Wednesday, November 25, 2015

#WellnessWednesday: Thanksgiving Cooking on the Road

So Thanksgiving is almost upon us. And that, of course, means being thankful. We’re so grateful that we get to help you with tips, news, and the latest in our truck tax solutions. But most of all, we’re thankful for you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for keeping our country moving.

A Feast in Your Rig

Thanksgiving on the road can be hard. One way to bring some of home onto the road with you is to cook your Thanksgiving Day meal right in your rig. There is a wide array of appliances now available that will run off 12V or a 12V power inverter, and using these makes cooking on the road a breeze.

Perhaps the best way to cook turkey in your truck is using a crock pot. You can fit a medium-sized turkey breast into one, and let it cook while you’re driving. Once you reach your destination and are parked, you can prepare the rest of your feast.

Whether you like stuffing out of a box, or like to prepare your own from scratch, you can cook your stuffing in a toaster oven. Whatever type of potatoes you prefer can be prepared in a portable microwave. And a hot pot is the perfect place to steam some vegetables—again—your choice. Finally, some cranberry sauce that’s been chilled in your travel fridge will set the meal off nicely.

That’s all there is to it! A homemade Thanksgiving dinner prepared in your cab for your very own Thanksgiving celebration.

We’re Thankful for You

And you should celebrate. You’re the reason all of us are able to mark this holiday with family and friends with a great dinner. From the food on the table, to the cookware and dinnerware, all the way down to the table itself, even the whole house, none of these would have been available without you, Trucking Nation. You bring all these items and the materials to build them to our communities, and we’re so very grateful to you for it.

If you should have any questions or concerns about ExpressTruckTax over the 4-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend, our support team will be available via email to assist you. Our email is support@expresstrucktax.com, and on Thanksgiving Day we’ll be available in case of emergency.

Let us know how you spend your Thanksgiving, and what you’re grateful for by tweeting at us on Twitter, and sharing with us on Facebook. We’re honored to be a part of your celebration this year, Trucking Nation. However you celebrate it, may your Thanksgiving be filled with love and gratitude.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

#TruckTechTuesday: GPS for Truckers

Happy #TruckTechTuesday, Trucking Nation! GPS is obviously an invaluable tool for truckers. Today’s GPS units can give you even more specialized, extremely useful information besides just your geographical position and the time. With a GPS unit designed for trucking, you can plan routes based on several factors such as height or other restrictions, useful amenities along the way, and much more. We’ve come a long way since the days of paper maps.

Keeping You Informed

A huge advantage of truck-specific GPS units is the ability to plan trips around road restrictions, including HAZMAT restrictions, so that you know ahead of time the best route to take. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of projecting routes. Being able to know where restricted stretches of road are can save you a lot of time deciding which route to take, as well as money from having to backtrack and find an alternate route. Time and diesel wasted really cuts into the bottom line.

In addition to restricted routes, GPS units designed for trucks can also help you identify which roads are toll roads, so you can plan for tolls or totally avoid them altogether. No one likes a surprise toll booth!

You can also find and identify trucking points of interest (POI’s). A few examples of these are truck services, truck stops, rest areas, weigh stations, restaurants, motels, and even fuel costs by location. Truck-specific GPS units can even let you know what the weather is in a certain area, as well as the forecast for that area.

Additionally, you can schedule maintenance reminders so you never forget to take care of your rig. And fleet managers are able to keep track of their trucks and drivers with a variety of data, including driver on duty and drive times. They can track the exact location of a specific truck, and analyze driver performance over time.

Helping with Taxes

Not only can these units tell you about existing conditions and POI’s, they can record your mileage on a state-by-state or province basis, which will help you when filing quarterly IFTA returns. ExpressIFTA allows you to upload this information into your account quickly and easily using the GPS upload option.

ExpressTruckTax gives you the ability to prepare your HVUT as well as your IFTA return. We’re the leading truck tax solution, and available in English or Spanish to answer your questions and concerns over the phone at 704.234.6005 or by email at support@expresstrucktax.com.

Let us know on Twitter or Facebook how GPS makes your work and life easier. And let all your family and friends know about how ExpressTruckTax has helped with your HVUT needs. We built our business on word of mouth referrals and hope you can help us continue that tradition.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Why Use ExpressTruckTax?

