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June 07, 2022

Want to save an extra few dollars this financial year...

While the tax return process may be challenging, it’s not impossible. Truckers face unique tax challenges that are different from those of other business owners and employees; it’s important to know how to navigate these obstacles when filing your taxes correctly. Here’s an A-to-Z guide to help you complete your tax returns in no time!

What you can claim

Basically, you can deduct expenses that are related to earning your income as a driver. These include vehicle and fuel costs, repairs, maintenance, insurance and license fees. One of many great things about being self-employed is that you can write off anything related to your business. Some deductions won’t apply to everyone, so it’s worth taking a closer look at what each one entails before you start inputting them into your tax return.

  • Clothing and uniform expenses – only occupation specific clothing can be claimed. This includes compulsory uniforms (eg a shirt with your employers logo), protective clothing such as steel cap boots and gloves.
  • Compulsory assessments your employer requires you to take in your current employment. For example, an annual vision test.
  • Hats, sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Meals, if you're travelling away from home overnight for work, and overtime meals when your employer pays you an overtime meal allowance.
  • Medical examinations required to fulfil any assessments required to certify you're fit and health to drive
  • Phone and internet expenses, but only for work-related usage
  • Protective glasses including anti-glare glasses, night glasses, sunglasses or safety glasses.
  • Record keeping and scheduling tools such as notepads, logbooks, business card cases, diaries and pens.
  • Self-education costs - courses, training or seminars specifically related to your work. Don’t forget you can claim a first aid course or refresher!
  • Specialty drivers licences or conditions in order to perform your work duties
  • Tools and equipment you need to use for your job, such as flash lights and work gloves, plus necessary repairs to these items.
  • Transport fees such as parking fees and tolls when on the road. Taxis and transport if you are travelling between multiple locations, or getting a taxi before you’ve reached your max driving hours.
  • Travel expenses – accommodation, sleeping bags, showers and overnight bags, but only if you are required to take a mandatory long rest break and sleep away from home. If you sleep in your truck, you can’t claim accommodation expenses.
  • Union and professional association fees
  • Washing and repairing your truck
  • Working dogs (costs associated with acquiring and looking after), but only if you haul cattle or livestock and need the dog to herd them.

What you can't claim

Unfortunately, not all deductions are claimable!Many small business owners try to claim all sorts of deductions, but depending on your circumstances, you might not be able to deduct some things. For example, you can't claim a deduction if your only business expense is incidental.Don’t be caught by the tax man claiming any of these key expenses!! 
  • Entertainment and social functions (even if they’re compulsory!)
  • Fines and penalties – don’t even think about trying to claim that last parking fine!
  • Looking after the kids, even during the school holidays!
  • Music streaming services and podcasts
  • Private car expenses
  • Seat covers and air fresheners – they may feel nice or smell good, but they’re considered a private expense!
  • Renewing your driver’s licence

Record keeping

Staying on top of your expenses is also super important. It’s a smart idea to get into a rhythm and consistently keep good records. You no longer need to keep the physical copy of the invoice – one of the easiest ways to keep records is to download the ATO app on your phone or iPad. From the app you and utilise the myDeductions tool– simply record your expense, take a photo of your tax receipt – you’ll never lose a receipt again (or go searching for them at tax time!).

Tax time savings at Truck N Co

Before you head off and sort out that tax return, make sure you take advantage of as much tax time savings as possible – we have so many products in stock that can be reimbursed! After your order has been processed, you’ll receive a tax receipt via email. Happy tax returning!

Please note: The tax deductions discussed above are provided as a general guide only, via information publicly 
available on the ATO website
. Personal circumstances will be different for every driver, so you should always seek tax agent advice regarding what deductions you are eligible to claim.

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