Wheels of Justice
The IRS - How to Get Their Attention
My new best friend, Todd Amen, president of American Truck Business Ser-vices
in Denver, CO, spoke with me about his business of helping truck drivers with
their financial needs.
Todd gave me permission to use portions of his article, Tempting the Tax-man,
for which I thank him. What follows are some known issues from his article that
details IRS checks on all tax filings. Do not use one of them unless you want
to talk to the IRS.
Claim the tax code is unconstitutional Don’t fall for this idea which
claims that the amendment authorizing the federal income tax was never ratified,
don’t have to file a return.
Claim personal expenses as business expenses When you falsify paperwork, you
risk severe penalties, plus interest. Tax evasion is considered a criminal act,
and you could be talking about much more than penalties and interest.
Claim the African-American reparations credit There is no such credit. The
Treasury Depart-ment has software to help the IRS detect these false claims
and audit those returns.
You can get a refund on your social security taxes The IRS says, “The
law does not allow such a refund and we will contact taxpayers filing these
Using a dishonest tax preparer who promises big deductions Tax law is complex,
so it’s easy to believe the “expert” who encourages you to
make up things to lower your tax bill—like fabricating receipts to itemize
meals and incidentals instead of taking the standard Per Diem allowance.
Incorporating to avoid self-employment tax This sounds like a good idea until
you realize that the IRS has ruled that the amount you pay yourself as an employee
of the corporation must be typical of what other drivers earn. Most returns
are compared to others in your income bracket using an IRS formula called the
The one IRS rule to remember in order to help prevent or to help survive an
audit is to document, document, document! Be sure to document every deduction—the
IRS is a bureaucracy based on paper. If you don’t take your tax preparer
with you to the audit, separate your receipts and records for deductions by
Remember that you need a “Tax Home.” This allows you to claim things
like Per Diem and business-related mileage. This is no problem for most people
who have a physical address, but it’s tougher for long-distance truckers
not have a house or apartment.
Jim C. Klepper is president of Interstate Trucker Ltd., an organization providing
legal defense protection to commercial drivers. Jim
is a lawyer who focuses on transportation law and the trucking industry in
particular. He works to answer your legal questions about trucking and over-the-road
life and has his Commercial Drivers License.