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I’m a 1099 employee for over the road trucking

How do I know how much I will have to pay back in taxes before it’s time to due taxes ? I had to pay 8,000 in taxes last year and I was so upset because I felt like I just gave money away instead of buying things I needed to make my life easier on the road but instead I was being cheap . This year I want to be an able to buy everything I know I will need and can write off for trucking at end of year before tax time . 

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2 Replies
Employee Tax & Finance Expert

I’m a 1099 employee for over the road trucking

Hi Cheryj48,


Thank you for participating today. To know how much tax you owe you have to estimate it as best as you can. Here is a link to a Tax Calculator called Tax Caster that may help:

Tax Calculator 2022 

When you are considered self-employed you are required to estimate and pay your taxes in quarterly. Click here for an article that explains estimated taxes.


Individuals, including sole proprietors, partners, and S corporation shareholders, generally have to make estimated tax payments if they expect to owe tax of $1,000 or more when their return is filed.


You don’t have to pay estimated tax for the current year if you meet all three of the following conditions.

  • You had no tax liability for the prior year
  • You were a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the whole year
  • Your prior tax year covered a 12-month period

There is a safe harbor rule for estimated tax that has three components:

Generally, an underpayment penalty can be avoided if you use the safe harbor rule for payments described below. The IRS will not charge you an underpayment penalty if:

  • You pay at least 90% of the tax you owe for the current year, or 100% of the tax you owed for the previous tax year, or
  • You owe less than $1,000 in tax after subtracting withholdings and credits

This rule is altered slightly for high-income taxpayers. If the  Adjusted Gross Income on your previous year’s return is over $150,000 (over $75,000 if you are married filing separately), you must pay the lower of 90% of the tax shown on the current year’s return or 110% of the tax shown on the return for the previous year.


Your state will also have estimated tax payment rules that may differ from the federal rules.

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Employee Tax Expert

I’m a 1099 employee for over the road trucking

Hi Cheryj48, 

TurboTax has a great article for truck drivers https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/self-employment-taxes/what-you-need-to-know-about-truck-driver-... to help you determine what can be deducted as an expense for your Truck Driving work. We also have a great tool called Tax Caster https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/calculators/taxcaster/  that will help you determine your tax liability for the year based on your net business income, filing status, and number of dependents. Generally you could potentially buy things you need for your trucking business and your tax liability would be less but it wouldn't be a dollar for dollar offset. 

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