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List of Common Expenses and Tax Deductions for Construction Workers and Contractors

With the rigors of physical labor and the headaches of compliance regulations, most construction workers would appreciate a break after a long day on the site. Unfortunately, we can’t help lighten your material load. We can, however, ease your tax burden.

Lots of construction workers are classified as independent contractors and thus are seen as self-employed professionals. If this describes you, then you don’t have taxes withheld from your paycheck like a traditional employee. While this means more of the tax-prep burden falls on you, it also means you can claim deductions against business-related expenses. Deductions help you lower your tax burden and keep more money.

When it comes time to file, you’ll list the majority of your tax deductions in Part II of your Schedule C (IRS Form 1040). If you have less than $5,000 in claims, you may be able to use Schedule C-EZ. Whichever you choose, both are due April 15 along with your annual tax return.

Transportation Expenses (Line 9)

When you’re deducting transportation costs, you can’t deduct the commute between your home and the jobsite. You can, however, deduct trips between multiple job sites, as well as those made for business-related trips throughout the day (e.g. traveling to get supplies or attending meetings off-site).

You also have to choose between two methods of tax deduction: the actual expenses method or the standard mileage method.

Method 1: The Standard Mileage Rate