The Business of Trucking
The tax man cometh
It’s time to dig through your receipts and records. That’s right, as much as we hate it, it won’t go away. It’s tax time.
By now you should have received all of your tax documents in the mail. First, make a list of all of the tax documents you should have, things like W-2 forms for employees or 1099s for independent contractors, 1098 from your mortgage company, 1099 from your bank or brokerage for any interest or dividends, etc. Then as you get the forms in the mail, you can check your list against the forms you have received and make sure you have everything.
One form a lot of owner-operators miss is the interest they paid on their truck loan. If you haven’t received some of these documents, call the company and get them. Don’t wait, don’t procrastinate and don’t make excuses; just get this done. You’ll feel better, and you’ll get a better tax return completed if you get started—the sooner the better.
If you don’t know where to start, go to my Web site at www.masterthejourney.com and download a free copy of my bookkeeping software, “Gauges,” for owner-operators. If you can’t get to the Web site or if you are not able to download the program, give my office a call at 888-262-8585, and we can send you a disk for a small shipping charge.
If you are going to do your bookkeeping by hand on paper, you can visit my Web site and get a list of deduction categories that will help you organize all of your receipts. While you are working on last year’s tax return, begin setting up this year’s bookkeeping system. This is a perfect time to set up your records for this year, because you’ll be able to see what worked and what didn’t for last year.
This is also a great time to create a profit-and-loss statement and a cost-per-mile report for your business. You will be able to enter a year’s worth of receipts and records into the software program in very little time and print out a simple one-page report to take to your tax preparer. (If you don’t have a tax preparer who really understands the industry, call 866-438-7825). Do it right and make this year the best it can be, pay the IRS less and start tracking your business numbers.
Remember, be safe, be profitable and master the journey.