ExpressTruckTax
704.234.6005

ExpressTruckTax Blog

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year, Trucking Nation!

0

Happy New Year from the ExpressTruckTax Team!

We hope you have the chance to ring in the New Year with a *BANG*! We definitely plan to! That's why our offices will be closed Thursday and Friday, so we can spend time with friends and family. But don't worryif you need us, we'll still be available for 24/7 emergency assistance via email at support@expresstrucktax.com.

Made a Resolution Yet?

New Years is one of my favorite times of year. It's a time to look to the horizon and think positive, hopeful thoughts. For better or worse, 2014 is behind us, and 2015 is a New Beginning with new chances each day to improve yourself, your relationships, your careeror just about anything else that needs a little polishing in your life.

What's your resolution? If you're looking to streamline your trucking business and have more time for what's truly important, then we have a couple solutions worth checking out.

  • TruckLogics: Hooray! An affordable, all-in-one business management program! No matter the size of your trucking business, drivers and fleet managers alike will fall in love with TruckLogics line-up of exclusive features. And because it's cloud-based and comes with a free app, you can access your information from any device, any where, any time. Sign up for a free trial with promo code NEW. For friends of ExpressTruckTax only. (Yes, we've got connections.)
  • ExpressIFTA: Hands down, the fastest and easiest way to prepare your own quarterly IFTA returns! ExpressIFTA calculates the taxes due for you and completes the form appropriate for your state. You can even bulk upload data from a GPS system for even more instant gratification! It'll have you dancing with joy at least 4 times a year...
  • Truck Services of North America: For those times when you're just too busy to conquer that mountain of paperwork on your desk! A premier processing agency (and good friend of the ExpressTruckTax team), TSNAmerica is the fastest, easiest way to maintain your authority without lifting a finger. From filing renewals to preparing quarterly IFTA returns, Truck Services of North America has a time-saving solution for your business. Check them out, I'm sure they'll be your new best friend too!
And don't forget, we provide the easiest way to E-file your Form 2290, 2290 Amendments, & Form 8849, all for the best value in the industry!

Let us, and our awesome friends, help you grab 2015 by the reigns and make it THE BEST year you could possibly dream of. After all, trucking is already a full-time job; your paperwork shouldn't be your second one. 

Happy New Year! Cheers!

Read More »

Monday, December 29, 2014

Am I Required to File HVUT? Form 2290 Exempt Vehicles

0

Am I required to file a Form 2290?

A simple “yes” or “no” answer would be nice, right?

But when dealing with the IRS, you know it can’t possibly be that simple. Reading (more like decoding) the IRS requirements for filing heavy vehicle use tax can be a massive chore– and quite frankly, how can you have your head in the game when your brain is still stuck in holiday mode? 

IRS guidelines and leftover sugar cookies just don’t go together.

So put the down IRS Form 2290 instructions, and back away slowly. Go get a cup of hot cocoa instead, and read this blog for the answers!



Let’s break it down in layman’s terms. In general, the IRS requires these vehicles to file Form 2290 annually:
  • Vehicles that are self-propelled and designed to carry loads on public highways(among other functions)
  • weighing 55,000 pounds or more and
  • that travel at least 5,000 miles on public highways during the tax year (7,500 miles for agricultural vehicles).
Trucks, truck tractors, and buses can all fall under this category. But what if you have a heavy vehicle that was built for another purpose?


Certain vehicles, regardless of their weight or travel on public highways, are not considered “taxable highway vehicles,” and therefore, they are not required to file.

Here are three types of vehicles not required to file HVUT:


  • 1. The vehicle is used solely to transport machinery.
    a.
    If the machinery is permanently mounted to the chassis and this machinery makes it impossible to carry loads, then the vehicle is not required to file.
    b. Examples include vehicles with construction, manufacturing, drilling, mining, lumbering, and farming equipment permanently attached to the chassis. 
  • 2. The vehicle was not designed for highway use.
    a.
    Although this type of exempt vehicle may be used to transport loads, it cannot travel on public highways due to speed restrictions or other safety restrictions placed on that vehicle type by the manufacturer. 
  • 3. The vehicle was designed as a shelter.
    a.
    This includes trailers or semi-trailers that function as stationary shelters on off-highway sites.
    b. For example, a trailer that functions solely as a mobile office is not considered a taxable highway vehicle.

Does your vehicle fit into one of these three categories? If so, then congratulations! You won’t need to file heavy vehicle use tax!

If you’re unsure of the status of your heavy vehicle, call our support heroes. They’ll help you determine whether you need to E-File Form 2290, and if you do, they’ll walk you through the process!

