Top Tax Tips for Owner-Operators

As essential worker you work hard for your money. Maximizing what you can deduct minimizes your tax burden and allows you to keep more money in your jeans.

If you are looking to lease a truck to become an owner-operator or would like to replace your existing truck with a newer one, we are here to help. And remember, we only succeed if you succeed!

Here are some tax season tips that can help you to maximize your earnings.

As an owner-operator, you can take advantage of a large number of tax deductions, and you should!

If you are like most owner-operators, the cubby in your truck is jammed with receipts saved up over the year. Often you don’t know what you can or can’t write-off, so you end up keeping them all.

Some important things to remember as a long-haul driver, you can write-off 80% of your meal and beverage expenses while on the road. There are few restrictions, such as being away from your municipality for at least 24 hours or if the trip is greater than 160 kilometers from where you usually report to work. Often you can write-off more if you have travelled across the border to the USA. Owner-operators are also able to claim 80% of lodging and shower expenses.

Here are some other receipts you should keep if you want to minimize the amount of taxes you pay:

•    Truck lease payments
•    Repairs and Maintenance
•    Cell phone bills
•    Tools
•    Load securement equipment
•    In-cab living expenses
•    Office equipment
•    Office supplies
•    Cleaning and cleaning supplies
•    Clothing
•    Electronics
•    Fees paid

Most owner-operators have expenses deducted from their settlement for fuel, insurance, tolls. If your carrier does deduct these, make sure you submit these expenses too.

Generally, most owner-operators can claim anything that follows these general guidelines:

•    The expenses have not been reimbursed or deducted from your settlement by your carrier
•    You have receipts or proof of payment for the items you are claiming
•    You have valid log books

The tax laws in Canada are very complex and always changing. To make sure you comply with all of the CRAs policies, talk to a professional tax consultant.

Open roads to you, Transportation Captains!

Yours truly,
Ernie Holmes

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