Happy Thursday, Trucking Nation! We tell you a lot about ExpressTruckTax, but why should you use it? Glad you asked! There are so many advantages to using ExpressTruckTax, we couldn’t possibly fit them all in one blog. But let us hit the high points for you.

First of all, we offer you convenience. Who wants to spend all that time manually figuring out what you owe the IRS? ExpressTruckTax is fast, much faster than your manual calculations. And our instant audit check will catch any major errors that could keep your return from being accepted.

Here are just some of the features you get with ExpressTruckTax.

Get Your Stamped Schedule 1 Quickly
When you e-file Form 2290 with us, you’ll receive your stamped Schedule 1 within minutes. So you won’t have to wait for the IRS to mail you a Schedule 1 by postal mail, and who knows how long that will take?

ExpressTruckTax Exclusive: Truck Zone
ExpressTruckTax features TruckZone, which gives you the ability to upload 1000’s of vehicles to your account, and to store them in one spot. So you don’t have to manually enter a whole fleet of trucks. You can just upload a spreadsheet containing all of your trucks and ExpressTruckTax will convert that into the data you need to file..

Free VIN Corrections!
We’re also the only Form 2290 e-filing service that allows you make free VIN corrections on 2290 returns filed with us. This feature allows you to easily correct any VIN error online. You won’t have to start a new return or pay any more money.

Ditch the Fax Machine: E-sign
And our e-sign feature allows tax professionals to have their clients sign their returns without having to use fax machines or postal mail. Clients are able to e-sign their returns sent to them from their preparer electronically.

Support You Can Trust: 24/7, 365
Most importantly, you get the support of our stellar team of tax experts who are ready to help you with your questions about filing your return. You can contact us anytime by email at support@expresstrucktax.com and over the phone from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at 704.234.6005.

Let us know how why you love e-filing with ExpressTruckTax on Twitter or Facebook. And don’t forget to let your family and friends know too. We grew our business through word of mouth. Help us to continue that tradition..
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

#WellnessWednesday: Cooking Appliances for Trucks

Howdy, Trucking Nation! One of the toughest parts of being an OTR driver is mealtime. Staying healthy and spending wisely are perhaps the main challenges of eating on the road.

Luckily, there’s a perfect solution to these problems: cooking appliances for trucks. Twelve volt adapters and devices that run on them have made it possible to easily prepare food in your cab, and the benefits of doing so are innumerable!

So Many Choices!

Today there are a multitude of appliances used for cooking that run right off your truck’s cigarette lighter, including:
  • Refrigerators/Coolers
  • Microwaves
  • Slow Cookers
  • Ovens
  • Stoves
  • Grills
  • Blenders
With appliances such as these, you can turn your cab into a gourmet kitchen. In your mobile canteen, you can prepare stews, soups, pasta, canned vegetables, beans, rice, heat up all kinds of ready made meals, fry your favorite fried foods, keep your foods and beverages nice and cold, and even whip up a shake or a smoothie.

Save Your Wallet & Your Waistline!

As we already said, eating healthy on the road can be extremely challenging, and those roadside meals can add up dollar-wise very quickly. These appliances save the day.

Being able to prepare your food the way you want allows you to cook healthy meals, and brings a little bit of home to the road. You can cook lighter meals, so that the heavy feeling from eating greasy food at truck stop diners doesn’t slow you down.

And of course the financial advantages of skipping the diners and fast food joints are obvious.

And Save So Much Time!

ExpressTruckTax makes your life easier, too. Whether you need to prepare your Form 2290 for HVUT or your IFTA return, we’ve got you covered. We free you up to do the things you want to do, so that your quality of living is where you want it to be.

If you need help with any questions or concerns regarding ExpressTruckTax, you can contact our world-class support team based in Rock Hill, SC, by calling us at 704.234.6005 or emailing us any time at support@expresstrucktax.com.

We want you to keep improving your lives, Trucking Nation. Join us on Twitter and Facebook with your stories about how you’re doing this. And if you’re not an ExpressTruckTax customer yet, we’d love to have you join our family. We do the tax-related things you don’t want to do so that you can do the things you really want to do!

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

What’s New With Us?

