A moment’s inconvenience could save you more than time later!
Make a List of the Expenses You Can Deduct from Annual Tax Report
The CPA knows what a legitimate expense is and what is not. They can sort through your receipts and everything. A good CPA will go line by line screening each item. They will look at all your records and tell you where the problem areas are.
You can save him/her (and yourself) a lot of time and hassle if you keep things organized. Speak with the CPA and find out what items can be deducted. Put a list together; get an accordion type file folder to store all your various receipts and expenses related records in there.
So, what kinds of things are deductible? Here are some of the standard expenses that the CPA wants to see your receipts for:
- Your truck lease or purchase agreements
- Your safety gear
- Your truck’s safety gear
- Any business related modifications, to your truck
- Truck/work related supplies
- Vacuum, for your truck
- Electronic equipments and gadgets
- Tolls and other fees
- Insurance premiums
- Internet user fees
- Truck registration fees
- Your license fees
- Fuel/oil and other fluids
- Work related travel expenses
- Your laundry bills
- Any hotel stays
- Associated parking fees
- You truck’s Scale/Weigh fees and penalties
- Truck repairs, parts, and service fees, Etc.
Remember this is not an all inclusive list, just a generalized sample of things that can be deducted. It would be wise to scan all paper documents, just in case you lose something.
Check for the Price. You need to find affordable CPA
This is like anything else you do in life. When you buy gas you find the best per gallon price. So why not do the same when finding a good CPA service? Some charge a flat fee while others charge per hour. It is also based on the exact services you are seeking and just how in depth they need to go, which goes again to show you that by taking proper care and organizing your taxes documents on a monthly level, by yourself, can save you money later because your CPA will have less to do.
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Typically CPA services will vary, as will their price. Things to consider are multi-state tax returns, filing joint returns, tax Credits and such. If you have collected your information monthly, quarterly, or yearly (most prefer it split up and not dropped on them at the end of the year). These fees can all add up, but on the bright side you can actually include these fees as well. Just keeping your taxes straight can add up, the typical starting point is about $200 and goes up from there depending on your needs and circumstance.
Remember if you get audited it can get real expensive. Make sure everything’s in order.
As you can see there is no need to be turned to stone when reviewing your taxes. A good CPA will slay the tax monster and make sense of the chaos. They have gone to school, studied the codes, the laws, and gotten their license for this very reason. Just like you went to truck driving school and eventually became a professional truck driver, they too are professionals in their fields. The CPAs must also keep up to date on the ever changing laws by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), much like you need to keep track of industry related regulations.
Keep in mind, the trucking industry isn’t any different than any other industry, you can write off your work related expenses. The CPA will place all these deductions on IRS Form 2106, this can greatly increase your potential tax return, usually adding hundreds maybe even thousands of extra dollars, being given back to you!
Other things to remember, you can save even more if you own your own home, or you’re an owner-operator, the type of trips, even having dependents. A good CPA will look at every possibility to save you money.
After all, that is what the CPA is in business for; to understand and prepare taxes. Yours is to haul the freight, you don’t need the added stress of worrying about your taxes. It doesn’t matter how you keep your documents, but try to be organized and keep every receipt. The CPA will tell you if it is a legitimate business expense or not.
How do you store your documents? How often do you submit your document to the CPA service? Have you ever been audited? Share you tips and stories with us.