November 23, 2022
As a truck driver, there's a lot on your plate. While the job can be very rewarding, it can also be very taxing and costly as well.
There are many investments truck drivers have to make before they even hit the road -- from obtaining the proper licenses and insurance, to performing regular repairs and maintenance. All of this adds up to a lot of money that reduces your bottom-line earnings.
Luckily, there are some tax deductions that truck drivers qualify for that can help lower their taxable income. Below are some of the truck driver deductions you should know about.

Who Can Claim Tax Driver Deductions?

The first thing to understand is that only certain people will be able to claim tax deductions. Due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, only those truck drivers who are self-employed will be able to claim expenses they incur.
If you're unsure whether you qualify, the easiest way to tell is whether you receive a W-2 from your company or not. If you do, then you'll be considered an employee of another company and won't be able to write off any of your expenses. If you receive a 1099 Form, or report your own income, then you likely will qualify.

Truck Driver Deductions

If you do qualify for truck driver deductions based on your employment situation, you should know about the below tax deductions.
If you do qualify for truck driver deductions based on your employment situation, you should know about the below tax deductions.


Truck drivers use technology today to help them complete their jobs. You can deduct any expenses you incur for a laptop, table and/or cellphone. Not only can you deduct the amount that the device actually costs you, but you can also deduct any monthly fee you pay for internet service or data.
If you use the device strictly for work purposes, you can deduct the full amount of the expenses. If you use them for both work and personal purposes, then you can just deduct the percentage that you use them for business.

Meals and Clothing

Meals and clothing can get a little tricky, so it's important to understand what you can and can't deduct as a truck driver.
For meals, you can only deduct expenses you incur if you are on a long enough trip that would require you to stop to eat. If you are only a local driver who doesn't travel far from what would be determined your "tax home," then you can't deduct meals at all.
If you can deduct meals, you can opt for an allowance on a per diem basis or use the actual expense method. Speak with a tax professional if you have specific questions.
As for clothing, you can deduct expenses for any specialized safety gear or clothing that you must wear for work. If you wear everyday clothing while you drive, you can't deduct that, even if you strictly wear that clothing for work.


Insurance is one of the more expensive outlays for truck drivers. You likely need commercial auto insurance and property damage policies to begin with. Depending on your employment situation, you might also purchase additional insurance policies that could cover your trucks, the cargo you carry and your employees.
All of the premiums that you pay on these business insurance policies can be deducted from your taxes.
Health insurance can also serve as a tax deduction for tax drivers. However, it's done in a slightly different way. You can will deduct the total cost of any vision, dental and health insurance you purchase for yourself and your spouse as well as any dependents you have.


Truck drivers incur a lot of travel-related expenses, but not all will be deductible. This falls into the same category of meals, in that travel expenses can only be deducted if you would be forced to either rest or spend a night on the road because you're driving too far from your tax home.
If you are, then you would be able to write off expenses such as hotel or motel accommodations, parking and tolls. All travel-related expenses must be written off as actual dollar amounts. The IRS does not allow truck drivers to deduct these expenses on a per diem rate.

Personal Products

There are many personal products that truck drivers purchase for themselves to make life on the road easier and more comfortable. Many of these products are able to be deducted on taxes.
This could include items such as bedding, an alarm clock, gloves, cleaning and disinfecting supplies, a logbook, a mini-fridge or cooler, sunglasses and a flashlight. The IRS also allows truck drivers to deduct any expenses they incur for doing laundry or taking a shower while they are traveling for work.
The key to maximizing your personal product expenses and doing it the right way is to keep a running log of every actual expense you incur.

Vehicle Costs

One of the costliest categories of expenses for truck drivers are vehicle-related expenses. What you can deduct, and how you can deduct it, depends on the type of vehicle you drive.
If you driver a standard vehicle for business use, then you will simply use the IRS' standard mileage method for writing off vehicle expenses. This is a general way to cover all of your vehicle-related costs.
Many truck drivers, though, operate a semitruck, and the IRS handles these expenses in a different way. Drivers of semitrucks can't use the standard mileage method, but this is probably a good thing.
Instead, drivers of semitrucks can claim the actual expenses they incur for operating their vehicle. Some of the things that fall into this category includes fuel, interest paid on a loan if you're financing your truck and/or trailer, maintenance and repairs, tires, depreciation and car washes.
This can all be significant expenses, and the fact that the IRS allows these to be deductible is great for truck drivers.

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