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Monday, March 31, 2014

Deadline Reminder: Vehicles First Used In February

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Today is deadline to file IRS Form 2290 HVUT for vehicles first used in February. The amount will be prorated for just the months left in the 2013-2014 HVUT tax calendar.

What is the IRS Form 2290?
This form is used to figure and pay the tax due on a highway motor vehicle that is registered, or required to be registered, in your name under state, District of Columbia, Canadian, or Mexican law, at the time of its first use during the tax period and the vehicle has a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more.

What is required to E-file?
To e-file you need your business details - business name (sole proprietor can use their legal name) and address, Employer Identification Number (EIN), details of the authorized signatory. Please note: you must have an EIN to file Form 2290. If you do not have one yet, you can visit IRS Online EIN Application to apply for one.

You need the details of your vehicle - Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and Gross Weight of the vehicle.

If you choose to pay the IRS by direct debit, have the routing number and the account number ready. 

Once you transmit your 2290 to the IRS, you will receive your Stamped Schedule 1 within minutes. Your Stamped Schedule 1 is your receipt and proof of payments for your From 2290.

What if I can't get to a computer to e-file?
If you are on the road and unable to get to a computer, you can create an account and e-file directly from your phone using our mobile site - http://m.expresstrucktax.com 

Your tax due will be prorated based on the number of months the vehicle will have been used during the current tax year. So vehicles that were put in service during the month of February will need to file IRS Form 2290 by midnight tonight, and the tax will be based on 5 months instead of the full year.  

For more information or to get started e-filing your 2290 today, visit ExpressTruckTax.com. If you have any questions contact our US-based Express Tax Support Center located in Rock Hill, SC via phone: 704.234.6005 email: support@expresstrucktax.com. We provide support in both English and Spanish.
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

ThrowBack Thursday: Mid America Trucking Show

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Happy Thursday Trucking Nation!
This is a very special day - it is the official kick off of the 43rd Annual Mid-America Trucking Show. ExpressTruckTax,  with sister products TSNA and (launching today) TruckLogics, have the proud honor of representing the best online services for truckers and trucking companies at the show.
Now, no Thursday would be complete without a proper throwback and we are going to do it Mid-America style - all the way back to 1972...

The Mid-America Trucking Show began in the early 1970's, when a private management group was formed by Paul K. Young, to create the largest and most diversified trucking show in the United States of America. The first Mid-America Trucking Show was held in 1972 with 83 Exhibitors and 4000 visitors in attendance. The show occupied a portion of the West Wing of the original Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center

The 1st Mid America Trucking Show in 1972
From it's humble beginnings in 1972 the Mid-America Trucking Show has grown to be the largest annual heavy-duty trucking event in the world. MATS is more than a trade show. It is the annual forum for the heavy-duty trucking industry, providing face-to-face interaction between industry representatives and trucking professionals. Attendees can network with Fortune 500 companies and media outlets from around the world go to MATS to report on the business of trucking, and where trucking business gets done.

ExpressTruckTax will be at the show through the 29th. If you are going to MATS, make a pit stop by our booth # 72144 we love meeting our customers in person and getting great feedback. Stay tuned for more on the Mid America Trucking Show and follow our Facebook: ExpressTruckTax and Twitter: @expresstrucktax for updates throughout the show.

By Misty Bingham
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Trucking Technology: What's new for the tech savvy trucker?

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New Bluetooth options, GPS gadgets, and infrared faulty break detectors - Oh My! We are in a technology driven world and many companies are pulling out all the stops to keep up with the trucking industry. Now even if you are not the best tech wrangler, these new gadgets are super user friendly and provide a great bang for your hard earned buck.

New Bluetooth Options
Who doesn't love Bluetooth. Since hand-held cell phone use by commercial drivers has been banned, Bluetooth turned into a great option for drivers who need to stay connected. There is a Bluetooth for everyone and here are some of the latest and greatest options:

Aliph Jawbone Era - It's the first Bluetooth headset with an accelerometer and dedicated applications processor, which could turn into anything from a game controller to a pedometer, or a navigation unit. -Crazy what they can come up with, uh? - Reviews do show mixed results on sound quality, so that is something to look into before purchasing, but it is a nifty little gizmo that has a wide rage of usage.



Plantronics Voyager Legend - If you don't mind a bigger headset - which usually stay in place better - the Voyager Legend is a great option to consider. It is an evolution on an award-winning design that works well for commercial drivers because it has amazing sound quality. Reviews have been extremely positive on the sound quality and people love the magnetic charging connector to help save battery life. This latest model features improved hardware controls that are really easy to find and use.



