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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About Reefer Fuel Regarding IFTA?

Everything You Need to Know About Reefer Fuel Regarding IFTA?
Personally, I'm a big believer in being prepared for anything and coincidence truckers are the same way. You never know what can happen, so it's always best to be ready. When it comes to the International Fuel Tax Agreement, you can never be too prepared, and the learning never ends. The rules governing IFTA are a bit lengthy, and every single state is different, but don't let that stress you out. IFTA is a lot easier when it is broken down, so let's go over everything you need to know about reefer fuel regarding IFTA.

What is Reefer Fuel?

First of all, reefer fuel is NOT included when filing IFTA when it is used to power the refrigeration unit of the trailer. You should always purchase reefer fuel on a separate fuel receipt.

Never pump reefer fuel on the same fuel receipt when fueling your power unit. This will lower your MPG and cost you more IFTA fuel tax. Also, if you are selected for an IFTA audit, and it is discovered that you combined reefer fuel into your power unit file, you will be penalized and incur added interest on your IFTA audit.

IFTA & Reefer Fuel

You are entitled to a federal tax refund on each gallon of reefer fuel. You will need the total number of gallons of reefer fuel purchased during the tax year to complete the refund form. The IRS will send you a check for the federal tax paid on each gallon of fuel. If you failed to file for this refund, you could file back for the past three years to claim your refund.


Everything You Need to Know About Reefer Fuel Regarding IFTA?You will want to check with your base jurisdiction to see how they handle reefer fuel. In Maryland, for example, if you only have one tank that propels your vehicle and runs the refrigeration unit, then all fuel is included in IFTA. If you have two separate containers, you need to fuel separately and make sure reefer is marked on the receipt. Do not add the reefer fuel on IFTA and you will able to get a refund by filing a claim.

So if you are operating an IFTA “Qualified Motor Vehicle” with a reefer unit, make sure to have the reefer fuel on a separate receipt and don’t include reefer duel on your IFTA return.

Generate Your IFTA Tax Report Today!

Our sister product, ExpressIFTA is full of innovative features to help you complete your IFTA quarterly fuel tax report. All you have to do to get started is create your free account, enter your business information, specify your base jurisdiction, enter your vehicle details, list your miles and fuel records, and generate your IFTA quarterly fuel tax report.

Say goodbye to that day of complicated calculations, ExpressIFTA’s software will accurately calculate your IFTA fuel tax rates and IFTA tax based on the information provided. Never worry about over or underpaying again.

Plus, their built-in diagnostic error audit can be run on your reports to catch any fundamental filing errors based on our estimated miles per gallon. It will recognize when miles traveled aren’t between adjacent states, and if you purchase fuel in a state you have not traveled in.



File Your IFTA Taxes Online






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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Everything You Need to Know 1099 vs. W2

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Everything You Need to Know 1099 vs. W2
As a fleet owner should you give your drivers a 1099 or W-2 Form? That’s the question for truck drivers and fleets we hear a lot. You might think you have a ton of time before the tax season, however, now is the time to get your documents in order. The last thing you want is the IRS on your case about the classification of your drivers.

While we do tend to focus on Form 2290, we understand the personal taxes of a professional truck driver can make a huge difference for both companies and drivers. 

Do Your Drivers Need a 1099 or W-2?

Misclassifications continue to be a subject for concern among both companies and drivers, so it is a point that needs particular attention. So how should your fleet approaches classification?

When you bring on a new driver, you should determine if they are a full-time employee or an independent contractor. This should be priority number 1!

This will determine if they will receive a 1099 or W-2. Now, we’ve heard stories from some drivers where companies won’t discuss employee status until tax forms are due, but we suggest clear and open communication with your drivers from the very beginning.

Some fleets might be tempted to put the burden of taxes on drivers and send them a Form 1099, but that route can only be traveled with specific conditions geared towards independent contractors.

My point is that treating a full-time employee as an independent contractor will lead the IRS to your front door. Plus, the IRS get their money one way or another. Might as well keep your classifications kosher. 

Independent Contractor or Company Driver?

The status of your drivers needs to be determined before the hiring process even starts. There are specific guidelines set by the IRS on what classifies as a contractor and which 1099 to file.

If you’re an independent contractor, you will have to cover your end of government expenses, but you also have more choice in how you haul.

Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute

If you have any questions about your business tax forms, contact our sister product, TaxBandits. It is their mission to help your business save time and money this upcoming tax season. Their bilingual support team is available via phone, live chat, and email. Click here to learn more.



Learn More About TaxBandits






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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Have You Received an IRS Letter About Non-Payment?

