A Glass Half Full Verses, a Glass Half Empty

A Glass Half Full Verses, a Glass Half Empty

One of the primary reasons so many operators hate paperwork is that it has so much negative association. If you don’t fill out your log book… you get a fine, if you DO fill it out nobody says anything. If you complete the company paperwork nobody dose anything, if you don’t complete the Bill of Lading you don’t get paid. When you gather your papers and present it to your accountant… you pay taxes. There is far too little positive reinforcement associated with paperwork.

The global economy has been in recession for about 18 months but the trucking industry has been in recession for about 4 years. In dark and tight times motivation and personal morale is very important. Focusing on the glass half full rather than the glass half empty is critical. Everyone recognizes an empty bank account but there’s no such thing as a half full one. Where does one go to see the bright side?

There was a national survey amongst Canadians about paying taxes. It’s not that Canadians don’t want to pay ANY taxes, its just they only want to pay their fair share. The question is what is your fair share? It often times depends on your reporting system. Each tax reporting system has its advantages and disadvantages. Their “fair share” bottom line differences are significant. There is an increase in rules and paperwork qualifications between the different systems, but the added work brings added benefits.

For 2009 reporting period our firm calculated an annual difference of $8,877.11 per operator. It is significantly higher than 2008’s $7,617.79 primarily due to operators being on the road more in 2009 than in 2008. Factoring out some of our demographics, the numbers reveal the average operator increased their workload 6-8% (1-2 more days per month). In our clients (and all those using the per diem system) this increase in work was rewarded by an increase in tax SAVINGS. Using the proper reporting system produces a number much more “fair share”. Many operators had to settle for earnings the same as 2008 yet were rewarded for their additional effort by a net tax savings. Herein being the “glass half full”.

In the free world nothing actually comes for free. If you work, you get paid. If you study you get smarter. If you use the right system, you get the right results. This time of year may be hard on operators. Tax liabilities may bring down a lot of operators. My guess is that 15-25% of operators may be financially devastated by this year’s taxes. I hope its not you.

Robert Scheper

Robert D Scheper has a Masters Degree in Business Administration and is the author of two books, “Making Your Miles Count: Taxes, Taxes, Taxes” and "Making Your Miles Count: Choosing a Trucking Company".

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