Motorola Roadster 2 - First - Love the name, really appeals to the inner racer in us all. This option is great if you do not want a flashing Bluetooth in your ear. It is a hands-free device - always a good option when on the road - that clips right to the visor of your truck. It has a FM transmitter that allows you to broadcast calls, music, and apps to your stereo speakers. The sound quality is very clear and this Bluetooth received high rating for ease of use.


New GPS Option
Rand McNally has released their 3rd generation Truck GPS - Rand McNally TND 720 LM IntelliRoute. This new updated version was created via driver request. The 720 allows you to input your truck specific information to help ease the driving. It comes with a few Wi-Fi connected services with no subscription costs - weather, fuel prices, and local search. Some of the truck-friendly features include:
Route comparisons - there is almost always more than 1 way to somewhere and the route comparison allows you to weigh your options.

Lifetime Maps

Millions of Points of Interests

State Mileage and Fuel Logs - Great for IFTA

Driving Timers

Now what was that you said about Infrared Faulty-Brake Detection?
The Washington State Police and the Washington DOT have launched a program that detects faulty brakes on trucks through the use of infrared technology. Here's how it works:
Trucks drive over embedded cameras at the DuPont, Washington weigh station. The cameras use thermography to assess the condition of the breaks. If the brakes are working, a red color is indicated on the controller's computer screen. If the brakes are not good, a blue color is indicated.
Washington is the only state to utilize this brake-checking technology.

Technology will never stop improving and the right technology is an invaluable asset to the trucking industry. Bluetooth is great when needing to stay in constant communication, just remember to keep distractions to a minimum so you are safer on the road. For GPS updates, we are always looking for the latest and greatest, one of the big features we will be looking out for is automatic IFTA uploads -wouldn't that simplify your IFTA return. And if you are ever in Washington state and hit the DuPont weigh station, your truck is being scanned by the most innovative brake checking technology. Stay safe out there, over and out.
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Trucking Industry: Ryder Partners With Women In Trucking Association

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 It’s the first day of Spring
so let your engines sing
roll your windows down
and feel the breeze as you drive through town
the days are finally bright
bringing the flowers in the median to light
take in all the open road’s amazing view
Spring has sprung just for you





Happy Thursday to the entire Trucking Nation - it is officially Spring. Some places may still be feeling the cold shoulder of nature, but do not fret warmer weather is on its way.

There is a lot going on in the trucking industry for Spring, but Women In Trucking Association is making a big impact.

Ryder is introducing female-friendly trucks to its fleet based on recommendations from Women in Trucking (WIT), to encourage more women drivers to join the ranks of fellow truckers. It isn’t new that there is a driver shortage within the trucking industry and more and more women drivers are taking to the road.

Scott Perry - VP, Purchasing and Supply Management of Ryder System, Inc.- says, “It’s important for manufacturers to take women’s needs into consideration when designing and specifying new vehicles, and we are encouraging all of our major suppliers to do so.”

What is to be considered when designing and specifying new vehicles with women’s needs?
WIT and Dr. Jeanette Kersten - Assistant Professor of Operations and Management Department for the College of Management at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin - whew how do they fit that title on a business card, anyway...

The study Dr. Kersten and her graduate students developed explains, that the average female driver is six inches shorter and 50 lbs lighter than the average male driver, so some female drivers have challenges with setting their seats for easy access to the pedals, maximum visibility of the gauges and mirrors and with regard to cab accessibility, such as getting into their trucks. According to their study, women are more prone to slips, trips and falls because steps and handrails are placed in locations designed for men. Changing handrail placements and adjusting the seat settings are simple design specifications truck manufacturers can implement to create a safer environment for women in trucking.

Scott Perry says, “ Many of the same design changes will also support the needs of men who are smaller in stature, as well as the growing population of aged male drivers. With the current industry-wide shortage of professional drivers, this is a strategic initiative that can have far-reaching implications for truck fleets.”

To sum it up...
Ellen Voie, CEO of Women In Trucking provides the perfect words to sum up what Ryder is trying to accomplish, and hopefully more truck manufacturers will follow, “There are close to 200,000 women truck drivers, and that number is steadily growing. Having Ryder’s support, particularly given their strong relationships with top vehicle manufacturers, represents a significant step forward to help the industry attract more female drivers and improve the work environment for the thousands of women who’ve already established careers as professional drivers.”



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Monday, March 17, 2014

Tax Deadline: Today Is The Deadline To File Business Tax Return or File For An Extension

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Reminder for all business owners: The Business Tax Filing deadline is Today at midnight according to your time zone. If you need more time to file your business tax return with the IRS, you can extend your filing deadline up to 5 or 6 months by filing a Business Tax Extension through our sister product, ExpressExtension.com

ExpressExtension.com is a leading IRS authorized e-file provider that offers secure and convenient e-filing of Business Tax Extension Form 7004, and Personal Tax Extension Form 4868.