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Have You Received an IRS Letter About Non-Payment?
Don’t fret just yet! The IRS does this every year (we haven’t figured out why yet). If you filed close to the IRS Form 2290 deadline, there’s a good chance you’ve received one of these lovely letters from the IRS stating you never paid your 2290 tax.

Our best guess is that the IRS systems don’t communicate information all that well, especially when the volume of returns is so high. What we do know is this happens every year, and historically the IRS will send you a follow-up letter in a couple of weeks telling you the first letter was sent in error. So before you panic or throw this letter away, please double check to be sure the full tax amount was paid:

Why Would The IRS Send me a Letter?

It is likely an error on their end, but you always want to make sure. Before you panic or brush off the notice take the following steps:
Have You Received an IRS Letter About Non-Payment?1. Check how you chose to pay the IRS. (EFW, EFTPS, Credit/Debit, Or check/money order)

2. If you chose Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW) check your bank statement to verify the funds were successfully drafted from your account. If they were, you should be in the clear! Wait for a follow-up letter. However, if the amount has not been removed, we encourage you to contact us. There could have been an error when entering your account information.

3. If you chose to pay the tax with a debit or credit card make sure you did make that payment separately. (Note: This payment would’ve been made outside ExpressTruckTax after you completed your filing) If you didn’t realize this or forgot to pay, you can pay through Official Payments.

Always Happy To Help!

If you have any questions or concerns, contact us at 704-234-6005. We are always happy to help!

If you still need to file your Form 2290 click here. It is wise to file as soon as possible even if you can’t make the full IRS payment.



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Thursday, September 20, 2018

5 Need To Know Trucker Tips For Driving in The Mountains

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7 Need To Know Trucker Tips For Driving in The Mountains
Driving in the mountains can be intimidating for truck drivers, and that is especially true for rookie drivers. However, you can quickly gain confidence on mountain routes by following some basic safety rules and taking advantage of safety features available to you. Here are the seven need to know trucker tips for driving in the mountains.

Trucker Mountain Driving Tips


#1 Slow And Steady

Taking it slow and steady is probably the best advice for driving mountain routes. So many drivers make the mistake of traveling too fast on the steep grade because they misjudged its elevation based on its appearance. It’s tough to tell the grade of a hill just by looking at it, so it’s easy to make this mistake.

However, once your truck gains momentum traveling down the grade, it is nearly impossible to regain control. So take it slow and steady so as not to put yourself in this situation.

Our advice is to let the jake brake do the work of maintaining the constant speed. Also, touch the brake occasionally to keep your unit straight as you go down the hill. 

#2 Pay Attention to The Weather

If you are planning a route into the mountains, you will need to check the weather conditions. Mountain weather is unpredictable, so it is essential to check the weather the day of. If you find bad or dangerous weather conditions, you can consider an alternate route hopefully without a steep grade.

You should prepare yourself for changes in the weather as you are climbing or descending the mountain. The difference in altitude can bring a slew of weather conditions, so it is essential for you to stay alert to any changes.

Also, if there is a chain sign, please respect it. Put your chains on at the bottom of the hill. Don’t wait until you spin out and come back down the mountain.

#3 Don’t Tailgate

Leave as much room as possible between your and the vehicles ahead of you. Never tailgate on a mountain road. In the case of an emergency and you need to straighten out the truck. If your unit gets out of shape, you will want plenty of space to adjust.

7 Need To Know Trucker Tips For Driving in The Mountains

#4 Easy on Corners

Take corner on a mountain extra slow because your truck and trailer are extra vulnerable when not straight. Your rig is much more likely to jackknife when turning. You have much more controls over the unit when it is lined up traveling a straight line.

#5 Regaining Control

If you feel you are starting to lose control of the rig, try crowding the unit to the shoulder of the road if possible. This will hopefully allow you to catch gravel to straighten it out. Also gently tap on the trailer brake. This might be enough to pull your unit straight again.

Stay Safe Out There

Keep in mind, not every driver on the road is following all the proper safe driving rules and tips. They are just as likely to lose control or hit a patch of ice. Give yourself plenty of distance and be aware of potential dangers.

Also, before I let you go, I wanted to introduce our sister product, TruckLogics: the ultimate web-based business management software available. This program is designed specifically for the transportation industry with plans to fit the needs of fleet manager, leased owner-operators, and owner-operators alike. Sign-up for your free 15-day trial and see the difference TruckLogics can make in your trucking business.



