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I'm a truck driver. What deductions can I claim?

You can deduct expenses that are ordinary and necessary to the business. Ordinary and necessary depends on factors that vary by:

  • Occupation
  • Taxpayer
  • Job

The IRS considers a semi-truck to be a qualified nonpersonal-use vehicle. You must claim your actual expenses for vehicles of this type. So, you can't use the standard mileage method.

To deduct actual expenses for the truck, your expenses can include but aren't limited to:

  • Fuel
  • Oil
  • Repairs
  • Tires
  • Washing
  • Insurance
  • Any other legitimate business expense

Other unreimbursed expenses you can deduct include:

  • Log books
  • Lumper fees
  • Cell phone that's 100% for business use
  • License and fees for truck and trailer
  • Interest paid on loan for truck and trailer

Depreciate your truck and trailer like this:

  • Over three years for a semi-truck for regular tax -- or over four years for the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
  • Over five years for a trailer for regular tax -- or over six years for AMT

If you're an employee, you can also deduct the expenses of traveling away from home. You're traveling away from home only if both of these are true:

  • You're required to be away from your tax home for substantially longer than a day's work.
  • You need to sleep or rest to meet the demands of your work while away from home.

As a trucker, you're not considered to be traveling away from home if both of these are true:

  • You leave your terminal and return home in the same day.
  • You have an hour off for lunch in between.

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