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Fuel for Thought

Keeping More Revenue

By Greg Huggins
Posted Jan 3rd 2018 1:19PM

The apocalypse that was to be on December 18 has come and gone, yet we are still here. As it turned out, the ELD mandate and all the catastrophic forecasts for the trucking industry on that fateful December day were all hype. Just like Y2K (for those that remember the Y2K ‘end of life as we know it’ hype), the ELD mandate quietly passed and those who wish to remain in the trucking industry have adapted to the new logging devices, or for the ‘holdouts’, they are now scrambling to learn how to operate their new logbooks.

Now that we have crossed the threshold of December 18 and moved on to the new year, what new challenges await out industry in 2018?

The projections for 2018 in the trucking industry look very promising. 2017 saw an increase in freight rates, while fuel costs remained moderate. But the taxman cometh soon. Increased revenue for 2017 also means increased taxes for owner operators, but that is just the beginning. 2017 also saw tax reform come to pass near the year's end. Some of the changes will not be felt immediately, but will need to be planned for in 2018. While other changes to the tax code will be a welcome change, this is where truck drivers NEED a good trucking accountant/tax advisor. Someone who keeps up with the changes as they apply to the trucking industry. While tax software is readily available and easy to use, a tax professional may know of other tax breaks that you may miss doing your own taxes. Use a professional (and their cost is also a deductible).

As the economy continues to improve, 2018 is poised to be a banner year for many Americans. As owner operators, now is the perfect time to revisit your financial plans and goals for the near future. Deciding now where to best use your revenue in order to retain more of it. New equipment can offset the increased taxes, just make sure not to spend a dollar to save a dime. Would you rather have a $1000 bill each month for unnecessary equipment or pay the tax on that $1000 you earned?

We all look for deductions at tax time, but with a little planning, we can be ready for Uncle Sam’s tax bill next year before it is weighing down on us.

Whatever your goals are for 2018, and no matter how prosperous you expect to be this year, plan ahead for the next dip in the economy. It could come at anytime and you don’t want to get caught off guard or too far in debt to withstand a little turbulence.

When the economy is great and everyone is earning MORE than they need, many spend like it will never end, but it always does.

Plan ahead. Live within your means. Have a prosperous 2018.

 

See you down the road,

Greg

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