Filing your food truck's tax deductions

Posted by Damian Roberti on

Filing your food truck's tax deductions



Filing food, truck tax and filing your food truck's tax deductions So I'm going to go over a huge list of food, truck, and business tax deductions that you may or may not have heard of. We're going to get to that right now on food truck freaks.

I'm going to go over 29 tax deductions for your food truck. And if you're brand new to food, trucks, and entrepreneurship, these are definitely things you'll want to make a note of. And if you're just starting out, these might be a couple things that you've never thought of, but you definitely want to bring them to your accountant. So really quickly, disclaimer. I'm not an accountant and I'm not going to give you any tax advice, but I have been in the food industry and in the food business for a very long time, but these are definitely things you want to jot down, take 'em to your accountant and see if there's even more, or if there's some of these that may apply to your food truck business. So, as we do with all of our videos, if this is the first video you've seen, definitely hit the subscribe button. My name's Damien Roberti.


Filing your food truck's tax deductions


I am a food entrepreneur and have been for over a decade. I've been in the food industry for less than 30 plus years, and now let's jump right into it. So number one, obviously, the biggest expense is going to be the food truck. Now, when you purchase a food truck, obviously that is the main aspect of your business. And one of the biggest investments you're going to make, whether it is a new truck or even a used truck, does not matter. You definitely want to bring that attention to your accountant when you make your first purchase. Of course, being the food truck, Now, number two, if you've got a food truck that is an older version or even potentially a new one, if you're retrofitting it, or if you're building it out with any additional equipment, keep in mind all of the purchasing of the equipment, the installation, and the labor involved with that.


Filing your food truck's tax deductions

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And any electrical work that you may have is an expense, not only over the course of the set aside from the purchase of the vehicle itself, but also when you begin to retrofit it and build it out.That's also something you need to let your accountant be aware of. Now, number three is going to be the LLC. The formation of the business, obviously the business aspect of it, any legalities, if you've actually used a lawyer to create your LLC, if you do it online. And of course, down below this video, we've got a couple of really great clips. You can definitely hit on those links, and you can actually incorporate yourself. If you're looking to do that, you can do it online with something like ink file or any of these ink These types of websites allow you to do it very quickly and easily.

But any fees involved with that are definitely something that you can use as a tax deduction. Now, number four is going to be vehicle licensing. So any vehicle licensing that you've got, either with the county or city, or even potentially with the state, keep track of any of those. And those are also things that you can put down on your tax deductions. When you go in, you do your annual taxes as well. The top five food safety coursesNow either you as the owner or any of your employees, if it's required by the county or city that they have either a food handler's car or take a food safety course, any of those courses involved with that, definitely any expenses you've got to definitely keep track of and give that to your accountant as well. Those are expenses that involve, obviously, operating your business. Number six, maintenance.


Filing your food truck's tax deductions


Now, obviously, that's a no-brainer as you use a truck, especially if it's used. You want to make sure that you obviously maintain it throughout the year. Anything that goes wrong, keep track of all of those, either invoices or receipts for the maintenance of the vehicle. And those are additional expenses that could be written off as well. Number seven is gas. Now, obviously, that's also another no-brainer, but a lot of people may not realize that the gas itself, that you're going to an event, if you're traveling outside the state or around the county or city you live in, and you're going to an event, keep track of all of the gas you use. That's another tax deduction as well. Small Weller, number eight. Smallwares: Sorry about that. Smallwares are any of the plates and napkins or utensils, any of those things that you're using to serve the food to the customer.

Keep in mind that that is also an expense for your business, and a food truck tax deduction is definitely something that would fall in line with any of those types of expenses as well. Number nine, your health department permit, So your local health department, either city or county, would issue a health department permit. That is something that you can keep track of as well. There is also a tax deduction for your food truck. Number 10, if you use your food truck for catering and you actually go to meet with a potential client or incur any expenses incurred with that business transaction, those are also things that are tax deductible. Again, take this and jot it down. Keep track of it. Take it to your accountant and see how much of that can actually be deducted. It used to be that if you entertained a customer or a client, you could deduct 50% of what you had.

