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Well it looks like I'm all set to get started. How exciting.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by WHIPPLE5.7, Dec 1, 2007.

  1. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 958

    After getting out of the military I toyed with the idea of doing fulltime lawncare and landscaping because I've always done some on the side but I went to work for a equipment rental outfit instead. I love the work and I'm good at it, but my boss one of those guys who is a huge jerk because he can for no particular reason. He'll treat you like crap over nothing and then 5 minutes later he'll try to be your buddy. He does it to everyone there and I got sick of it last year so I spent all of my extra money on brand new equipment and now I'm only about 2 months away from leaving that thankless jerk behind and venturing off on my own. I feel sorry for people who are foolish enough to spend the rest of their lives putting up with that crap. Anyways the main question I have for the professionals is I have a 3/4 truck that burns alot of gas. I'm not sure how the whole tax right-off thing works. Can I get fuel break when do my taxes or should I start looking for smaller rig. I just don't want all my profits to be lost in gas prices.
  2. Cheapscapes

    Cheapscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    fuel is a business expense..you need to factor your fuel bills ...trucks ..mower..when you are pricing jobs
  3. echeandia

    echeandia LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,131

    There are two ways to treat vehicle expenses. One is to deduct actual expenses for fuel, maintenance, insurance, taxes, depreciation, etc associated with the vehicle. The other is to deduct mileage. In 2006 the IRS let you deduct $0.445 per mile. This will probably go up for this year. Depending on your situation you can pick the one that gets you the bigger deduction. Speak with your accountant for exact details.

    Regarding downsizing your vehicle that is something you need to determine for yourself. Good luck.
  4. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,510

    People put up with bad bosses because going into business is so risky and very hard.

    You have a choice how you handle vehicle expenses if you go legit. You can take it by mileage deduction, which is I think, still almost 50 cents a mile. This is a deduction from the top line, not a credit to the bottom line. It does not matter if you are pulling the trailer with a Corolla or a Mack, you get the set mileage deduction at almost 50 cents a mile.

    Or you can keep every receipt that pertains to your truck for repairs, fuel, oil changes, etc. and deduct that from the top line.

    It is one of the other, you can't have both. Once you choose, you have to do it that way for the life of the vehicle.

    You need to keep vehicle fuel and mower fuel separate because you get a tax credit (cash money increase on IRS refund check or decrease in payment to IRS) for the taxes per gallon on off-highway fuel. You don't want to waste time standing in line where you buy gas, so probably the easiest way to do this is use one business credit card for vehicle fuel, and another one for off-highway fuel. The mower fuel itself is deductible, plus you get the tax credit for whatever the actual taxes per gallon are in your state.
  5. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    dont burn any bridges

    People spend the rest of there lives working for people like that because they have too
  6. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 958

    That is true, but I also feel like I'm in a pretty good position to start up on my own. Here is the top reasons. I almost have my home paid off, my wife makes excellent money at her job, and one of the biggest LCOs in this area is not going to be in business next year due to his lack of business management. He built up a 100+ weekly base and then pissed them all off with shady work, over priceing, and he owes the IRS for the last 3 years worth and he didn't save any money. I guess they will end up taking his new diesel truck and triple axle 5th wheel camper for payment instead. All in all I feel pretty good about going into business for myself. I worked for wages for quite a few years to put myself in this position so its not like I'm trying to start on nothing, I'm set up pretty well for what I'm looking to do.
  7. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 537

    get a good tax person and do everything by the books and it will all pan out... i see your getting an exmark 26. it will like it i got one last year and i should have gotten one years ago..........
  8. rjgolfer

    rjgolfer LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 104

    And don't forget you can deduct the business portion of your truck!! Look into Section 179 deduction. Section 179 is a great way to get a nice tax deduction that will lower what you owe Uncle Sam or increase your refund! (ie pay for more gas:) Good luck and check with your tax advisor!
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Look man if you want to complicate matters that is entirely up to you, but what I do for fuel and vehicle deductions is use the mileage. In my case we have an annual state inspection where the inspector records the odometer, and I just use the figures from the paper, more than ever I let everyone else do the record-keeping for me, because it is that simple.
  10. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 958

    We don't have anything like that here. Montana is still free of all the vehicle inspections, emissions laws, etc. I guess I'll keep track of my mileage, fuel reciepts, and other expenses and hand it all over to my tax guy and see what he says. He works mostly with small businesses so I'm thinking he'll be able to make the best choice for me.

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