Tax Tips
Getting ahead of the game

By Howard Abrams, PBS Tax & Bookkeeping

Q. Bill, a trucker, called to discuss adding an additional tractor or replacing the one he is driving. He asked, “What will my bottom line costs be after taxes?”

A. I told him if he could put off any changes or additions until after the tax issues are settled, which could be well into 2013, to do so. I also told him if he must go forward now or if it’s economically feasible and taxes are not a concern, then go forward.

Q. Paul is self-employed and has a trucking business. His wife, LuAnn, is retired. They both turned 65 in 2012 and are eligible for Medicare. They are not covered under any other health plan. Can Paul deduct his and LuAnn’s Medicare B premiums as part of his self-employed medical insurance deduction?

A. Yes. Medicare premiums (including parts A,B,C,D) paid for insurance for the self-employed is similar to private insurance and is deductible, along with LuAnn’s, as self-employed medical insurance.

Q. What paperwork and information do I put together to prepare my 2012 income taxes?

A. Listed below is what you will need for your income tax preparation. Most tax preparers have income tax organizers to help you organize your information and lists of what is needed. You can download ours at

Items you should receive by early February:

  1. W-2s
  2. 1099s from all companies and/or individuals you’ve done work for – brokers, motor carriers, independent businesses, etc.
  3. 1099s or end-of-year statements from banks for interest and dividend income, stock and mutual funds, and mortgage interest statements.
  4. Schedule K1 if you are involved in any partnerships or S Corporations.
  5. W-2P or 1099R for pension and annuity income.
  6. 1099s and year-end statements for unemployment compensation, Social Security income and state income tax refund.
  7. Nights away from home for per diem.
  8. Determine whether you have made, or are going to make, any contributions to an IRA, SEP-IRA, or UNI 401K plans.
  9. Indicate any estimated taxes paid with corresponding dates.
  10. Contracts for the purchase and/or sale of equipment, property including refinancing.
  11. Confirmations from charities for donations in excess of $250 each.
  12. Company drivers need to gather their W-2s and compute the number of nights they were gone on the road. Also, you need to compile any business expenses incurred such as union dues, telephone, clothing and laundry. You will need to deduct any reimbursement received.

Remember, if you have employees or independent contractors, you are also required to send out your W-2s and 1099s by Jan. 31. This includes self-employed individuals who have hired their children to do work for their business. You must issue W-2s to your children to get the deduction. LL


This article is written by PBS Tax & Bookkeeping Service, a company that has been providing income tax and bookkeeping services to the trucking industry for more than a quarter-century. If you would like further information, please contact PBS at 800-697-5153 or visit their website at

Please remember everyone's financial situation is different. This article does not give and is not intended to give specific accounting and/or tax advice. Please consult with your own tax or accounting professional.