Start My Free Trial 

No Credit Card Required & Zero Obligation




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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The CVSA Brake Inspection Blitz is Here

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The CVSA Brake Inspection Blitz is Here
This week truck inspectors are ramping up enforcement, specifically on brakes, as part of the CVSA Brake Safety Week. This year is a return to normal for the CVSA after limiting last year’s inspection to a single day.

The CVSA has stated that the majority of inspections will be full Level I inspection. However, CVSA inspectors will have a particular interest on your brake components, including loose or missing parts, defective rotor conditions, air or hydraulic fluid leaks, pushrod travel, required brake-system warning devices, and other braking system components. All vehicles with defective or out-of-adjustment brakes will be removed from service until the issue is resolved.

The CVSA has stated that 14% of trucks inspected during the one-day inspection were placed out of service for brake-related violations.

The CVSA Level 1 Inspection

The CVSA (or Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance as many of you already know) uphold the commercial vehicle safety inspections in North America. They monitor the contravention, inspection, and accident information on your carrier profile. There are many inspection types but the level 1 is the most thorough and common. Click here to review the level 1 inspection list from the CVSA website. https://cvsa.org/inspections/inspections/inspection-procedures/

Performance-Based Brake Testing (PBBT)

In addition to the North American Standard Level I Inspection,12 jurisdictions will be using performance-based brake testing (PBBT) equipment to measure your vehicle’s braking efficiency. This will measure the total brake force for your entire vehicle and then divide it by the total vehicle weight to determine the overall vehicles braking efficiency.

“The minimum braking efficiency for trucks is 43.5 percent, required by 393.52 of the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the CVSA North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria.”


-The Commerical Vehicle Safety Alliance 


Again, keep in mind that vehicles with out-of-adjustment or defective brakes will be placed out of service. So that’s a headache you can easily avoid by taking the time to work on your brakes. Also, you should continue performing your pre- and post-trip inspections. 



Be Prepared For CVSA’s Brake Safety Day

If you need to perform a little maintenance on your truck now is the time, because if you don’t pass the inspection, you will get parked! Also, please do what you can to spread awareness about brake safety to your fellow drivers to reduce the number of crashes out there.
Please share your thoughts about the CVSA’s Brake Safety Week in the comment section below and be sure to follow us on social media!




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Friday, September 14, 2018

Where Would The United States Be Without Truck Drivers?

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National Truck Driver Appreciation Week 2018 is this week September 9th -15th. ExpressTruckTax would like to thank all those within the industry for continuing to move America forward each day. However, much of the general public doesn’t realize how important truck drivers are in their lives. We tend to take our daily necessities and luxuries for granted when we don’t see the process. If truck drivers stopped working, the impact on our lives and our economy would be disastrous. So today we are answering the question of “Where Would The United States Be Without Truck Drivers?


Where Would The United States Be Without Truck Drivers?

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Take a Moment To Remember 9/11

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Take a Moment To Remember 9/11

No matter where you are and what you’re hauling today be sure to take a moment and reflect on 9/11, as today is the 17th anniversary of the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil.

We know your hearts will swell with pride today as you see people on bridges and overpasses proudly waving our American flag. Many people can remember where they were and what they were doing the moment they heard about planes striking the World Trade Center. Those memories will most likely never be forgotten.

17 years ago the nation as a whole stopped as we watched the attack on World Trade Centers in New York. However, while the attacks shattered the steel of the twin towers, they could never dent the steel of the American resolve. In a time when the U.S. is divided with anger, violence, and strife it feels appropriate that we take a moment to remember.




During the attack, 2,763 people were killed within the burning and finally collapsing towers, including 343 brave firefighters and paramedics who struggled to evacuate the building and save the individuals trapped on blocked floors.

Hold your family and friends close, no one is guaranteed tomorrow. Let us stand together today and every day knowing that the cost of freedom does not come cheap and remembering all who were lost on that tragic day.

Two beams of light will be shooting into the sky tonight where the towers originally stood as a display to show Americans that we will never forget what happened as time passes and we progress as a stronger nation.

Join us in honoring our nation and all of those who were lost that day by saving this image and sharing it with #neverforget!


Take a Moment To Remember 9/11
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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Driver Appreciation Week 2018 Gift Ideas They Will Love

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Driver Appreciation Week 2018 Gift Ideas They Will Love
If you are reading this blog, you are most likely a truck driver yourself or friend/family member of someone in the industry. You already know that truck drivers are among the hardest-working individuals, committing their life to tackle one of the toughest jobs in America. Without them, we would be unable to enjoy most of the convenient comforts we have come to expect. So, with National Driver Appreciation Week pulling up fast, you are likely looking for ways to treat yourself or honor your valued road warrior. While we can’t ever thank them enough for stocking our grocery shelves and so much more, here are a few Driver Appreciation Week 2018 gift ideas they will love.

