Saturday, October 19, 2013

OTR Tax Service offers truckers tax tips

Carmen Grunsten’s message for truckers is simple: Knowledge is power when it comes to tax preparation.

“If you know where you stand with your deductions, you have the power,” she said.

Grunsten, of OTR Driver Tax Services in Vinton, Texas, has spent the past 12 years specializing in tax preparation for self-employed owner-operators and small-business trucking companies.

During a seminar at OOIDA’s Heart of America Truck Show on Friday afternoon, she encouraged drivers  to find their “lowest legal tax liability.”

In order to do that, Grunsten said drivers need to be aware of more than 25 deductions that are available to claim when filing yearly income tax returns  on everything from depreciation of equipment like tractors and trailers to repairs and maintenance, home office, advertising, even truck washes and waxes.

One of the newest deductions available to drivers is a $500,000 deduction on new and used equipment purchased in 2012 or 2013. The deduction can be applied on equipment purchases of up to $2 million.
Another potential tax savings can be realized by organizing into a specific type of business entity, such as a sole proprietorship, limited liability corporation, a C Corporation or an S Corporation.

Each designation has its own benefits and disadvantages, depending on the goals and circumstances of the prospective owner. Grunsten advised consulting with a tax professional before making a decision. A sole proprietorship, for example, is one in which the owner receives all profits but assumes all liabilities.

In addition to tax services and incorporation, Grunsten offers bookkeeping services, payroll processing and legal representation for IRS issues and audits on referral. More information about her company and services can be found at her website here.

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