There are specific tax deductions available for truck drivers. If you work as a truck driver you may be able to claim some of these deductions on your personal tax return.
Meals and Travel
Truck drivers can claim the following tax deductions on meals and travel:
- The cost of buying meals when you work overtime, provided you have been paid an allowance by your employer (you can claim for your meals without having to keep any receipts, provided you can show how you have calculated the amount you spent).
- The cost of meals and incidental expenses when you are required to stay away from home overnight for work (if you receive an allowance from your employer, you can claim the full amount of that allowance provided it is shown on your PAYG payment summary). If you didn’t receive an allowance, you should keep receipts to prove the amount you have spent on all meals and accommodation.
- You can claim tax deductions on the cost of parking, tolls, taxis, and public transport if you are required to travel to attend seminars, meetings and training courses not held at your usual place of work (if you need to stay away overnight you can also claim for the cost of all meals and your accommodation).
- The cost of parking fees, bridge, and road tolls paid while driving the truck between your depot and your client’s depot (but NOT while driving to and from work).
- The cost of using your own car for work, including travel to attend meetings, attend training courses, pick up supplies and driving between, or around job sites (to claim for car costs it is usually best to keep a diary record of the number of kilometres you travel during the year for work purposes, and then we can calculate the amount of your deduction at the end of the year).
- You can claim the cost of using your own car to travel to and from work, BUT only if you are required to carry bulky tools and equipment for your work, AND there is no secure area to leave these items on site overnight.
- The cost of buying uniforms (including shirts, pants, skirts, jackets, and jumpers, provided the uniforms have the businesses logo on it).
- The cost of laundry, dry cleaning, or repairs of your uniforms.
- The cost of buying sun protection items (including sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and sun-protection shirts or jackets).
- As a truck driver you can also claim tax deductions on the cost of buying other protective equipment that is not supplied by your employer (including overalls, gloves, goggles, masks, steel-capped boots, high visibility vests, and winter outdoor jackets).
- The cost of work-related short training courses (for example first aid, OH&S, truck and heavy equipment driving, and vehicle maintenance) that are not run by a University or TAFE. Truck drivers can claim tax deductions for the cost of any course fees, books, stationery, internet connection, telephone calls, tools or equipment, and travelling to and from the course. You can also claim any accommodation and meal expenses you have to pay if you are required to stay away overnight for your course.
- The cost of self-education courses run by a University (not including HECS/HELP fees) or TAFE that directly relate to your current work. If you are studying you can also claim for the cost of books, stationery, equipment, and travel required for your course.
Work Tools & Equipment
- The cost of buying and repairing equipment you use at work (including tools, CB radio, portable refrigerator, sleeping bag, electronic organisers, laptop computers, and mobile phones).
- The cost of any truck repairs, maintenance, spillage, or cleaning (provided you are not reimbursed by your employer for these costs).
- The cost of any materials or supplies that you buy for use at work (for example safety gear, first aid equipment, backpack, or belt bag).
- The cost of stationery, diary, log books, work bag, or briefcase.
Other Work Expenses
- You can claim deductions on the cost of annual memberships or union fees (for example Transport Workers Union fees).
- The cost of renewing machinery or truck licences and tickets that are required for your work, but not including your normal drivers licence.
- The cost of work-related books, magazines, and journals.
- The cost of work-related mobile or home telephone calls and rentals (you should keep a diary record of the number of phone calls you make for work for one month and then we can use that to estimate your usage for the whole year).
- The cost of work-related internet connection fees (you can only claim the proportion of your monthly fees that relate to work use, which could include emailing, research relating to your job, and research for your training courses).
There are some tax deductions that all employees, not just truck drivers, can claim on their personal tax returns:
- The amount of any donations to registered charities (as long as you haven’t received anything in return for your donation, such as raffle tickets or novelty items).
- The cost of bank fees charged on any investment accounts.
- The cost of income protection or sickness and accident insurance premiums (this type of insurance covers you if you hurt yourself (including when you are not at work) or become sick and you are unable to work. It will pay you your normal wage until you are fit to return to work – if you don’t have this insurance you should see a financial adviser or ask us and we will refer you to someone who can organise it for you. It is definitely worthwhile).
- Your tax agent fees (the amount you pay to your accountant to prepare your tax return each year).
- The cost of travelling to see your tax agent (you can claim the cost of travelling to see your accountant to have your tax return prepared. You should keep a record of the number of kilometres you travel and any other incidental costs such as parking, meals, accommodation, etc.)
We suggest that you keep receipts for all purchases that are work related, even if they are not listed above. That way, when we prepare your tax return, we can decide whether you are allowed to claim a tax deduction for them or not.
Truck drivers have a range of tax deductions available to them. Make sure you’re claiming everything you legally can. If you would like any more information about the deductions listed or if you would like the Personal Tax Specialists team to prepare your tax return for you to ensure you maximise your claims this year, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or get started by lodging your tax return online now.