions.

Here’s a list of deductions you may be able to make use of, as long as you’ve not already been reimbursed for any of them:

Vehicle Expenses. These may include parking fees, tolls, standard mileage rate or actual expenses (such as maintenance and repair, registration fees, tires, some or all insurance premiums, oil, fuel, and depreciation if you are the vehicle’s owner).

Travel Expenses. Expenses incurred while away from home such as lodging, laundry, and meals at a standard rate of $51 per day for most small United States localities, or a higher rate depending on where you are traveling.

Required Trade Association or Union membership Dues are 100% deductible. Voluntary memberships may be deductible if it is a regular industry membership, or if it can be demonstrated the membership assists in the employee’s career.

License and Regulatory Fees. CDL costs, along with fees associated with the required continuing education to maintain a license with an employer or state or federal agencies are all deductible.

Subscriptions to Trucking-Related Publications. Industry publications contain information relevant for drivers to stay up-to-date in their field, and therefore can be 100% deductible.

Personal electronic devices. Mobile phones and wireless laptops are included, however since these items can also be used for personal purposes they can only be deducted at 50% of their monthly fees. The device’s entire cost can be deducted if it is required for work use, however.

Medical Exams. Any required out-of-pocket medical exams can be deducted as a business expense for truck drivers. These could include DOT physicals, drug tests and sleep apnea studies.

Personal Necessities. Items drivers need in order to work on the road include specialized clothing, gloves, sunglasses, log books, calculators, flashlights, binders or luggage can be deducted.

Truck Necessities. Items to keep your truck clean and items to make you more comfortable in the truck can be deducted. This could include alarm clocks, bedding and curtains, a mini-fridge, coffeemaker, tools, paper towels, window cleaner and cleaning supplies.

Load Securement Items. Tie down straps, tarp straps, bungee cords, load chains and bars, as well as Wide Load flags and signs are all deductible.

New Products: Wheel Nets & Car Tie Downs

Our selection of wheel nets and car tie downs continues to expand.

We’ve launched more than 20 new products, including value-priced 4-packs of wheel nets and 2-packs of tow dolly straps.

Also, the category page design itself has been revamped, so you can more easily find a strap to fit your needs. Shop using dedicated pages for Wheel Nets, Tow Dolly Straps, Wheel Straps, Axle Straps & Auto Tie Downs, and Tie Down Hardware. The Wheel Nets subcategory allows you to shop by wheel/tire size or by specific application.

Consider these factors when choosing a tie down:

  • Type of trailer being used and available anchor points. Do you plan to install additional attachment points?
  • Type of vehicle(s) being hauled.
  • Tie down restrictions, such as for racecars, custom models, and other low-clearance vehicles.
  • Vehicle weight. The combined working load limit of each tie down should be equal to or greater than the vehicle’s weight.

New ideas are constantly being explored and tested, so check back often! Among the changes and additions rolled out so far:

Stronger working load limit

Upgraded stitch patterns for two of our tow dolly basket straps – available with flat hooks or twisted snap hooks – bring the working load limit to 3,333 lbs. instead of 2,000 lbs. This allows them to be used on vehicles that exceed 4,000 lbs.

Larger tow dolly basket straps

Extra-large tow dolly strap

Extra-large tow dolly basket straps are now an option to fit most wheels larger than 17”.

These come with your choice of end fittings: two twisted snap hooks or two flat hooks.

The loose tail of the wheel bonnet can be paired with a 2″ ratchet or lashing hook to secure it to a trailer.

Our smaller versions accommodate most 14” to 17” tires.

Adjustable wheel nets with D-rings

Adjustable tow dolly strap with 4” top strap

D-rings have replaced cambuckles to increase the working load limit on adjustable models.

Several styles featuring height adjustability have joined our lineup. Two slots on both sides of the top strap let you position the horizontal webbing higher or lower when securing different vehicle tire sizes. Simply insert the horizontal strap through the bottom loop for large tires, or jump up a level for a snug fit on smaller wheels. Tighten the front-to-back strap around the wheel with the integrated D-ring, and the loose tail feeds into a trailer-mounted winch or ratchet.

Those with a 2” top strap are ideal for most wheels 14” to 17”, while a 4” top strap provides stability around wheels with diameters of 17” or larger.

Replacement straps for professional auto hauling

2″ x 10′ replacement wheel strap

We now offer replacement straps designed for double-deck car carriers.

These assemblies are similar to our existing wheel straps but do not come with a ratchet. Instead, the loose end feeds into trailer-mounted winches.

For easy connection to the trailer deck, choose two swivel J-hooks or two double-J wire hooks.

Three adjustable, cleated rubber blocks grab a tire’s treads for extra securement.

As always, call us at 866-348-3473 for help determining the right style of tie down for your application. We’re here to get you what you want, when you need it.