Tax Deductions for Truck Drivers

Tax Deductions for Truck Drivers

 truck drivers

Average weekly pay:         $1,300 
Employment size:             173,000  
Future growth:                   Moderate      
Skill level                              Certificate II or III  

Truck drivers drive heavy trucks, tow trucks, and tankers to transport bulky goods and liquids. 

Tasks include:

  • Loading and unloading vehicles using lifting and tipping devices.
  • Ensuring goods are stowed and securely covered to prevent loss and damage.
  • Verifying loading documents, checking the condition of goods and obtaining certification of deliveries.
  • Driving the trucks between the pickup and delivery locations.

Typical tax deductions include:

  • Travel to and from work while transporting bulky equipment (normally 20 or more kilos). A deduction is allowable if it’s essential to use the bulky equipment in your daily job, and there is no secure place to store it at work.  
  • Meal expenses when travelling overnight. No substantiation required when a meal allowance has been received and the amount claimed for meal expenses incurred does not exceed the Commissioner’s reasonable amount. The Commissioner’s reasonable amounts for employee truck drivers for the 2017/18 income year are $24.25 for breakfast, $27.65 for lunch, and $47.70 for dinner. 
  • Cleaning expenses when travelling overnight including showers, laundry, dry cleaning, soap, and shower shoes.
  • Tools and equipment including fridge, freezer, cooking equipment, coffee maker, GPS, bedding, and vehicle maintenance tools. Items that cost more than $300 each are depreciated.   
  • Union and professional association fees.
  • Phone, internet and home office expenses (less private portion).
  • Medical checkup and drug testing fees.
  • Protective clothing, including safety-coloured vests, steel-capped boots, gloves, overalls, and heavy-duty shirts and trousers, overalls, smocks and aprons you wear to avoid damage or soiling to your ordinary clothes during your income-earning activities.
  • Sun protection costs. As a truck driver, if you are required to be out in the sun for part of your workday, you can claim a deduction for the cost of sunglasses, hats and sunscreen lotions that are used to protect yourself at work. 
  • Courses, seminars and self-education expenses.   
  • Dogs, when used to guard the truck or load livestock on the truck. The purchase cost of the dog (and training fees) are not deductible as they are capital costs. In contrast, vet bills and pet food bills may qualify as a tax deduction. 

None deductible expenses:

  • Speeding and parking fines. 
  • Truck driving course.

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