Getting right to it–we’re excited to introduce a new product in our software family: ExpressACAForms. We’re taking all the guesswork out of a big part of the Affordable Care Act (or ObamaCare) for you. Under the ACA, if you have employees working for you, regardless of the size of your business, you have to give the IRS proof that you’ve provided those employees with what’s called the minimum essential coverage. (MEC) of health insurance.

This means that any trucking business owner that has at least one employee must show that they’ve provided this MEC to all employees. That’s why we made a solution to help all of you out!

What is ExpressACAForms?

Through ExpressACAForms.com, you can e-file the information returns necessary to prove that you’ve provided your employees with the minimum essential coverage. Like all of our e-filing solutions, we’re secure, IRS-authorized, and affordable! (In fact, you can prepare your 2014 filing for free!)

What Forms are Used?

The forms that are used to report this information are the 1094-B and 1094-C, and the 1095-B and 1095-C. ExpressACAForms gives you access to all these forms and a way to file them. (At this point, however, the IRS is not receiving these forms yet, so the filing portion of ExpressACAForms is not operable, but will be soon.)

How Do I Fill Out These Forms?

With ExpressACAForms, filling out these forms is quick and easy. We’ve taken the difficulty out of tax filing. Just fill out a few simple fields, and that’s it. You’ll have all your information ready to go when the IRS does start accepting 1094’s and 1095’s, which should be very soon. And ExpressACAForms automatically checks for any errors in your forms, so there’s no need to worry about making any mistakes.

How Do I File These Forms?

You’ll be able to e-file these forms for free for the 2014 tax year when the IRS begins accepting them. In addition, you’ll also have the option of us delivering your forms by postal mail, if that’s your preference.

When are These Forms Due?

There are deadlines for filing Forms 1094-B & C and 1095-B & C for the 2014 tax year.
  • January 31, 2016: All recipients must have been provided with forms 1095-B & C 
  • February 29, 2016: Paper filing of Forms 1094-B & C and 1095-B & C to the IRS
  • March 31, 2016: E-filing of Forms 1094-B & C and 1095-B & C to the IRS

We hope this has helped you gain a better understanding of how to remain compliant with ACA regulations. Click here for the ExpressACAForms website.

As always, our ExpressTruckTax team is also available to help you with any questions or concerns you may have about Form 2290 (HVUT) or IFTA as well. You can reach us by phone at 704.234.6005 and email us any time at support@expresstrucktax.com. Happy Trucking!

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

ExpressTruckTax Salutes our Trucking Veterans on Veterans Day

Today, November 11th, marks the day we celebrate all our nation’s veterans, past and present. We here at ExpressTruckTax acknowledge the great debt we all owe to our veterans for their honorable service, and that our great nation would not exist without their courage and dedication.

Why Veterans Make Great Truckers

These attributes, in addition to the high-quality training and experience veterans acquire during active duty, translate into a skill set well-suited to the trucking industry. Discipline, initiative, planning, and even experience driving big rigs are all valuable assets vets bring to the table when it comes to trucking.

Thank You Trucking Veterans

So we want to extend a special thank you to all you members of the Trucking Nation who are also veterans. You’ve served us twice, and continue to serve every day. Not only have you secured our freedom, you’ve kept the goods we all need every day within easy reach. You keep our country moving. And you continue to sacrifice for us each time you’re on the road, working long hours, living in your rigs, and being away from family and friends. There’s no way we can thank you enough.

Here’s a little gift from all of us here at ExpressTruckTax to every one of our veterans out there:

So here’s to all our vets, those who are still with us, and those we’ve lost. You have our respect and awe.

We’re here at ExpressTruckTax, available to take your calls and to chat with you, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please feel free to share any questions or concerns you may have. And we’re always available via email at support@expresstrucktax.com. Support is available in both English and Spanish.

If you’re not a vet, make sure you thank one today. And if you're a trucker vet, share your story and pictures of your rig! Just Tweet us @ExpressTruckTax using #RigWhiteAndBlue, and we'll share your story with the Trucking Nation!

And to all our veterans: you have our eternal gratitude. Thanks, vets!
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Friday, November 6, 2015

Form 2290 Basics

Welcome back, Trucking Nation! Today we’re going to talk about something really exciting, the IRS Form 2290! Before you get too excited, let’s take a look at Form 2290 and who needs to file it. We know all these IRS number can be so confusing, and knowing exactly what to do and when is always a big challenge. We’re here to take away your confusion.