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week Gift Ideas


1. Heavy Duty Phone Case

Working as a truck driver can be rough, and it’s a long way from the cab to the concrete. So a quality phone case is a must-have for any trucker.

2. AC/DC Power Inverter

Being able to plug in everyday appliances like a TV, microwave, or video game is essential for anyone away from home for days or even weeks at a time. Now your driver can have some of the conveniences of home while on the road.

3. Audiobooks

Sometimes you need a good book to keep you occupied while on a long haul. If your trucker is a reader, you should consider getting him or her an Audible subscription. They offer thousands of titles from any genre imaginable. There is no way your driver won’t find something to enjoy.

4. Sirius Radio Subscription

If your trucker is more of a music buff, then I would recommend a Sirius Radio subscription, because let's be honest there is nothing better than driving along with your favorite tunes. They offer several packages to choose from including sports, racing, and news. No more having to find local radio stations or constantly listen to the same old songs from their iPod.

5. Hotel Voucher

This is a great way to treat your driver, especially if they are on the road. After a long and stressful day, they get to enjoy a big bed, private shower, wifi, and cable TV.

However, you will need to do your research and consider a lot of details before choosing a hotel. This gesture can quickly turn into a nightmare for your favorite trucker.
  • Biggie: Do they allow truck parking?
  • The hotel should be a national chain or have several locations in the region in which your loved one performs their hauls.
  • Check out online reviews and the experience of fellow truckers.
  • The hotel needs to be located near a major interstate and highway.
  • Do they allow pets? (If they have a dog with them on the road)

6. Restaurant or Truck Stop Gift Card

A delicious warm meal at a nice sit-down restaurant could just be the thing to turn a rough day around. Even an ice cold drink or snack can help your driver get back on the road in higher spirits. Just remember when you are choosing a truck stop or restaurant that it should be an established chain with truck parking available.

7. Shower Duffel Bag

It might sound like a super simple gift, but your trucker will really appreciate it. Pick up a solid color duffle bag with metal zippers because it is higher quality and will last longer. Throw in a big fluffy towel, shampoo, conditioner, their favorite wash (if your trucker likes bar soap get a travel case), deodorant, toothpaste, a new toothbrush, and a pair of shower sandals.

8. Seat Cushion or Massage Insert

Trucking driving is hard on the body, and a seat cushion and/or massage cushion is perfect for relieving some of the stress. Your trucker can get a massage to ease some of the pain and soreness they get from his long days on the road.

9. Home Cooked Meal

Driver Appreciation Week 2018 Gift Ideas They Will Love
If your trucking friend or family member has a mini fridge and access to a microwave, you might consider making a delicious home cooked meal for them to take on the road. This is a great way to remind them of home when they ’re on the road. Besides, let's face it, home cooking is always better than what’s available on the road.

10. Mobile Air Purifier

Do they suffer from seasonal allergies? Get your driver a 12-volt air purifier that plugs right into the cigarette lighter. This little device will eliminate dust, odors, pollen, and smoke! This is an inexpensive and thoughtful gift that will help them on a daily basis.

ExpressTruckTax Appreciates You, Drivers!

We appreciate everyone in the trucking industry, so much so that we say thanks to drivers year round. One week isn’t enough time to acknowledge what you do.

Please share your thoughts on trucker appreciation in the comment section and click here for more trucking blogs. 



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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

So Your IRS Form 2290 Was Rejected. What's Next?

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So Your IRS Form 2290 Was Rejected. What's Next?
Your Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) IRS Form 2290 due date was Friday, August 31st. Yup, that's right; it was last Friday. This means you are on the clock and you need to file Form 2290 fast to avoid higher penalties and interest. Remember, if you filed before the deadline and it was rejected you are still subject to penalties until you file a corrected form.

Why 2290 Forms Are Commonly Rejected

So why wait? Go ahead and use ExpressTruckTax to quickly and conveniently knock out your IRS Form 2290 today. As a bonus, use the following tips about why 2290 forms are commonly rejected to get yours accepted the first time.

EIN Problems

You need an EIN or Employer Identification Number to complete your IRS Form 2290. There’s no way around it. If you use your SSN (Social Security Number) in place of your EIN when you file Form 2290, it will be rejected instantly.

