Measuring True Expenses of Operating a Trucking Business

With record high demand expected over the next several years, trucking can be a lucrative industry for qualified entrepreneurs. At the same time. trucking is a complex, highly regulated industry. One of the biggest challenges that truck company owners and operators face is navigating tax issues. It is crucial that you accurately measure (and record) your expenses. Our truck company accountants and consultants highlight the key things to know about how you measure the true expenses associated with operating a trucking business. 

Why It Matters: The Importance of Accurate Accounting for Truck Companies 

If you own and operate a truck company in Atlanta, New Orleans, or anywhere in between, it is imperative that you properly document your expenses. This is important for two main reasons: 

  • Business Profitability: By knowing what you spend and where you spent it, you will be in a better position to improve the efficiency and profitability of your trucking business. 
  • Taxes Deductions: Most business expenses are tax deductible. You can avoid facing unnecessary tax liability by claiming all of the deductions you are entitled to under the law. 

An Overview the Deductions that a Truck Driver Owner-Operator Can Take

Truck company owners can deduct (write-off) a wide range of valid business expenses. You should not be taxed on the basic and necessary costs of starting, maintaining, and running a trucking business. Here is a non-exclusive list of the expenses that you should track because they can generally be taken as a valid business deduction: 

  • Operating Costs: The day-to-day costs related to driving a commercial truck can generally be written off as business expenses. This includes everything from fuel and basic maintenance to tolls and industry-specific taxes (Heavy Vehicle Tax). 
  • Business Expenses: Truck company owner-operators can also write off business expenses. Among other types of costs, this includes computer software, office supplies, accounting/tax consultants, and other payments to third parties. 
  • Truck Costs (Including Depreciation): You can write off the expenses related to owning and maintaining a truck. Beyond costs like truck repairs, this also includes depreciation of the vehicle. An experienced trucking accountant will ensure that any depreciation of your vehicle is properly accounted for come tax time. 
  • Meals and Lodging: Truck drivers spend a lot of time on the road. If you make long haul trips, you can deduct reasonable expenses associated with meals and lodging. Remember to save your receipts.

Protect Your Business With Strong Record-Keeping (and Professional Guidance) 

The last thing any truck company owner and operator wants to deal with is a tax audit. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) explains that an audit is a comprehensive review and examination of a company’s “books” to ensure that it satisfies its tax obligations. You can protect yourself and your business from problems with thorough record-keeping. Carefully track and document all of your business expenses. An experienced tax consultant from trucking companies can help. 

Call Our Trucking Company Consultants for Help 

At Williams Accounting & Consulting, we have deep experience helping truck industry businesses with a wide array of accounting matters and tax matters. If you have any questions about measuring the costs of operating a truck company, we can help. Call us at 770-964-4100 or connect with us online for your private case review. From our Atlanta office and our New Orleans office, we are well-positioned to help truck companies with tax issues throughout the Southeastern United States. 

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