Filing My Own Taxes As A Company Driver

Topic 17939 | Page 4

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Aaron M.'s Comment
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Wow I've been saving all my food reciepts. I'm glad you mentioned that Nacho B.

Nacho B.'s Comment
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Wow I've been saving all my food reciepts. I'm glad you mentioned that Nacho B.

Haha! You better keep them! We don't know the answer for sure yet! I'm not even with a company yet! smile.gif

Rick S.'s Comment
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Aaron - the receipts mean nothing - unless you itemize.

Since you've only been out a few months - you're better of taking the "standard deduction" and not itemizing (which means, you aren't claiming the meals - you have to itemize - in order to claim EITHER the meals OR the per diem).

If you take the PER DIEM DEDUCTION (as discussed in depth on this thread) it is a STANDARD DAILY RATE that you do not need to "back up" with meal receipts - only LOGS (which, BTW - you would also need to prove OTR expenses if you were to take your meals/receipts).

Again - if you are planning on taking the FLAT PER DIEM DEDUCTION on your taxes - you do not need to keep MEAL RECEIPTS - it's one or the other.

Rick

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

Ed P.'s Comment
member avatar

In one of your posts you said that you claim 0 deductions on your taxes during the year and then on your 1040 you will claim 3 so you can get a nice refund. Think about that for a second. Let's say you get $3000 back when you file your taxes. You have given the government an interest free loan of $3000 that year. Why would you do that? The illusion of a getting a "nice refund" is jut that--an illusion. It's your money--it's not a birthday present from the government. You have to jump through hoops to get back what is your money to begin with and if you don't do it exactly right you won't get it back. My philosophy is to not owe them a dime and for them to not owe me a dime at the end of the year. Even if I have to pay a little extra additional tax it is the reverse of getting a refund---i.e. the gov loaned me that money during the year with no interest--and then only if they can prove that I actually do owe them more tax rather than you having to prove that you paid too much. I took every deduction I could when I made out the paperwork. I get more net income per pay period. I try to break even with taxes---some years I owe a little bit--some years they owe me a little bit.....but so far either of those scenarios never exceeded a few hundred bucks either way. Getting a "nice refund" is a sucker's game.

As Rick mentioned before I probably won't be able to collect per diem since I started last year in September. I think my gross pay was about $6000. I did have many other temp jobs before I got into trucking but those were regular 9-5 jobs. I guess I can use Turbo Tax for last year and come this year I can use a C.P.A.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Keith A.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Rick-- so I was OTR from mid Nov of '15 to just around the start of March of '16. I don't have copies of any of my logs or any of the receipts from that time. Do I need to get ahold of my company for records of that if they have them and then just claim the standard deduction? (Since I'm guessing itemizing is when you have the receipts and can claim everything exactly?)

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Rick-- so I was OTR from mid Nov of '15 to just around the start of March of '16. I don't have copies of any of my logs or any of the receipts from that time. Do I need to get ahold of my company for records of that if they have them and then just claim the standard deduction? (Since I'm guessing itemizing is when you have the receipts and can claim everything exactly?)

You can take the days - but if you don't have the logs in the event of an IRS AUDIT, the Per Diem Deduction will be DISALLOWED.

In reality - the 2 months of '15 - and the 3 months of 16 aren't enough to bother with itemizing, unless you have receipts and a combined Per Diem and "other expense" deductions THAT EXCEEDS the "standard deduction".

Otherwise, it's not worth the risk of taking it, and not being able to PROVE IT.

Rick

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
The illusion of a getting a "nice refund" is jut that--an illusion

Actually it's not an illusion at all. It's literally exactly what you would get - a nice refund.

Personally I never subscribed to the "don't loan the government money for free" way of thinking because you're talking petty amounts of money. What interest would you have earned on that money in a savings account? Using an online calculator, if you added money to a savings account during the course of a year which totaled $3,000 you would make about $16 in interest that year. So you're spending an awful lot of time convincing yourself you have a clever plan to keep the Government out of your pockets when in reality it doesn't accomplish anything.

I subscribe to the "do whatever it takes to set some money aside" way of thinking and one great way of doing that is not having the money available in the first place. Claim fewer dependents on your taxes and let them take out a little more. Then at the end of the year you've saved several thousand dollars which you could then use for a large purchase or any way you see fit.

