Home \ Keep Taxes on Track for Owner Operators and Drivers
Blogs & Articles | Bennett Family Of Companies
Keep Taxes on Track for Owner Operators and Drivers
March 5, 2018
It’s no secret that the trucking industry provides an opportunity to make good money, along with quality benefits and time spent at home. Despite this, being self-employed as an owner-operator truck driver also means you’ll have to learn how to successfully conquer the challenges of taxes. To ensure success as an owner-operator, it’s critical that you learn how to effectively manage your money by planning for taxes and keeping accurate records. You’d be surprised at the amount of money you’ll save when you do all these things. Use the following suggestions to help you prepare for tax filing season:
Keeping track of your costs is arguably the most important element when it comes to taxes. Learning where you can reduce spending is also helpful. ATBS is a great resource for this.
On December 20, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became a law that affects both individuals and businesses – including owner-operators. While nothing will change with per diem reporting, owner-operators can now deduct 20 percent of business profit before paying taxes, including sole proprietorship, LLC, S-Corp, and Partnerships.
A second aspect of planning ahead includes taking the time to prepare a budget. By having a system in place, you’ll find that keeping track of your expenses and incomes isn’t so hard after all.
Watch the Bennett and ATBS Driver Business Teleforum on Taxes for more great info.
Know Your Expenses and Deductions
True expenses can be determined by figuring out your minimum cost to operate. In order to avoid any mishaps, it’s a good idea to set aside 10 percent of your income for emergencies. Another solid piece of advice is to allow for both planned and unplanned maintenance. Oil changes are expected, but you never know when you might pop a tire on some unexpected debris.
Your tax deductions that result from being an owner-operator are defined as “ordinary and necessary” expenses. However, this doesn’t mean that anything useless or extravagant will be counted as a legitimate deduction. Deductible expenses include:
Costs for maintenance
Fees related to servicing, installation, and delivery
Repairs (if you perform them yourself, you can only deduct for parts, but not for time)
While the cost to maintain your tractor trailer counts toward tax deductions, so do many of the costs associated with being an actual driver. One of the largest deductions for trucking employees include per diem for meals, which varies by state. Over-the-road drivers who are away from home for a certain number of days can claim standard meal deductions on his or her taxes. With the new tax law, owner-operator rates for 2018 are $63 per full day and $47.25 for a partial day within U.S. borders.
Other deductions directly related to you include:
Office supplies and maintenance for an in-home work space that meets the requirements of the IRS as a designated area
Shower facility costs and laundry services
Work clothing and safety equipment
Any supplies geared towards the business side of trucking
To avoid triggering an audit, you should make sure not to claim too much. The following list includes non-deductible expenses that should be left off:
Clothing that counts as everyday wear
Interest on personal loans
Student loan interest or principle
Keep Detailed Records
All it takes is a little bit of organization to accurately reflect what you spend versus take in when it comes time to do your taxes. Make your own worksheet that incorporates fixed costs. These are costs that remain the same from month-to-month such as truck payments, insurance costs, medical insurance, licenses, permits, and highway use taxes. Next, don’t forget to include variable costs that are subject to change. Some of these might be fuel costs, tools and supplies, repairs, parts, and cell phone costs.
Lastly, know your cost per mile. This can be the difference between success and failure. Keep track of your miles each month, and then divide your costs by your number of miles driven to get your CPM result. Determining this number is a good representation of how well you are doing.
Being an owner-operator obviously has its benefits when it comes to taxes and expenses, but it’s important to stay on top of your records. Aside from this, it’s probably a smart idea to work with a tax preparer who is knowledgeable about the industry in order to help with any changes to the law that could affect you.
If you’re looking to make a change in your career as an owner operator, or if you’d just like more information at Bennett, visit www.drive4bme.com, or contact one of our recruiters at 800-367-2249!
Today, we honor our 2023 Drivers & Women of Excellence award recipients. We value our drivers/employees and take pride in celebrating them during our annual Drivers Appreciation event. 2023 has been an extraordinary year and these women have performed with the highest levels of professionalism and represent the best in the industry. Please take a few moments to watch as Marcia Taylor, CEO of Bennett Family of Companies presents the winners with their awards in a virtual format.
According to Transport Topics, truck drivers are becoming social media influencers. There are several drivers among the Bennett Family of Companies that are on various social media platforms as social media influencers in the transportation industry. In addition, Bennett is a sponsor of Tony Justice, all-American country music artist and truck driver, who also has a considerable social media presence. Learn more about why our drivers and Tony use social media to expand their career.
Bennett Motor Express (BME) owner-operators, Daniel and Phyllis Snow with Snow Trucking recently attended the 75 Chrome Shop’s 25th Annual Truck Show Extravaganza held on April 28-30, 2023, in Wildwood, Florida. During the show, they were approached by “Mutha Trucker News” to speak on the current state of the freight market. Since the beginning of this year, the team drivers have only been home one week. The couple shared how it is very hard to find freight and be able to make a living without putting in the extra hours out on the road in today’s market.
Safety is Priority One at the Bennett Family of Companies. That’s why it was important for Alicia Echols, Director of Safety and Compliance with Bennett Heavy & Specialized, LLC (BHS), to be a part of the recent Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) webinar to discuss the significance of “Making Risk Reduction a Fleetwide Initiative.” During the webinar, Alicia spoke on a variety of topics including a safety culture within Bennett, communication strategies, safety initiatives and driver engagement efforts around safety.
