Put your taxes into a higher gear: Claim ALL the truck driver tax deductions you’re entitled to!
Spending so much time away from home becomes expensive for truck drivers. Thankfully many of those expenses can be claimed as truck driver tax deductions on your annual tax return.
As you would expect, maintenance and repairs of your vehicle as well as running costs can be claimed on your tax return. What you may not know is that truck driver tax deductions can also include the costs of training courses, meals and accommodation, membership fees and many other work related expenses they pay for while carrying out everyday duties.
When reviewing truck driver tax returns, we often find that they don’t include quite a few eligible expenses. When asked why, the response is always that the truckie simply didn’t know.
So let’s rectify that right now! What expenses can be claimed as truck driver tax deductions?
General equipment costs
- Mobile phone
- CB radio
- Portable refrigerator/cooler
- Tablets and laptops
- First aid equipment
- Stationary (diary, log books)
- Work bag
- Vehicle maintenance tools
- Expenses related to reimbursements
- Registration and Insurance
- Truck repairs and parts
- Cleaning and general maintenance
- Running costs
- Parking fees
- Depreciation of your truck (if owned)
- Interest on truck loan (if still purchasing the truck)
- Lease payments (If leasing the truck)
Meals, travel and accommodation
- Meal costs when working overtime
- Meal costs when you are working away from home (overnight trips etc.)
- Accommodation costs when working or training away from home
- Incidental costs
- Work related travel and/or car expenses for traveling to pick up equipment, between depots, to meetings or training. (Unless you are carrying heavy equipment that cannot be left on site, travel costs between home and your usual depot are not deductible.)
- The fees for short courses or university courses directly related to your work.
- Course related expenses including:
Clothing and protective equipment
- Purchase and repair of uniforms or clothing with company logo
- Laundry and dry cleaning costs of uniforms or clothing with company logo
- Costs of protective equipment including:
- Overalls and gloves
- Head gear and goggles
- High-vis vests, jackets and trousers
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
Other truck driver tax deductions
- The cost of new or renewing licenses or permits required to carry out your work
- Union and membership fees
- Work related phone calls and internet connection fees (percentage used for your work only)
- Books and magazines related to your work
General tax deductions
You may also be able to claim tax deductions for various other expenses you pay for over the year in addition to the truck driver specific deductions mentioned above. These include:
- Tax agent fees and travel to and from your tax agent
- Income protection payments
- Interest (on investment accounts)
- Charity donations (if charity is a registered Deductible Gift Recipient)
Can you prove it?
Remember to keep a clear record of ALL your expense receipts, even if you’re not sure if you can claim them. Remember you can only claim a tax deduction on expenses you have proof of. And remember; make sure your claims are genuine. The ATO now focus more on tax deductions that may not be authentic work related expenses.
The Etax App makes keeping track of receipts super easy – check it out!
Not sure if you can claim an expense or where to put it in your Etax tax return?
No worries, simply ask us in the Any other questions section, attach the receipt then sign your return and GO! We’ll put it where it needs to go and amend your return. Now that’s a good idea!
Please note: The truck driver tax deductions discussed in this article are provided as a general guide only. Some expenses can only be claimed if you are in receipt of an allowance, other’s are subject to certain circumstances, or require you to keep a log book or diary. You should always seek tax agent advice regarding tax deductions to establish what your personal circumstances allow you to claim to avoid ATO troubles down the track.