What is Form 2290?

Form 2290 is what you file your HVUT tax with. The HVUT applies to all vehicles weighing 55,000 pounds and over that drive on public roads and highways.

Who Has to File a 2290?

There are several exemptions, or suspensions, to the HVUT. That means these vehicles are not required to pay the HVUT. Suspended vehicles include those logging less than 5,000 miles for the year, agricultural vehicles that drive less than 7,500 miles for the year, vehicles that are considered non-highway vehicles, and vehicles used for the collection of blood. But any vehicle weighing more than the 55,000 pound threshold must file a 2290, whether it’s required to pay HVUT or not.

What Do I Have to Do?

So you’ve determined that you need to file a Form 2290. What do you do next? Well, you could download the Form 2290 from the IRS website yourself and fill it out manually. The instructions are only 12 pages long. Or you could file with ExpressTruckTax, and leave all the heavy lifting to us. For only $9.90 for one vehicle and discounted rates for fleets, that’s one headache you won’t have to do deal with.

When Do I Have to Do This?

Simply put, you must file your Form 2290 by the last day of the month following the month in which you first drove the qualifying vehicle. In subsequent years you’ll need to file by August 31st, since the tax year runs from July 1st to June 30th of the following year.

How Do I Prove to the DMV I Filed a 2290?

If you need proof that you’ve filed your Form 2290 in order to register your vehicle with your DMV, you’ll need a stamped Schedule 1 form. Again, you can go through the trouble of filing yourself, and waiting for the form in the mail, or you can e-file with us. You’ll receive your Schedule 1 from us via email minutes after your Form 2290 is filed. And if you ever misplace or need another Schedule 1, you can always download it from us. It’s that simple!

As always, our world-class U.S.-based support team is available to answer your questions about filing Form 2290, or about using ExpressTruckTax in general. We’re here on the phone from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and available those same hours via web chat from our website. And don’t forget you can reach us via email at support@expresstrucktax.com any time.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

#WellnessWednesday: Eating Healthy on the Road

So you’ve decided you want to start eating healthier but are starting to realize how unhealthy many food options on the road can be. That’s exactly where we come in, Trucking Nation. Healthy eating on the road doesn’t have to be difficult. So sit back with your favorite healthy snack and read on to find out some great options to keep your diet from getting unhealthy while you’re driving.

Perhaps the most effective tool for fighting the temptation to eat what’s not good for you is to have healthy options with you as much as possible. Let’s look at healthy snack alternatives.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables—keep plenty of these on hand for a healthy alternative to chips or pretzels any time. Fresh fruits and veggies provide that satisfying crunch and give you the nutrition and energy you need.

Nuts— your favorite nuts are packed with protein and provide much needed healthy fats to your diet. Nuts also give you a quick energy boost due to their high caloric content. But for this reason, limit the amount of nuts you eat if you’re trying to lose or maintain weight.

Trail Mix—this great mix of nuts and fruit can be super healthy, but watch out for unhealthy versions containing candy, excess salt, and added sugar.

Beef or Turkey Jerky—actually a great source of protein, jerky can be quite good for you if you watch out for added salt and sugar versions.

Yogurt—again, plenty of protein and not a lot of extras, at least if you eat plain yogurt. Sweetened versions contain sugar, so try adding some fresh fruit to liven up the taste instead.

There are plenty of other healthy alternatives available, all you have to do is a little research and find out what’s good for you and what’s not.

By making sure you’ve always got plenty of good, healthy snacks on hand, you can avoid the temptation to eat some of the not-so-healthy options of the road.

Do you have any tips for eating healthy on the road? Please share them with us on Twitter and Facebook.
ExpressTruckTax is always here to answer any of your questions via phone, web-based chat, or email. Call us at 704.234.6005 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Email us at support@expresstrucktax.com.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

#TruckTechTuesday: Healthy Lifestyle Apps for Truckers

Happy #TruckTechTuesday, Trucking Nation! We all know how hard it is to stay in shape when you’re constantly on the road. According to trucker fitness guru Siphiwe Baleka, the life expectancy of truckers can be 10 to 15 years shorter than the U.S. average. We here at ExpressTruckTax want you to live long, prosperous lives, so let’s have a look at some apps that will help you on your fitness journey.