Duplicated IRS Form 2290

Your rig’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) can only be filed for once during the HVUT tax period. Duplicates will be rejected, so make sure that you’re filing for the current tax period which runs from July 1st, 2018 to June 30th, 2019. If you accidentally filed for the previous tax period then that could be why your form is considered a duplicate.

You also need to make sure that you enter your VIN correctly. If it’s one character off, then your form could get rejected. If your form is rejected for this reason don’t panic, you can quickly and easily file free VIN corrections with ExpressTruckTax.

RTN Errors

You can pay the amount of HVUT you owe to the IRS through direct debit or electronic funds withdrawal, and that process involves providing your bank account number and RTN (Routing Transfer Number).

If you enter this information with as little as one character off, the IRS will not be able to debit the funds, and your form will be rejected. This is also the case if you do not have enough funds in your account to cover the full amount.

Enter your information, which can be found on one of your checks, correctly. If your form is rejected for an incorrect RTN or insufficient funds you will need to edit your form and retransmit it or choose a different payment method.


Current IRS Penalties And Interest

So Your IRS Form 2290 Was Rejected. What's Next?If you have failed to file your Form 2290 or a corrected amendment you are facing a penalty of 4.5 % of the total tax amount due. Your penalty will increase on a monthly basis for up to five months. Plus, if you failed to make your HVUT payment will also need to pay a .5% penalty per month until it is paid in full.

More importantly, you are driving with an expired Schedule 1. You need your stamped Schedule 1 to register new vehicles and to renew your tags with the DMV. Without it, you are operating illegally.

Form 2290 Filing Made Easy

If you still need to file Form 2290 click the link below to get started. ExpressTruckTax provides you a quick and convenient e-filing process for hassle-free Form 2290 filing.

If you have any questions, our dedicated bilingual support team is here for you every step of the way. We promise never to stick you with a robot or automated call system. Shocking I know! We discovered people want to talk to a real person when they call a company.

You can also send us an email at support@expresstrucktax.com for 24-hour support in both English and Spanish.


File My Form 2290 Today!





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Friday, August 31, 2018

Warning! Today is The IRS Form 2290 Due Date

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Warning! Today is The IRS Form 2290 Due Date
Did you notice that alarm going off in the back of your mind? That’s totally normal, don’t worry about it. It simply means that the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax Form 2290 deadline is here.

……..Wait, What?!......

Yup, that’s right! Today, August 31st is your IRS Form 2290 Due Date

If this news has caught you off guard I highly suggest you get a move on–– and fast! Today is the last day you can file without facing severe IRS 2290 penalties.

So, take a deep breath, relax, and sign up for your free ExpressTruckTax account. Knock out your Form 2290 online filing and receive your stamped Schedule 1 in a matter of minutes. Our 2290 filing process is quick and easy, so you don’t need to panic or feel the need to rush. Go ahead and file right now so you can get back to focusing on the road.

The HVUT Form 2290 Deadline Is Here

You need to file your Form 2290 online today or you could be subject to major penalties. For example, the penalty for failing to file by the deadline is 4.5% of the total tax due, assessed on a monthly basis for up to five months. If you file late and fail to make an HVUT payment by the deadline you’ll also face a monthly fee of .5% of the total tax you owe. Plus, an additional interest charge of .54% will also accrue.



Warning! Today is The IRS Form 2290 Due DateThat’s why it’s super important to file by the deadline. When you file with the #1 trusted name in the trucking industry, ExpressTruckTax, you will get a copy of your stamped Schedule 1 via email within minutes of filing. You can also choose to have it faxed or mailed to you.

Your stamped Schedule 1 serves as your proof of HVUT payment, so you really need it. Plus, it’s required by the DMV to register new heavy vehicles and to renew your tags. Without it, you won’t be legally operating your truck!

Enough chit chat, you know you have to file, so here’s how you do it. Sign up for your free ExpressTruckTax account and follow our easy step-by-step instructions to complete your 2290.

If you’re out on the road, you don’t need to find a computer or an IRS office to file. Simply download the ExpressTruckTax mobile app on your smartphone or tablet. This way you can file from any location from the comfort of your own cab.

Start My Form 2290 Filing Today!


The Easiest Way to File Form 2290

Looking for an even easier way to file? Our sister product, TSNAmerica, is a full-service 2290 filing solution. The process is straightforward and will take less than 5 minutes. Simply give them your information over the phone, and they will file your IRS Form 2290 on your behalf. Once they have submitted your information to the IRS, you will receive a copy of your stamped Schedule 1 via email. Their outstanding bilingual team supports filing in both English and Spanish.

TSNAmerica: 803.386.0320




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ExpressTruckTax Blog

E-file your HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.