As a trucker, you know that you pay a lot of taxes. The Government demands its due and expects us to pay on time. Failure to do so has penalties and fines that are supposed to motivate us to pay. (That doesn’t make it any better, does it?) So how do owner-operators manage taxes? Here at TruckingOffice, we’re not tax specialists, but we have a few suggestions how to simplify those trucking taxes so you stay on the road.
Tracking Expenses As They Come
Owner-operators are busy people. When we’re paying attention to our loads, the load boards, delivery locations and times, and how long it’s gonna take the crew to unload the freight, tracking expenses can get lost in the mix.
It may seem pointless to spend a lot of time tracking expenses at first, but it pays off big time. Probably the most important is being able to see how your money is moving – expenses and revenue.
Sometimes, tracking expenses is just looking at the credit card bill – if the code on the credit card statement makes sense. Or you have a better memory than most and can remember what it is you spent $62.39 on a month ago. Let’s face it – tracking expenses immediately has a lot of value and very little downside. Yeah, it’s annoying to have to track the pennies. Or the thousands of dollars on a new set of tires. But doing it regularly avoids stress (What was that charge? What’s this receipt for?) and gives you a strong control on your expenses.
It’s just a part of business: we have to track expenses to know where our money is going.
Many expenses are tax-deductible. So keeping track of them results in paying less tax. That alone is a great reason to track them closely.
Owner-operators who are intent on ensuring their trucking business thrives will always find time to track expenses as they come. But it also simplifies tax time when the work is already done. Trucking taxes get simple with accurate expense tracking.
Stop Manually Tracking Mileage Per State
This is a pretty radical idea. After all, we have to pay IFTA taxes. So what exactly are we saying?
There are simpler ways to track miles per state. Use an ELD – preferably one that integrates with your trucking software. (TruckingOffice offers both.)
Tracking mileage by state could lead to simple, yet costly errors that could easily be avoided. Successfully filing and paying IFTA fees requires drivers to record whenever they cross a state border or refuel.
Failing to accurately record this information could lead to costly, time consuming audits that could result in being pulled off the road. Use an ELD capable of tracking via GPS. This way you’re able to focus on the more demanding aspects of life on the road. Then the data is available immediately for your trucking software to compute the IFTA taxes due. Eliminate the math, decrease the stress – sounds like the perfect solution for simplifying trucking taxes to us.
Keep Files Stored Safely in a Convenient Location
Ever tried to find a picture on your phone?
Then you know what it’s like to try to keep track of electronic files.
To simplify your trucking taxes, keeping your files stored in a safe, secure location is more valuable than you may think. It takes effort getting and keeping files organized, but doing so pays off big time. That’s because it makes sharing those files with important stakeholders easy. Storing files in a central, safe location provides owner-operators with an opportunity to save time, too. Without a safe location for important files, owner-operators are likely to waste lots of valuable time tracking them down.
That’s especially the case during tax time. There are a variety of files that are necessary when it comes to accurately filing taxes, too. The good news for owner operators is that there are a variety of ways that trucking software can help make storing files easier. TruckingOffice offers FileSafe, a secure cloud-based storage system that you can organize your files, images and critical documents. You can access it anywhere, not just on your desktop or laptop back at home.
Simple Trucking Taxes Start with TruckingOffice
The key to simplifying your trucking taxes is to use the right tools.
Start with an integrated trucking software and ELD system. A complete trucking software package will handle IFTA and IRP, but can also track invoices and expenses so that when it’s time to pay the government, you’ll find it simpler and easier to compute.
TruckingOffice PRO is the tool that truckers know they can trust for their trucking business. Curious about how it works? If so, start your free trial today!