Tax Credit for Truckers: Lawmakers Look to Attract More Drivers

April 12, 2022

A tax credit for truckers is a good start. In an effort to address the truck driver shortage, U.S. Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-Virginia) and Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) introduced bipartisan legislation that would establish a refundable income tax credit for qualified commercial truck drivers. If passed and signed into law, would establish a $7,500 tax credit over the next two years for certain Class A commercial driver’s license holders.

Andrew Winkler, General Manager of Chief Carriers, praises the efforts of representatives Spanberger and Gallagher.  “Transportation is one of those life-long careers where you do not need a four-year degree to be wildly successful and provide a good living for your family.  With drivers now averaging $85k+ per year, think about how much further ahead a professional driver is compared to those that choose a traditional college route, and have no debt to pay back.  I don’t know many college students that can make $85k their first year out of school.” Winkler said.

The Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act, a tax credit for truckers, would provide a short-term and fast incentive to attract and retain new drivers. Specifically, the Spanberger-Gallagher bill would create a two-year (2022 and 2023) refundable tax credit of up to $7,500 for truck drivers holding a valid Class A commercial driver’s license who drive at least 1,900 hours in the year.

trucking jobs in grand island nebraskaNew truck drivers who did not drive a commercial truck in the previous year or drove for fewer than 1,420 hours in the current year may receive a proportion of the credit if they drove at least an average of 40 hours a week upon starting to drive.

To be eligible for the tax credit for truckers, the adjusted gross income of eligible drivers cannot exceed $90,000 ($135,000 in the case of a joint tax return and $112,500 for heads of household). “The tax credit is certainly one step in the right direction to help attract and retain talent in the transportation industry.” Said Andrew Winkler, General Manager of Chief Carriers.

This bipartisan bill would make a meaningful difference in the lives of new truckers, further elevating the profession as one of the few available in today’s job market that provides a stable career path to the middle class without the costly burden of a four-year college degree. If the legislation is passed it would attract even more drivers into the field by providing substantial tax credits to reduce their federal tax liabilities.

The tax credit is certainly one step in the right direction to help attract and retain talent in the transportation industry. ~ Andrew Winkler

A challenge as complex as the truck driver shortage cannot be resolved through a single solution. Solving it requires a multifaceted approach that combines industry initiative with good public policy. Legislation, like the Truck Driver Incentives Act, is a great start.

By creating a refundable tax credit for truckers, the men and women who keep products flowing, we would encourage more young people to hop in the driver’s seat, reduce headaches for trucking businesses, and make sure experienced drivers are rewarded for their hard work. Winkler says that he’s hopeful that incentives like the Truck Drivers incentives Act will open the eyes of the next generation of professional drivers.

One thing we can all agree on is that a tax credit for truckers is a good start towards alleviating the truck driver shortage in America.