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Friday, August 19, 2011

IRS Tax Implications for those in the Trucking Industry


For many Owner-Operators of Heavy Highway Vehicles, the benefits of self employment make being on the open road a very exciting experience. However, due to the heavy regulation of the Trucking and Transportation Industry, there are various taxes you must pay for self-employment income earned as an independent truck driver. Since self-employed individuals are not subject to tax withholding, there is more control over periodic tax payments throughout the year, which can be cut down by claiming deductions for business expenses.

Self-Employment Tax

The Self-Employment tax applies to truck drivers who operate their own business. These taxes are imposed in order to fund the Social Security and Medicare programs. The disadvantage of paying these taxes as a self-employed individual is that you owe twice as much as taxpayers who earn their income from employment. This is because employers are responsible for paying the other half of these taxes for their employees. There is somewhat of a silver lining to this though, the IRS does allow you to claim a deduction for 50 percent of the self-employment tax payments you make as an adjustment to income.

Truck Driver Deductions

You are not required to pay income tax or self-employment tax on your gross earnings from self employed truck driving. Instead, it calculates your tax due on net earnings, which is equal to your gross earnings minus all deductions you can claim. In order to claim a deduction, the expense must be ordinary and necessary to operate your business. This may cover any number of expenses you incur, but typically, truck drivers may deduct the cost of gasoline, oil, truck repairs, insurance and parking charges. You may also deduct the cost of the truck itself by including the lease payments or depreciation of the purchase price in your deductions. And, if you ever stay in a hotel during those long road trips, you may deduct your lodging expenses also.
Other Truck Taxes

IRS Form 2290 is meant to send information about the usage of a commercial truck and to pay taxes on that use to the IRS. You can use this form for a single truck filing, or up to twenty-five vehicles can be reported on one form. The major reasons for filing the form include:
The typical Tax year for Form 2290 is from July 1st to June 30th of the next year. The form and any payment are typically due by the end of August of the corresponding year. The IRS requires that forms with 25 or more vehicles to be electronically filed.

As mentioned Earlier, the typical tax year is from July 1 to June 30, but this year it has changed. Due to legislation being held up in Congress, there has yet to be a legislation enacted to collect these Heavy Vehicle Use Taxes. The IRS has announced that it will not be accepting these 2290 forms until November 1 of this year.

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