How to Prepare For Each Tax Season as an Owner/Operator

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If you are thinking of taking your love of truck driving to the next level and becoming an owner/operator, there are many things to consider. Running your own business definitely has its advantages. For one, you answer to no one, you are the boss and because of this you make the rules, the hours and create a fair salary for you. However, being the boss also means that everything related to the business – such as maintaining essential supplies, making necessary repairs and keeping track of all the records – are your responsibility. This means that you need to have access to a lot of cash initially to get your business off the ground.


Even if you handle your personal budget, keeping track of all the expenses that go along with owning a business can become complicated. When tax season rolls around you need to have all the records for the previous year in order, neat and organized. It’s also important to have some knowledge about the deductions that are allowable and those that are not.

For these reasons, many semi-truck owner/operators have outside counsel that handles this for them. Companies such as the Trucking Authority can help you focus more on the business end and less on regulations.


Running your own business means that you will need to establish a monthly budget and stick to it. This is essential in staying afloat during the slow periods. Putting everything into your business checking account throughout the year will ensure that you are able to maintain your credit rating, which is necessary when you need to order supplies or make repairs or even take out a loan. Having a filing cabinet and an office with a computer and a phone are all important items that will make keeping track of your expenses, and billing invoices easier.

Shopping Around

When you own your own business, getting the best deals on anything from paper to repairs can have a big impact on your bottom line. Shopping around for services like computer programs, an excellent repair shop, and a company to handle your taxes are all critical for maintaining and enjoying a prosperous life.

Acquiring Contracts

While owning your own business means you enjoy all the profits, it’s also up to you and you alone to bring in the work. With stiff competition in front of you, this sometimes presents a more difficult task than you anticipate. The good news is that if you do your research and stay the course, you will acquire the necessary contracts to make a decent living.

Separate Fund for Unexpected Expenses

As an owner/operator, having access to cash for unexpected expenses is necessary. By creating a separate account for emergencies only, you’ll have the money on hand at all times. This will limit the downtime for things like a roadside break down, a major repair or a lull in the business.

Venturing out on your own as an independent owner/operator of a semi-truck requires careful planning and a lot of money for startup fees. Once you establish and stick to a budget, have a separate account with money in reserve for unexpected expenses and have counseling services in place to keep you up to date with the tax laws, you can do what you enjoy doing best, driving your big rig and making all the money you want.

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Samantha Acuna is a writer based in San Francisco, CA. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post,, and Yahoo Small Business.