Tax Write-Offs Every Truck Driver Should Know About

Posted on February 19, 2021

Truck drivers are on the road 24/7, traveling on weekends, on holidays, through bad weather, and sometimes even on their birthdays. With all the hard work poured into deliveries and pick-ups, truck drivers should know what expenses qualify as tax write-offs and lessen what they owe the government. But what exactly are tax write-offs, and which ones should truck drivers know about?

Tax write-offs are expenses that can be claimed as a tax deduction. They are deducted from the total revenue to determine total taxable income. Here are tax write-offs every truck driver should know about:

Truck maintenance

Expenses such as oil changes, fuel, repairs, new tires, cleaning supplies, washer fluid, and any other supplies needed to maintain your truck can be deducted as long as your employer has not reimbursed them.

Union or Professional Association fees

Fees that are paid to your union or organization can also be deducted from your taxable income.

Clothes and Safety Wear

Clothes required for you to do your job can also be deducted. These include uniforms, protective goggles or glasses, gloves, overalls, rain gear, safety vests, hard hats, and boots. The expenses made to clean these items are also included, but only if you are away from home.

Office supplies

To keep track of your routes, you will need office supplies such as writing supplies, maps, logbooks, calculators, clipboards, pencils, binders, staplers, and even fax and photocopying machines. These are all tax-deductible items.

Sleeper berth

Items such as beddings, cab curtains, alarm clock, and surprisingly even a mini-fridge can all be deducted.


GPS units, CB radios, ELD, laptops, cellphones, and data plans are all devices that can also be deducted. Repairs for these devices can also be deducted as much as 50%.

Work-related fees

Drug testing fees, driver’s license renewal fees, DOT physical exams, other classes or training, and costs associated with obtaining and maintaining your CDL are also included.

Publications subscriptions

Also deductible are magazines, journals, and load board subscription fees related to the trucking industry.

Child tax credit

A tax credit of up to $1,000 per child under the age of 17 is also allowed, with the condition that the child lives with you most of the year and that you can pay for half of their living expenses.

Travel expenses

Overnight travel expenses can also be deducted; this includes hotel rooms and per diem expenses. You can also use the standard allowance method by calculating your daily lodging and meal expenses using the per diem tool. Details can be found on IRS Publication 463 and 1542.  But before claiming these deductions, truck drivers are required to have a tax home, this does not necessarily have to be an actual house, but it can be a base or dispatch center — as long as it is in the city where the driver generally works. This is very important. In cases wherein truck drivers have been unable to provide a tax home address have had their deduction claimed denied, leaving them with penalties for underpaid taxes.

If you have any questions on other kinds of support you can get when it comes to your taxes, we invite you to contact us at or call us at 877 4 IRS LAW.



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