Owner Operators - Tax Tips

Q. I'm going to be very busy this coming February and March. I would like for you to list what I would need for my Income Tax Preparation. I will go over it with my wife so she can get you the information.

A. Listed below are items you will need for your income tax preparation. Most tax preparers should have an income tax organizer which lists what would be needed. You can download ours at http://www.pbstax.com/.

Items you should received by early February: (Required to be sent by January 31).

1. W-2's from employers

2. 1099's from all companies and/or individuals you've done work for - brokers, motor carriers, independent businesses, etc, weekly or monthly settlement if we are summarizing.

3. 1099's or end of year statements from banks or brokers for interest and dividend income, stock sales, mutual funds, social security, and mortgage interest statements.

4. Schedule K1 if you are involved in any partnerships or s-corporations.

5. W-2P or 1099R for pension and annuity income along with 401k and IRA distributions.

6. 1099's and year end statements for unemployment compensation, social security income and state income tax refund.

7. 1098's for mortgage interest paid

8. Nights away from home to compute the per diem deduction.

9. Company drivers need to gather their W-2's and compute the number of nights they were gone on the road.  Also, you need to compile any business expenses incurred such as union dues, telephone, clothing and laundry. You will need to deduct any reimbursement received.

10. Determine if you have or are going to make any contributions to an IRA, SEP, Simple IRA, Keogh and/or UNI 401K plans. You have until the due date of the returns including extensions.

11. Indicate any estimated taxes paid with corresponding dates. Here are a few other things you'll need:

1. Contracts for the purchase and/or sale of equipment.

2. Escrow statements for the purchase, sale or refinance of property.

3. Confirmations from charities for donations in excess of $250.

Remember, if you have employees or independent contractors, you are also required to send out your W-2's and 1099's by January 31 as well.  This includes self-employed individuals who have hired their children to do work for their business.  You must issue W-2's to your children to get the deduction.


Transportation Worker's Meal Allowance

The per diem amount is $59 per day remains the same through at least September 30, 2015 and is 80% deductible.

There is still time to plan for your 2015 taxes. You should have a projection done. Open a "UNI" 401K Self-Employed Retirement Plan prior to January 1, 2016. It can be funded by the due date of your income tax return including extensions.  If you don't open the plan, you can contribute to an SEP-IRA (Simplified Employee Pension) up to the time you file your tax returns including extensions.  You can contribute to an IRA for you and your spouse by April 15, 2016. Discuss with your tax preparer whether you should have a Roth or traditional IRA. 

Q. I keep hearing about tax changes for 2015. Do any affect me?

A:  Major change for the 2015 tax returns. The maximum first year bonus depreciation is reduced to $25,000 from $500,000 unless old rule reinstated by congress.

Q: I lost all my receipts in a truck fire last April. I started working again in May so I only have paperwork for eight months. How can I file my income tax return?

A: We have done many tax returns from incomplete records. We have established statistics that gives us an insight as to what truckers spend based on their gross income and depending on the type of trucking they do and the type and age of their equipment. Working together we can help recreate what occurred and obtain the records that can be duplicated.

Q: What about the records that can't be duplicated?

A: We will estimate the missing information based on the information we do have to enable us to file a fair return.

This article has been presented by PBS Tax & Bookkeeping Service, a company which has been providing income tax and bookkeeping services to the trucking industry for over a quarter century. If you would like further information, please contact us at 800-697-5153.  Visit our Web

Site at http://www.pbstax.com/.

Everyone's financial situation is different.  This article does not give and is not intended to give specific accounting and/or tax advice.  Please consult with your own tax or accounting professional.