I wish financial pundits would stop with reciting the same old garbage they learned in Economics 101 as a freshman. "Stop loaning the government free money" has really done most people far more harm than good. Take a look at how little money the average American family has in savings, according to the data. It's very, very little. There is no simpler, more effective solution to saving money than to have them take out a little extra each week and then give it all back to you in the end. Isn't that what you were going to do with a savings account anyhow? Doing it through tax deductions prevents you from having access to the money in the first place. For many people I know that's the only way they're going to save anything at all. If they touch it, they spend it.

Now the downside, of course, is that you do not have access to that money in an emergency. But how many times do we have an actual emergency where we need access to every dime we have available? See, that's the situation we're trying to avoid in the first place by having some savings set aside.

Now if interest rates were 10% we might have a slightly different discussion on the matter. But with historically low interest rates, if you want to save money through tax deductions and get a nice fat refund in the spring then do it. It's important that you find a way to save some money. Don't sweat the details over how you're going to do it.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

^^^^^^ This.

Thank you Brett.

While usually never at a loss for words - I couldn't formulate anything NICE to respond.

Do I want to loan the gov my $$ interest free? Well - not really - but it's not much better than what the bank gives me (next to interest free).

I'm still an a Sub-S owner - I zero-file my first 3 qtrs, then my accountant figures where I'm at the beginning of Dec, and I make a payroll tax deposit. It's usually within $100 of what my actual taxes are going to be. If I have a refund - I typically let it carry over to the next year. Last year - because of a downturn and what turned out to be a really low AGI, I ended up with a $3K refund (carryover from the previous year). Don't really care that I didn't get 2% interest on letting the government "borrow" that $$ - I was nice to get a chunk of cha-ching direct deposited into my fun-money account.

I don't see refunds as a "gift", and I despise the notion of giving the pezzonovante in DC more of my hard earned to spend without my input.

For most of us that aren't rickipedias (and I still have an accountant doing my books) or financial wizards - it's best to follow the process of K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid). Most folks don't have extra $$ laying around to come up with a check for IRS on 4/15 - and if we do have a few hundred or thousand "tucked away" - the last thing we want to do it have to come off some of it - because we UNDERWITHHELD (too many exemptions) or didn't calculate our deductions correctly.

Intimating that getting a nice refund, is a "suckers game" - is akin to calling everyone that doesn't subscribe to your philosophy a FOOL.

Not a nice thing to close with...

Rick

Aaron M.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm not gonna lie, this tax stuff is very complicated and confusing to me. I understand how to obtain per diem from my company and I understand how to get it back on my taxes if I qualify, but its still confusing. I'm going to continue and read all I can to get a better understanding.

In response to Ed P, I'm not sure if he was responding to me or not since I never claim dependents since I have none but you did quote me. I'm not sure what was going on there.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

Diver Driver's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

The illusion of a getting a "nice refund" is jut that--an illusion

double-quotes-end.png

Actually it's not an illusion at all. It's literally exactly what you would get - a nice refund.

Personally I never subscribed to the "don't loan the government money for free" way of thinking because you're talking petty amounts of money. What interest would you have earned on that money in a savings account? Using an online calculator, if you added money to a savings account during the course of a year which totaled $3,000 you would make about $16 in interest that year. So you're spending an awful lot of time convincing yourself you have a clever plan to keep the Government out of your pockets when in reality it doesn't accomplish anything.

I subscribe to the "do whatever it takes to set some money aside" way of thinking and one great way of doing that is not having the money available in the first place. Claim fewer dependents on your taxes and let them take out a little more. Then at the end of the year you've saved several thousand dollars which you could then use for a large purchase or any way you see fit.

I wish financial pundits would stop with reciting the same old garbage they learned in Economics 101 as a freshman. "Stop loaning the government free money" has really done most people far more harm than good. Take a look at how little money the average American family has in savings, according to the data. It's very, very little. There is no simpler, more effective solution to saving money than to have them take out a little extra each week and then give it all back to you in the end. Isn't that what you were going to do with a savings account anyhow? Doing it through tax deductions prevents you from having access to the money in the first place. For many people I know that's the only way they're going to save anything at all. If they touch it, they spend it.

Now the downside, of course, is that you do not have access to that money in an emergency. But how many times do we have an actual emergency where we need access to every dime we have available? See, that's the situation we're trying to avoid in the first place by having some savings set aside.

Now if interest rates were 10% we might have a slightly different discussion on the matter. But with historically low interest rates, if you want to save money through tax deductions and get a nice fat refund in the spring then do it. It's important that you find a way to save some money. Don't sweat the details over how you're going to do it.

THANK YOU !!!!!!! I've been saying that for years.

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