More About Form 7004:
Form 7004 - “Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns,” will automatically extend the filing deadline for 32 different IRS returns. The IRS typically grants automatic extensions of five (5) or six (6) months, depending on the return for which the extension is filed.
Please note: IRS Form 7004 does not extend the time for payment of taxes, it’s only an extension to file your return. Generally, payment of any estimated taxes is due at the time of filing the extension. Do not let the deadline sneak up on you, file your extension today!
Who Is Form 7004 for?
The Business Tax Extension Form 7004 can be used by:
Multi-Member LLCs
C-Corporations,
S-Corporations
Partnerships
Trusts & Estates
What is needed to file Form 7004?
All you will need to file your Form 7004 is: the business name, address, and Tax-ID/EIN. Make sure your information matches what the IRS has on record. You can verify your information with them by calling 1.800.829.4933

With its streamlined design and user-friendly interface, ExpressExtension will walk you through each step of the process in less than 10 minutes. Everything is spelled out in easy to read instructions, not confusing tax jargon. However, should you have any questions about E-Filing Tax Extensions, you can call, email or chat online with the Express Tax Support Center in Rock Hill, SC at 803-514-5155
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Thursday, March 13, 2014

CARB: Proposed Amendments To Truck & Bus Emissions Regulations for California

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CARB ( California Air Resource Board) announced proposed amendments to its Truck and Bus Regulation. CARB says the proposed amendments provide drivers who are trying to company with the emissions regulations with some flexibility while still giving consideration to the 'important emission benefits the regulation provides.'

The amendments were proposed after stakeholders and, more importantly, truck drivers voiced concerns about their ability to comply with regulations.

ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols said, "The trucking community spoke and we listened. The good news is that we will not have to sacrifice the state's air quality goals to assist fleet owners. These amendments, which include more flexible deadlines and increased opportunities to access incentive funding, will further our emissions reduction goals by better ensuring that fleets can meet the requirements of the regulation."

Many predicted, and were sadly correct, the cost of compliance would put many small California carriers out of business and prevent non-compliant out-of-state trucks from entering the state.

The California Resource Board will discuss the proposed amendments at the April 24 Hearing.


What are the proposed changes?
  • A longer phase-in period for diesel particulate matter (PM) requirements for trucks that operate exclusively in certain rural areas with cleaner air;
  • Additional time and a lower cost route for all small fleet owners to meet their PM compliance requirements, while reopening opportunities for these fleet owners to apply for and receive public incentive funding;
  • A compliance route for owners currently unable to qualify for a loan to finance required upgrades;
  • Adjusted schedules for low-use vehicles and certain work trucks;
  • Recognition of fleet owners who took action to comply by providing additional "useable life" for retrofit trucks and reducing near-term compliance requirements.
What will happen if it is approved?
If the board approves the amendments, carriers and owner/operators who have already made investments to their trucks will be provided with additional benefits. The proposed amendments provide flexibility to small fleets, lower mileage fleets, and fleets from areas that are also working for cleaner air.

ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols responded, "We recognize the huge investments that many business owners have already made in order to meet the requirements of the Truck and Bus Regulation. Their efforts have gone a long way toward helping us to meet our mandatory deadlines and we applaud them for what they have accomplished."

Overall these amendments would also ensure that, by 2020, the annual emission reductions would be at the same level as the existing regulation.

We will keep you posted on any new developments of the California Truck and Bus Emissions Regulations, for more information visit - Proposed Amendments to the Truck and Bus Regulation

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Monday, March 10, 2014

How To Keep Your Form 2290 From Being Rejected By The IRS

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The IRS may reject a return for various reasons, but there are 4 main reasons we at ExpressTruckTax run into.

1. Business Name or EIN does not match what the IRS has on file.

The Business Name and EIN must match exactly what the IRS has on file. For most owner-operators, your name will be your Business Name because that is what is on your title – it just makes it easier. The IRS no longer accepts social security numbers as an EIN. If you have forgotten what business name or ein that is registered with the IRS, you can call their EIN hotline to find out. Just dial 1-800-829-4933. If you do not have an EIN, you can easily apply for one online at www.irs.gov/businesses/small.

2. Duplicate filing

The IRS will only accept one filing for a specific truck, meaning, you can’t file twice for one vehicle. When filing through ExpressTruckTax, you can see what trucks you have filed for already on your Dashboard page. It is best to call the IRS Excise Tax Hotline if you get this error message – the number is 1-866-699-4096.

3. Bank Routing number is incorrect

It happens, where you put in a wrong number for your Bank Routing information. The best thing to do is call your bank and make sure you have the correct routing number and compare it to the number you entered into the payment information. You can log into your ExpressTruckTax account an double check the payment information you entered.

