Bottom Line
Tax Tips
Deduction dilemmas

By Howard Abrams
PBS Tax & Bookkeeping


Q: I entered a weight loss program. Can I deduct the cost of the program?

A: Yes. Weight loss programs are deductible as long as a physician diagnoses “obesity.” In fact, there are dozens of deductible medical procedures or programs that can be considered a medical expense.

A few that are truck driving related are eye laser surgery, contact lenses and eyeglasses. In addition, drug addiction programs, alcoholism, smoking cessation programs, hearing aids and acupuncture are all deductible as long as they are prescribed by a physician.

Q: I have been deducting my dog, which stays in the truck, as security protection. We have him to protect the truck. Someone recently told me that the money we spend on the dog may not be a business expense. Is that true?

A: A dog used as security on the truck can be used as a deduction only if the dog has been certified as a guard dog. Proof of this certification is required.

Q: My daughter is getting married, and most of the guests are related to my success in the trucking business. I would like to deduct the cost of the wedding as a business expense. Can I do that? A: That’s a very common question. Unfortunately, the bottom line is lots of dollars spent but no deduction.

Q: I am 68 years old, self-employed and receiving my Social Security checks. I could not believe it when my tax preparer told me I had a large tax liability, most of which was self-employment tax – i.e., Social Security tax. I believe I do not have to pay into the Social Security system any longer since I am already receiving Social Security and have exceeded my retirement age. Why do I have to pay into it?

A: Unfortunately, you do have to pay into the system as long as you are working, with no exclusion for age regardless of whether you are receiving Social Security or not. However, your Social Security checks should increase after you file your income taxes. LL

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 professional.

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 Web site at