New App: Active Trucker

Anything that makes it easier for truckers to keep active is a big help. Baleka has released an app that does just that.The app is called Active Trucker, and provides 10 different exercises that take only 15 minutes or less. These are workouts that you can do by the side of your truck at either a rest area or a truck stop. Each exercise builds on the previous ones, and they gradually increase in complexity and intensity.

You don’t even need to change clothes for these workouts. The app is designed to make trucker fitness as easy as possible. You can also add friends and family to the app, so that they can see when you’ve worked out, and offer you support and encouragement.

My Fitness Pal

My Fitness Pal is an automatic calorie counter and diet planner. It contains the nutrition information for over 2 million foods, and includes a feature that allows you to scan the barcode on any food label and get its nutrition facts that way.This app allows you to keep a food journal, and track nutrient and vitamin information as well.

Rolling Strong

This app is designed especially for truckers. In the free section there are location services for clinics and self-check health locations, as well as access to an extensive digital library that contains recorded wellness seminars. The members section gives you access to clinics for monthly health screenings, an on-the-go nutritional guide, and access to member only discounts.

These are only a few of the apps available today that can help you stay healthy on the road. There are many others designed with trucker wellness in mind. So don’t be afraid to explore them and let us know what works best for you.

We’d Like to Help

We here at ExpressTruckTax hope these apps will help you find ways to maintain healthy living. As always, we’re here Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to answer your questions over the phone at 704.234.6005 or by web-based chat. You can also reach us at any time via email at support@expresstrucktax.com.

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Don't Be Spooked, October 31st Is upon Us

Hello there, Trucking Nation! With October 31st coming up, it can seem like a double whammy with Halloween and the IFTA 3rd quarter filing deadline all happening on the same day. We here at ExpressTruckTax can take some of that fear away from you with this friendly reminder to make sure you’ve got your IFTA return filed by the 31st. (Sorry, you’ll have to deal with the Halloween scariness on your own.)

ExpressTruckTax to the Rescue

If you’ve waited until the last minute to file, we’ve got you covered. All you’ve got to do is log in to ExpressIFTA using your ExpressTruckTax account login details. All your information will already be filled out for you. Just follow the simple directions, and you’re all set! Then you’ll be free to dedicate your time to pumpkins, costumes, parties, and all those tricks and treats.

Notification Services Feature

And speaking of reminders, we’ve also got you covered with our Notification Services. It provides you with alerts to let you know when your Form 2290 has been accepted by the IRS, and even the status of your payment. 

You can receive these alerts one of four ways:
  • Text- You’ll receive SMS alerts about the status of your return and payments.
  • Fax- We’ll send your stamped Schedule 1 to you, your carrier, or anyone else you would like.
  • Postal Mail- Your stamped Schedule 1 will be mailed to you. This can be especially useful when you’re on the road and don’t have access to a printer.
  • Our Chrome Browser Extension- You can receive notifications about the status of your return on your computer desktop by downloading our Chrome Browser Extension. It’s available from the Chrome Web Store.
No more wondering when your return is going to be received, no more holding your breath until your payment clears. No more waking up in the middle of the night with that nagging dread that you’ve left something undone. (We can’t help you if you hear something under your bed. Or in your closet. No, seriously. What was that?) 

And best of all, our users automatically get a free email notification as soon as their return is accepted by the IRS containing the stamped Schedule 1.

We’re Here for You

If you have any questions or need any help with any aspect of ExpressTruckTax, (you’ll have to get your mom or dad to help you with the scary stuff) we’re available over the phone at 704.234.6005 and through web chat. Our U.S.-based support team is also available via email any day at support@expresstrucktax.com. We always love to get your comments, especially on Facebook and Twitter. And as always, don’t forget to let your friends and family know about us. Your word of mouth is more valuable than any advertising.

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E-file IRS HVUT Form 2290 | Express Truck Tax Blog

Visit ExpressTruckTax blog for latest updates on e-filing IRS Federal Heavy Vehicle Use Tax Form 2290. E-file IRS 2290 VIN Corrections for Free.