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Filing your food truck's tax deductions



Now, I know that there's a new law that has been updated a hundred percent. I believe it's still 20, 22, a hundred percent of the use of that. Either if it's lunch or if it's dinner, or if you're entertaining a client and trying to get them to sign a deal with you to have the catering, you can actually deduct a hundred percent of that as well. So number 11, your miles, keeps track of how many miles you travel. Obviously, if it's from your commissary kitchen, where you have your food truck parked, to the destination and back, mileage is also something that could be potentially a great deduction because you're traveling everywhere because you're mobile, obviously. So that is something you definitely want to keep track of. Number 12 is your event comes to an event fee, what exactly is that? If you go to a food truck event, normally they're either going to charge you a fee to get into the event, or they may say it's free, but they're going to charge you a percentage of your sales.


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So if you do a certain number of sales, there may be 5, 10, 7, 8%, whatever that may be. A lot of events are obviously different and how they operate; some of them simply charge you a flat fee to get in, or a percentage of your sales. Now, those fees to obviously get to the event to run your business are another thing that you can also deduct as well. So, Facebook or social media advertising is number 13.So if you're doing any kind of social media advertising, if it's Facebook, if it's Instagram, if it's Twitter, or even Pinterest or LinkedIn, wherever you're advertising your food truck, you definitely want to keep track of that because that's also an expense for your business. Now, number 14, signage, anything that you put out in front of your truck. I see this at a lot of truck events that we go to, a lot of food truck rallies, is that out front, you've got a menu board, you've got some other type of signage to get people's attention.

If you're spending money on those types of pieces of equipment, that's exactly what they are. There are pieces of equipment that are obviously used to drum up business and to get attention to your food truck. Keep track of all of the signage that you're actually purchasing as well. So number 15, food truck insurance, food truck insurance could be a workers' comp sensation. It could be food trucks or general liability insurance. It could be just your plain business insurance, but any insurance that your food truck is purchasing to operate your business as needed. You definitely want to make sure you get that down as a deduction as well. Number sixteen, permissions.These could be state-issued permits, city-issued permits, or county-issued permits.Now, keep in mind when you, when you have a food truck business, something that's unique about the mobile food truck industry is that as you go to different counties or cities, they may require you to actually have a permit of some kind within that particular city or county that you're operating in.

Is that the one that you're actually from and where you are either address, you've got your address for your commissary, and that's where it is in a different county or city? No, you go to any other county or city. You definitely want to keep track of any other additional permits and fees to actually operate a business there. And most of the time, you actually need to do that. Okay? Number 17 is a business license. So obviously, in the city that you're in, you will need to get a license specifically for that city where you're at. Those business licenses are not the same as LC formation or incorporating. These are actually just business licenses that you'll have to have in order to operate your business. Number 18 food truck, commissary, kitchen rental. So most places, states, counties, and cities will require you to have a commissary kitchen where your food truck will be known to prepare the food, bring it in the truck, and then go to a specific event.


Filing your food truck's tax deductions


Many times, they also require you to park and leave your truck overnight at that specific commissary or kitchen that is attached to your food truck business. Now, this works a little differently and in different ways in different cities and counties.But in essence, when you have a commissary kitchen on paper, you need to have that down. And that's going to be the area in which you will prepare your specific ingredients and food for the day. When you go to your different events, number 19 food truck overnight parking. This is similar to what I just said, but some places even charge you a fee to park your truck there. obviously you can't take it home. And most of the time, you cannot park it in the driveway of your neighborhood because that's normally not allowed because that's actually a residential area and it's zoned that way.

You cannot operate a commercial food business from your home. That's totally different. So if you have a fee that's involved with parking overnight, keep track of those fees. Because again, that's something else that you can deduct as well. Number 20: This is really important. your POS system, okay? Your point of sale system So where are you actually going to do the transaction through a POS system? That would be the actual equipment. If it happens to be a card scanner or something that you can actually actually adapt to your Android phone or your cell phone, that would allow you to take payments. Now, the actual equipment is one expense. Keep in mind too, The next one is 21, the POS system's monthly fee. Now you normally have to sign up with a company to actually do the transactions. You can't just purchase the equipment.

