Tax Write-Offs All Gig Drivers Should Know

The Tax Write-Offs All Gig Drivers Should Know

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Whether you’re carrying passengers, packages, or even Pad Thai, being an independent driver comes with its share of challenges — especially during tax season.

As an independent contractor, you’ll have to deal with constantly changing IRS forms and a lack of employer withholding. Fortunately, working for yourself comes with one major perk: you can take advantage of business write-offs to lower your taxable income.

Here’s a handy rundown of the tax write-offs gig drivers can use.

No matter what kind of driving you do

What are the most basic requirements for being a gig driver? A working car and a smartphone. Naturally, both of these are important sources of tax deductions.

Car-related write-offs

Virtually everything you spend to keep your vehicle running counts as a write-off, including: 

  • Gas
  • Registration
  • Insurance
  • Repairs
  • Car washes
  • Car lease payments
  • Vehicle depreciation

Phone-related tax write-offs

Your phone might not be a car expense, but it is a must-have item for an independent driver: you use it to accept rides or orders and navigate the streets.

Here are some phone-related expenses you should keep in mind:

  • Your phone bill
  • New phone purchases
  • Car mounts
  • Chargers
  • Work-related apps like Gridwise

The IRS doesn’t expect you to have a dedicated work phone. Using the same device for work and personal purposes doesn’t exclude you from writing off phone-related expenses. However, it does mean you can only write off part of your phone bill, corresponding to the percentage of time you use your phone for work. This article explains the details, including how to deduct part of a new phone purchase – and even a family plan.

And if you pay for Gridwise Plus, you can write off the full expense of the subscription – keep more of your earnings for yourself!

If you’re a rideshare driver

If you’re driving for Uber or Lyft,, succeeding in the job means keeping your passengers happy. Sometimes, that requires spending your own money to make sure they’re getting the best possible experience.

The good news is, all the passenger amenities you buy are tax-deductible. Here are some examples:

  • Car shields and sneeze guards
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Aux cords for music
  • Car sound systems
  • Music streaming services
  • Snacks
  • Gum
  • Bottled water

If you’re a delivery driver

Whether you’re driving for DoorDash, Uber Eats, Instacart, or Amazon Flex, being a delivery driver means keeping your cargo safe and seeing it to its destination in great condition.

Doing that, though, might mean investing in some extra tools and supplies. Here are some things you can buy — and write off:

  • Dollies and pushcarts
  • Reusable grocery bags
  • Temperature control bags

Keeping records for your write-offs

All Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and other rideshare and delivery drivers  can — and should — be taking business write-offs. You spend your own money to work efficiently and effectively, and you deserve the tax breaks that come your way as a result.

In order to claim these write-offs, you’ll need to keep track of what you’re actually spending to do your job. The IRS, after all, will expect to see proof of everything you’re deducting. 

Getting tax help as a rideshare or delivery driver

Doing your taxes doesn’t have to be complicated. Gridwise drivers get discounted access to Keeper Tax, an app that scans your bank accounts and credit cards to find eligible write-offs automatically. When it comes time to actually file, you can skip the complicated process of filing self-employment taxes by hand and get it done quickly within the app.

The bottom line is, knowing your way around write-offs can turn a painful, costly tax season into a calm, relaxing spring. 

So do yourself the favor of tracking your earnings, mileage, and expenses with Gridwise. 

Download Gridwise now to get 20% off tax prep resources

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