It’s tax time again and while we are not tax experts there are a few tax tips we want to share with Canadian truck drivers. Regardless if you prepare your own taxes, or hire a professional it is best that you have some basic understanding of the process of filing your personal income tax.
First and Foremost Stay on top of Government Changes and Additions
Every year there are some changes and additions to what individuals can claim. Even if you hire someone to complete your taxes for you, you should be aware of these changes. For the 2014 tax year the Canadian Government has put together some new tax relief measures. To find out what these changes are and to see if you are eligible to claim them, check out “What’s New for this Tax-filing Season”.
Gathering All Those Receipts
If you’re like most people you have a shoe box or an envelope, even a cubby in the truck full of receipts that need to be sorted. It’s time to sort them out and keep only what you need for tax purposes. Don’t know what you can write off? Check out our article, Tax Write Offs for Truckers. It details everything that you can claim as an Employment Expense.
You will then need to fill out tax form T777 to claim these expenses while filing your taxes. A copy of this form, filled out with the needed information from Len Dubois Trucking has been included with your T4.
Claiming Your Meals
Canadian truck drivers can claim 80% of $17.00 per meal for a maximum of 3 meals a day that they are working. You’ll have to sit down with your log book and tabulate how many meals you can claim for the year. The process is a bit slow, but worth it. When tabulating how many meals you can claim separate Canadian days/meals from U.S. days/meals because you can also claim the exchange rate based on the yearly average. For 2014 tax year this amount is 1.10446640. Simply multiple the number of U.S. meals by $17 then again by the exchange rate to get your amount in Canadian Dollars. You can get the Average Annual Exchange Rates documents from the Bank of Canada website.
You will need to fill out tax form TL2 to claim your meals while filing your taxes. A copy of this form, filled out with the needed information from Len Dubois Trucking has been included with your T4. For more information on claiming the Meals and Lodging expense check out the Government of Canada website.
Remember that you must file your tax return on or before April 30, 2015.
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