You've got to obviously have a payment processor. Do it. Now, there are some people that actually charge you a monthly fee for the use of it. And then some of them actually charge a transaction fee. So many of these fees will begin to add up. You want to keep track of them because that's another one that's potentially tax deductible for your food truck. Website number 22If you're going to operate a website, you're going to have a monthly fee associated with that. So if you have Damien's food, obviously I'm going to have to pay for that website every single month. Keep track of all of those fees for that month. Now, if you're working on Shopify and you have a menu on Shopify or you're selling food on Shopify, what's really important too, is all of the apps that you bring on board to your website itself. Keep track of those.

Filing your food truck's tax deductions



Like with our store, we have a couple of stores through Shopify. We actually have apps that we pay for every single month. That increases our overall expenses every month. So definitely keep track of those. So it's not just the website, but anything else additional to it is also potentially tax deductible. Now this is a big one. Number 23. If you operate a separate office now at home, if you have a room that is an office dedicated to the food truck, you can potentially actually take advantage of some of these home-based business tax deductions where you have an office space dedicated to the food truck business. That means, you know, you have a laptop up and you're running your laptop. You're ordering ingredients, you're operating the actual business aspects online in your office. You may be able to deduct some of your electric bill, some of your mortgage or rent, and even some of your water bill.

Also, if there's anything involved with operating your business from a home office, take a look at that and definitely ask your accountant about that. Fire extinguishers, Number 24. Now this is kind of a silly little thing, but believe it or not, when you operate a fire flow truck, you have to make sure that you obviously pass a fire inspection. Most of them will require you to have a fire extinguisher. So any of those extinguishers, if it's one or two or even three or four of them on your food truck, make sure you keep track of the expenses for those. And now if you maintain them or buy them every year to keep them fresh and new and working and operating, if they're either inspected or anything of that sort, definitely keep track of the expenses for that number 25, your phone and internet.


Filing your food truck's tax deductions


Now, obviously if you go to a food truck event, you need to have some type of apparatus that you've got the ability to transact your POS system. So phone and internet there, and also at home, if your office, your home office is gonna be operating with phone and internet, believe it or not, some of that can actually be tax deductible towards your food truck business. Okay. So number 26, the food truck wrap. This is the out external Exter exterior part of the food truck that gets people's attentions. That's the big, bright colors. It has the name of your food truck. It has a graphic, has a logo, has a design. Any of that that's involved with the food truck wrap is also something that's potentially tax deductible as well. Number 27, your food costs keep track of all of the ingredients. If you're buying your fresh ingredients every day, obviously you wanna maintain good records, keeping of those items, receipts, or whatever it may be.

And as you build, you go to your commissary kitchen and as you're creating your ingredients for the day to go to your food truck events, keep track of any and all food expenses. Okay. Number 28 is obviously the uniforms. This is one thing that everyone wants. If you're creating a brand and I've seen this and it's very, very cool. And it's something I highly recommend. You do spend the little extra money to have uniforms. So your team, your group of team on your food truck have, and they reflect your brand on the shirt or the hat or whatever it may be that they're wearing. But any uniforms that you give your employees, tax deductible as well last but not least number 29, your fire certificate inspection. So sometimes obviously, well, not sometimes most all the time when you have your food truck, it's gonna have to be inspected by the fire department.


Filing your food truck's tax deductions


Now, I remember when I opened my Italian bakery, our physical brick and mortar bakery, we had the food inspect, fire inspector, come in, make sure that the exits are correct, make sure there's fire, extinguishers and all that. And sometimes you may have to pay for those inspections and it just simply recuperates the cost for the fire department to come out and check and make sure everything's good. So if there's any in cost incurred with your fire certificate inspection for your food truck, definitely keep track of that as well. So that is a quick rundown, not at all inclusive, but a handful of.


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Filing your food truck's tax deductions