What can I claim on my tax as a truck driver?
Let’s say you need to drive a load from Perth to Melbourne, but you get to Adelaide and decide to leave it there because “oh well that’s close enough”.
It almost definitely is not close enough – it’s only half the job!
People year in, year out, have the same approach to their Tax Return.
By leaving half your tax deduction unclaimed, you’re only doing half a job.
If you’re a truck driver, make sure you don’t forget to claim all of your tax deductions. Don’t leave any of your tax-deductible expenses behind (trust us, you really want to include everything). If you save every little bit, and deduct everything you’re entitled to, the return can be massive. What are the details though, and what are you taxed against?
What qualifies your tax deduction?
There are only three main requirements that qualify as an expense for tax deductions (it’s that easy), which is calculated against your income:
- You must have spent the money and not have been reimbursed
- It must be related to your job
- You must have a record to prove it
What constitutes an expense as “related” to your job you might ask?
Here’s a definition of your taxable income, and a list of truck tax deductions.
What is your taxable income
Your taxable income is money generated from your employer or your work. Your taxable income also includes:
- PAYG summaries
- Pensions and government allowances
- Interest earned (banks etc)
- Rental property income
- Business income
- Other income earned (capital gains etc)
Tax deductible expenses for truck drivers
Truck driver specific
- Buying work clothes/truck uniforms (if required to wear them and they have a logo)
- The cost to laundry clothes/truck driver uniforms
- Protective clothing items for your truck driving work
- Purchase of equipment and tools up to $300
- Depreciation expense of equipment and tools over $300
- The repair and/or upkeep of tools and equipment for your truck driving work
- Home office expenses (if needed/able to work from home)
- Interest generated from loans relating to work activities
- Self-education and courses if they are related to your truck driving work
- Licences and certificates relating to your truck driving work
- Fees from joining a union/other similar organisations
- Subscriptions and magazines relating to your truck driving work
- Travel expenses if work related
Can you claim tolls on tax? How about petrol? Probably the largest deduction truck drivers will be able to claim each year is the cost of travel. If you spend the money yourself on fuel, toll roads etc, you can claim it as a deduction.
If you drive for a company and they front these costs, you won’t be able to claim travel expenses as a deduction.
You might be thinking, can truck drivers claim meal allowances on tax or “can I claim meal expense on my tax”? The answer, it depends. As a truck driver or fifo truckie, eating on the road is a large part of the job – we all know how delicious a truckers pie is.
You will be able to claim your meal expense as a deduction if you are working overtime and you do not get given an overtime meal allowance. Overtime meals you pay for yourself are tax deductible.
As a truck driver, you’ve no doubt had to use a fair share of protective gear and clothing. Usually if you work for a company you’ll be supplied with your protective clothing/equipment, but if you aren’t and you buy the clothing yourself, you can claim the purchase as a tax deduction.
If you need a hand deducting this, make sure you get the help from someone that knows what they’re doing.
Purchase of tools and equipment
The purchase of tools and equipment for your truck driving work, if they are less than $300, can be claimed as a straight tax deduction. If the purchase was more than $300, then you’ll have to claim the depreciation expense of the good.
This is typically a cost your employer will front, but if you spend the money yourself, you can claim it as a deduction.
Any cost you spend to obtain licences you need to complete your truck driving work, can be claimed as a tax deduction. Make sure you’re fully qualified for your work and then claim the expense as a deduction.
- Car expenses and general wear if your car use is work related (estimated Km or a logbook with all expense items)
- Travel expenses for your work (flights, taxis and trains etc)
- Accommodation needed for work reasons (including meals)
- Work phone bills
- Work related computing
- Work from home costs
- Tax Return fees dating to the year previous
- Rental expense (if you are renting)
- Charity donations and gifts
- Sun protection (if you have to work outside)
Maximising your Tax Return with an online tax agent
There will be more tax tips and deductions for Australian truck drivers that aren’t on this list. Tax deductions are not only industry specific, but also change from individual to individual.
The best way to claim the most you can (which will maximise your money) is with One Click Life.
The more you deduct, the less tax you pay and the more money you can spend on yourself. Clearly, you will want to deduct the most you can, and the sure-fire way to do that is with OCL’s easy-to-use platform.
If you can claim OCL’s fees back on tax as a deduction too, why wouldn’t you use our platform to minimise your tax payable?
One Click Life offers online Tax Returns at your fingertips in an easy-to-use platform run by some of the best heads in the industry. Your Tax Return can be done in just 60 seconds and is overseen by one of our pros!
How easy and stress free is that?
Taxes, Health Insurance, and Wills can be time-consuming and tedious. Our app allows you to be able to do this fuss-free, giving you a simple way to organise, track and manage all of your life admin in one place.
Let One Click Life take care of your Tax Return, and life’s essential tasks so you can spend more time doing the things you love.