Tax Saving Tips for Cargo Van & Truck Drivers


Read tips and tricks on how to make it easier for yourself and your business. Save your money!

Every self-operating business can be difficult and money and time-consuming. If you run your own trucking business, you must pay taxes yourself. Lease operators can deduct many work-related expenses from their taxes, which makes planning and tracking day-to-day expenses an essential part of each haul. The best way to avoid scrambling around tax season is to become an expert recordkeeper. Owner-operators can write off many of their work-related expenses, including food, fuel, and lodging, only if they can show proof of purchase. 

How much in taxes do owner-operators pay? 

The answer depends on how much you make each year. Generally, owner-operators should set aside 25% to 30% of their weekly net income to pay quarterly or yearly taxes. That way, you have money saved and set aside for taxes, and you can avoid surprise tax bills down the road.

It can be hard to track every expense on the road. Sometimes, it’s a habit to say “no receipt” for small items like a $5 snack. Over time, little purchases can add up. You need the receipts to write them off. Collect a receipt every time you make a purchase. Then, sort and label your receipts by food, fuel, and maintenance at the end of each haul. Store your organized receipts in a file cabinet or digitize them when you return home. 

Records of your expenses support the deductions you claim on your tax return. You’ll pass the receipts on to your tax professional when you do your taxes. This job can get pretty expensive with the bills, unexpected expenses, and of course taxes at the end of the year, so make sure you spend your money wisely. Expenses are inevitable, but make sure you use the benefits they come with. 

P.S. Though your main place of business is your truck, it is possible to qualify for a home office deduction. You are eligible for this deduction if your home office is used regularly and exclusively for business and is your principal place of business. Over-the-road truckers spend most of their time outside of their homes. However, you may be able to claim this deduction if you have a home office for planning routes, scheduling hauls, taking business calls, and organizing receipts. Talk to a tax professional to find out what you can deduct.  

Types Of Required Owner-Operator Taxes 

We hope that you find this information useful in fulfilling your tax-paying duty. If you need any additional information and/or assistance, do contact a professional for further help as they can give you a far better insight into everything mentioned above. Good luck!

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