As a professional truck driver, you know that there's a lot more to the industry than sitting behind the wheel of a big rig. Piloting an 18-wheel vehicle is no easy task on its own, but there's a host of other things to be mindful of besides getting to and from your destination safely.
Compliance is perhaps the biggest of them all. The truck carrier profession can often seem like one big regulation. In fact, on May 5, yet another regulation went into effect called eManifest. Any company that is bringing cargo from the U.S. now has to inform the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) of what's coming and when it will be arriving.
Fortunately, CBSA has set up a web portal that allows carriers to transmit this information electronically to help cut down on paperwork, but you should still have a hard copy of the transaction so that you have a paper trail.
for Truck Owner/Operators
Bookkeeping is part of the deal when it comes to the commercial driving profession. But you can prevent it from becoming a chore by establishing a smart system.
The following are a few tips for how to develop a reliable and efficient system you can take with you when on the road, as truckers by their very nature are always on the move:
Color coding your folders is a smart way to keep track of various records.
Keep a File Folder in the Truck
Paperwork is a lot like socks: It's bound to get lost when not kept together.
Instead of tossing your receipts and documents on the passenger seat, have a folder so that you can keep everything you have in one place.
Alternatively, you may want to color code your folders. For example, you could have a red folder for all receipts and a blue-colored folder for all invoices.
Take the Folder with You
If you always have a folder in the truck, you'll never have to worry about misplacing it or risk it getting lost. However, by doing this, you have to be sure that the first thing you do is transport the documents and receipts to a safe place after returning from a trip, like a filing cabinet or bin.
"Being comprehensive about keeping records can help you get more tax deductions."
When tax filing season comes, you're going to want to have as many deductions as possible to take advantage of. But you'll only be able to get them if you have a track record of your expenses.
Whether it's filling up the tank, association dues or the fee paid after getting a medical exam, have a hard copy of all financial records, making sure to date them as well.
Take Advantage of Online Solutions
The Internet has made the daily grind a whole lot easier for truck drivers with such things as the ability to quickly find directions and alternative routes to parts unknown.
It's also made bookkeeping much simpler as well thanks to digitization.
A digital bookkeeper will help you keep everything in one convenient place - your wireless device. In short, it prevents you from dealing with extra paperwork and receipt overload. It's all at your e-fingertips.
Making sense of the data you've kept is a task unto itself when taxes need to be done. Let the specialists at FBC handle the work for you. For more information, speak with an FBC truck tax specialist.