Bennett Family of Companies’ freight agents, field offices and company employees gathered for Bennett’s Ft. Worth Symposium held on March 9-11th at the beautiful Omni Hotel in Ft. Worth, Texas, for the second consecutive year.
The weekend officially kicked off on Thursday evening with a fun-filled “Wild West” themed welcome reception. Attendees wore their favorite cowboy boots and enjoyed a night of music, drinks, food, dancing, and networking.
Bennett Family of Companies’ freight agents, field offices and company employees gathered for Bennett’s 43rd annual Symposium held on February 3-5th at the beautiful Hilton Peachtree City Atlanta Hotel and Conference Center in Peachtree City, Georgia, for the second consecutive year.
Wreaths Across America (WAA) is an organization that coordinates wreath laying ceremonies at more than 3,400 locations across the United States, at sea, and abroad to help remember veterans and their sacrifices. Since 2017, the Bennett Family of Companies and the Taylor Family Foundation have proudly supported WAA during the Christmas season by providing trucking and financial support for the organization.
Bennett is proud to be a sponsor of Tony Justice and his efforts to raise money for breast cancer research. Tony is a truck driver and country music artist that recently released a song, “War Paint,” dedicated to his wife and all the beautiful warriors that are battling breast cancer. All proceeds from the download of the song will benefit Susan G. Komen in the fight against breast cancer. Get your copy on iTunes today and please share the link with your friends to join us on the Convoy for a Cure!
oday, we honor our 2022 Drivers & Women of Excellence award recipients. We value our drivers/employees and take pride in celebrating them during our annual Drivers Appreciation event. 2022 has been an extraordinary year and these women have performed with the highest levels of professionalism and represent the best in the industry. Please take a few moments to watch as Marcia Taylor, CEO of Bennett Family of Companies presents the winners with their awards in a virtual format.
Bennett Family of Companies’ freight agents, field offices and company employees gathered for Bennett’s 42nd annual Symposium held on March 4-6th at the beautiful Hilton Peachtree City Atlanta Hotel and Conference Center in Peachtree City, Georgia.
The weekend kicked off on Friday evening with a fun-filled Mardi Gras themed welcome reception for attendees. Guests wore their favorite carnival attire and enjoyed a night of music, drinks, cajun food, dancing, and networking. It was a wonderful night of fellowship and being back together in person for this year’s event.
With the NASCAR Xfinity Series coming to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Nalley Cars 250 on Saturday March 19, 2022, the Bennett Family of Companies rolled out the red carpet for its favorite driver, #21 Austin Hill.
Today, we honor our 2021 Women Drivers of Excellence award recipients. We value our drivers and take pride in celebrating them during our annual Drivers Appreciation event. 2021 has been an extraordinary year and these drivers have performed with the highest levels of professionalism and represent the best in the industry. This year, due to COVID-19, we celebrate differently than we have in past years. Please take a few moments to watch as Marcia Taylor, CEO and President of Bennett Family of Companies presents the winners with their awards in a virtual format.
The Bennett Family of Companies and the Taylor Family Foundation hosted the Thunder for Wreaths Ride on May 15, 2021. This annual event serves to raise awareness for Wreaths Across America, an organization that honors deceased veterans during the Christmas season. This year, Bennett partnered with local motorcycle groups and car clubs, and those participating rode in a single procession from Hampton, Georgia and finished in Americus, Georgia.
Today, we honor our 2020 Women Drivers of Excellence award recipients. We value our drivers and take pride in celebrating them during our annual Drivers Appreciation event. 2020 has been an extraordinary year and these drivers have performed with the highest levels of professionalism and represent the best in the industry. This year, due to COVID-19, we celebrate differently than we have in past years. Please take a few moments to watch as Marcia Taylor, CEO and President of Bennett Family of Companies presents the winners with their awards in a virtual format.
When it comes to truck driving, “Just watch me,” is a familiar phrase to Denise Endicott, this month’s featured Women in the Driver’s Seat member. Before a career in trucking, Denise was a Legal Assistant working in Largo, FL. Denise realized that she had a passion for trucking and wanted to drive an 18-wheeler after spending over three years out on the road with a former boyfriend that was a truck driver in Bonifay, FL. During this time, she rode with him and learned everything from securing loads, handling paperwork, staying compliant with truck inspections, and getting dirty with the upkeep of the truck; during that time, Endicott states that she was “bitten by the trucking bug”, and she definitely knew that she wanted to make a career of truck driving. However, Denise’s former boyfriend did not take her seriously, and she remembers there were several times when “He told me I couldn’t do it, it was no place for a girl.” On April 4, 2014, she received her CDL and began her career in the transportation and trucking industry. She quit her job and used money from her 401k and went to truck driving school with her CDL in hand. Denise was the only female in the class and the only one with a CDL already!
At Bennett, we know your challenges, from payment delays to adapting to evolving technologies and ELD regulations. We provide all the essential tools and services for you to grow and remain competitive.
How Old Are You?
You must be 23 or older to apply.
What license do you currently hold?
What driver type are you?
How many years of experience do you have driving professionaly?
We can't accept an application until you have at least 6 months of professional driving experience. Please consider applying again when you have reached at least 6 months of experience!
What type of equipment do you have 1 or more years experience hauling in the last 3 years?