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What You Need to Know About Truck Driver Tax Deductions



Trucking is a multi-billion dollar industry that transports necessities and frivolities to people all over the country. It’s a very lucrative business, but it’s very expensive to operate a trucking company. Because of the many services a trucking company provides to the general public, trucking companies are eligible for various tax deductions.

Until recently, anyone who worked as a truck driver could take a trucking tax deduction. However, these deductions are no longer available to drivers who are considered employees of a company. If you’re an independent owner-operator or if you own a small trucking company, you should take all of the deductions that you possibly can.

Memberships in Professional Organizations

If you’re a member of The National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC) or American Trucking Associations (ATA), you must pay annual fees. Those fees are deductible. You must have paid those fees within the tax period you are filing.



Running a trucking company means purchasing a copious amount of insurance. You need insurance for liability, cargo, physical damage, and more. According to Simplex Group, you should be able to deduct the premiums on most kinds of insurance you need for your business.


If you’re an independent trucker who takes intrastate hauls, you’re probably on the road for at least 11 hours a day. If the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration requires you to take a rest break. If you drive long enough to require a meal break, you can deduct up to 80% of the food you purchase. If you take long trips regularly, the savings can be significant.

If you don’t want the hassle of collecting many fast food receipts and plopping them onto your accountant’s desk at the end of the year, fear not. There is a Per Diem method that you can use. Just figure out how much you spend on meals daily and claim that as your deduction. The IRS keeps a watchful eye on the deductions, so be realistic when you estimate the costs.

Safety Gear and Tools

Depending on the kind of truck you drive and the type of cargo you carry, you may need safety gear. If you need special clothing, goggles, masks, or safety gloves, you should ask your tax preparer if they think deducting those items is worth your while.

You should also be able to deduct any tools that you need to operate your trucks. These tools may be used for on-the-road maintenance and safety or at your mechanic shop at your headquarters.


Truckers pay quite a bit of taxes on the fuel they use. Not only do you have to pay at the pump and pay the IRS, but You also have to file a return with the International Fuel Trade Agreement office every quarter.

Fortunately, you also get to deduct the money from your tax return. Other travel expenses, such as parking and lodging, can be deducted. If you don’t stay in hotels, you can claim the funds used for your sleeper berths, such as a mattress, microwave, and fridge.

Truck Maintenance


The FMCSA requires drivers to inspect their trucks before and after driving them. They must report any abnormalities on their inspection report. You’re required to store an electronic record of the inspections and repairs.

If you don’t have an in-house mechanic, the cost of repairs can be quite high. You can deduct these expenses from your taxes. You may be able to get deductions for depreciation as well.

No one likes paying taxes. If you hire a great tax preparer and plan, tax time can be less painful than it would normally be.

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