4. EIN has not registered in the IRS system yet.


If you get a brand new EIN, it takes up to 10 business days to register in the IRS system before you can file. You will get an error message that says your EIN does not match what the IRS has in their system, but that is because it has not been entered into their records yet.

Before you begin filing your Form 2290 HVUT make sure to have all the correct business information. If you choose to pay by Electronic Funds Withdraw, where the IRS payment comes directly out of your bank account, make sure you have the correct routing and account number.

For more information on EIN check out our other posts:

EIN is Required to File Form 2290

EIN – What is it and How Can You Get One?
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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Theft Prevention: Keeping Your Truck And Trailer Safe

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Vehicle thieves love to get their sticky fingers on commercial trucks and trailers. When they are stolen, you or your company experience revenue loss, higher insurance premiums, parts shortages, business interruptions, angry customers, and workers' comp claims. The main concern is if a truck or trailer is violently hijacked, an operator may be traumatized, injured, or worse. We know you take precautions to avoid theft, but are you taking all the right ones?

Here are a few preventative measures to help protect you against theft while your out on the open road.
 Follow Routine Safety Measures
    • Put the most valuable cargo in the front of the trailer to make it less accessible to thieves.
    • Use cargo locking doors and keep them locked.
    • Do not permit unauthorized passengers, such as hitchhikers, to enter the vehicle.
    • Park in an attended lot. If this is not possible, park in a well-lighted, fenced lot that is visible from the street.
    • Do not leave spare keys in or under the vehicle.
    • Do not put a tag on the key-ring that directly identifies the vehicle. A criminal could use this to steal the vehicle.
    • Do not leave the windows open when the truck is unattended.
    • King-pin locks should be used on parked trailers. These are sleeves that are placed on a trailer's king-pin, then secured when it is not attached to a truck.
 Install Warning And Anti-theft Devices.
    • These include alarms and wheel locks.
    • Some thieves will be discouraged by such devices.
    • These will only slow a determined thief down. It is best to use other means of theft prevention as well.
Install Immobilizing Devices
    • These disable vital automotive functions and prevent the engine from being restarted until a hidden switch is activated.
    • These should be used along with the other mentioned security tips, as a disabled vehicle can still be towed away.
Install Tracking Devices
    • Global Positioning System (GPS) devices are commonly used to track the locations of trucks and trailers. Low Jack that semi and a thief won't get far.
 Beware of Stranger Danger
    • Always drive with the doors locked. (unless your an Ice Road Trucker and might need to bail out if your truck goes through the ice)
    • Choose restaurants and rest areas that are in well-lighted, commonly traveled areas.
    • Be cautious when a stranger flags you down or asks you for directions.
    • Keep a radio or mobile phone handy to offer help without getting out of the vehicle.
 Always be aware of your surroundings and follow routine safety measures. Try to keep these safety tips in mind when your out on the road and keep your truck and trailer safe from theft.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Form 2290: Filing For Vehicle First Used In February 2014

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Did You Put Your Truck In Service During February 2014? 
If your truck was first used in February 2014, you will need to file a Form 2290 HVUT by March 31st. When a new vehicle is placed into service, the Form 2290 must be filed by the last day of the following month. Filing a 2290 is simple and you receive your Schedule 1 back in a matter of minutes when using ExpressTruckTax.

If you are new to filing the 2290 HVUT, here is a little information to help you out:

What is a 2290 HVUT?
The 2290 is an annual federal highway use tax paid to the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on vehicle operating on public highways at a gross weight of 55,000 lbs and greater. The federal government distributes revenues back to the states for highway construction and maintenance projects.

Do I pay for the entire year if my first used month was February 2014?
No, your tax will be prorated based on the number of months the vehicle will have been used during the tax year. If a vehicle was used during any part of a month, the tax will be calculated for that month as a whole. For example, if a vehicle was used on February 27th, it will be taxed as though it was used the entire month, regardless of the fact it was only used for a couple of days, and the tax will be based on 5 months, instead of the full year.

Filing your 2290 with ExpressTruckTax only takes a few minutes and you can also file from our mobile site - m.expresstrucktax.com - if you can’t get to a computer, all you will need is:
  • Some basic business information
  • EIN – employee identification number 
  • VIN 
  • Gross Weight of your vehicle – this is the weight of your truck plus a fully loaded trailer, for most semi-trucks this is 80,000 lbs.
Then all you will need to do is follow the steps to transmit your return to the IRS and you will receive your Stamped Schedule 1 in just minutes. If you have any questions about filing your 2290 just give our Express Truck Tax Support team, located in Rock Hill, SC a call at 704-234-6005. We have Spanish Support too!
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ExpressTruckTax Blog

E-file your HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.