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Owner-Operator Tax Deductions

by Erika Nieman | March 16, 2017

Owner-Operator Tax Deductions

Common Tax Deductions for Owner-Operators

As an owner-operator, do you know what tax deductions you can take? With the tax deadline quickly approaching, we’re looking for any deductions we can find. According to the IRS, any expenses that are “ordinary and necessary” to operating your trucking business are usually deductible. By keeping track of your expenses throughout the year, when you file your taxes, you’ll be able to find valuable deductions.

Common expenses that are tax-deductible for owner-operators

  • Fuel costs
  • Safety gear
  • Truck repairs and maintenance
  • Business subscriptions
  • Postage
  • Medical exams
  • Drug Tests
  • Bank charges & credit card fees
  • Business cell phones
  • Comdata® Fees
  • Faxing or copying business documents
  • Dues
  • Interest on truck payments
  • Office supplies
  • Equipment for your truck
  • Truck washes
  • Toll fees
  • Insurance
  • Tires
  • Showers
  • Meal expenses

Remember, expenses that are “ordinary and necessary” are usually deductible come tax time. When deducting these expenses, it’s important to keep receipts. Many of these expenses may show up on your settlement statements, so be sure to keep them in a folder and enter them into a bookkeeping program. If you don’t have a receipt, be sure to record the expense in your log-book. If your drivers find it difficult to keep receipts, you can use a credit card or fuel card statement as substantiated information. Just be sure to make notes about the transaction.

For more information and questions about filing taxes and claiming deductions as an owner-operator, visit IRS.gov or talk to an accountant.

How to keep track of your receipts

Gather your receipts monthly, quarterly, or every time you get home. Find a system that works well for you. When you have collected your receipts, be sure to keep them for at least 5 years. If you worry about clutter or too many records, one option is to scan them and save them on your computer. There are numerous software programs or mobile apps that you can use to keep receipts digitally, so you don’t have to keep track of all that paper.


If you’re trying to keep track of fuel expenses, the TCS Fuel Card can help! We offer easy to understand, itemized statements for each account. To learn more, call us at 844-827-7705 or contact us now.

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Erika Nieman

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