Call them at 704.234.6005 or email them for 24/7 assistance at support@expresstrucktax.com. One of our bi-lingual, ultra-talented, and patient support pro’s is ready to answer your questions and put your mind at ease.

Curious about Taxable Vehicles?


Read More »

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas from the ExpressTruckTax Family!

0

Season's Greetings from the ExpressTruckTax family! No matter where you're truckin' this holiday season, we hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

Many of our Support Heroes will be leaving our small town of Rock Hill to visit friends and family this week. Maybe we'll see you out on the road! Wherever you go, we hope you have safe travels, lovely weather, and a warm and wonderful holiday!

To give our support heroes time with family, our offices will be closed Thursday 12/25 & Friday 12/26, but we will still be providing emergency email support Thursday through Sunday. Just shoot us a message at support@expresstrucktax.com, and someone will get back to you before you can remember the names of Santa's Eight Reindeer.

And don't forget that the IRS MeF (Modernized E-File System) will be closing for maintenance from this Friday, December 26th at 1:30 pm EST until January 9th. During the maintenance, you will still be able to E-file with ExpressTruckTax, but your returns will be held in our system until the IRS site reopens.

To learn more about how the shutdown could affect you, check out yesterday's blog: Last Call for E-Filers


Need help with HVUT or IFTA? 

If the holiday chaos is making it impossible to get all of your work done, call our friends over at Truck Services of North America. As a premier processing agency, they can file all of your taxes, registrations, or renewals for you, and fast too! Just call 803.386.0320 or email support@tsnamerica.com.

Read More »

Monday, December 22, 2014

Last Call for E-Filers: IRS Scheduled Maintenance Starts Friday 12/26

0



We’ve got breaking news, Trucking Nation, straight from the IRS!

At the end of each year, the IRS typically shuts down the MEF (Modernized E-file System) for maintenance. This is the online system through which we submit all IRS Forms filed through ExpressTruckTax.

Well they’ve just confirmed that as of this Friday, December 26th at 1:30 pm the IRS MEF will in fact be blacked out for maintenance and is scheduled to reopen around January 9, 2015.


So, most importantly, how does this affect you and any return you attempt to E-file?



  • If you use ExpressTruckTax, you will still be able to E-file and submit a return. Our system will hold the return and submit it the second the MEF reopens on the 9th.
  • During this maintenance, you will not able to receive confirmation of your submission from the IRS, nor will you receive a stamped Schedule 1 for the return until after the system reopens.
  • If your first-used month is November 2014, then you must submit your return by 1:30 this Friday to be considered on time.

    Although the due date is technically December 31st for those whose first-used month is November, the IRS will not be time-stamping returns submitted during the blackout, and therefore, your submission will only be considered on-time if it’s submitted prior to the maintenance. 

If for any reason you need your return time-stamped before January 9th, or if you need your stamped Schedule 1 before then, then it’s time to start E-filing!

Just be sure to submit your return before Friday afternoon, and you’ll be in good shape!

If you have questions or need any help getting your HVUT E-filed this week, then you’re in luck! We offer 24/7 USA-based support in three languages! Even on Christmas day, we will still be offering emergency email support at support@expresstrucktax.com.

Based in the small town of Rock Hill, SC, you’re always guaranteed service with a smile, plenty of industry expertise, and of course, a dash of charm! Call us to get started E-filing now at 704.234.6005 or fire us a message on live chat!

Need to E-File Fast?

Check out these 10 Last Minute E-filing Hacks to get it done lightening fast!


Read More »

Thursday, December 18, 2014

12 Amazing Last-Minute Gifts for the Trucker in Your Life

0

With just 7 days left until Christmas, it’s time to frantically begin the annual tradition of last-minute gift shopping! 

Thankfully, online shopping with expedited shipping makes it possible to get great gifts just in time for St. Nick to nestle them under the tree! 

If you’ve been struggling to find the perfect gift for the trucker in your life, then look no further! 

The ExpressTruckTax Support Team has created a list of 12 gifts for truckers, and with prices ranging from $10 to $170 tops, you can snag some great gifts without breaking your piggy bank!

Best of all, you can conveniently order them all on Amazon! Let’s get shopping!



Stocking Stuffers

The age-old stocking stuffer staples like candy and gift cards are nice, but these cool little gadgets are both practical and fun, and definitely unexpected!




This nifty little appliance is not only cute (who doesn’t love coffee!), but it’s design allows it to conveniently fit into the cup holder, right next to your trucker or truckette! For $20 bucks, this little cup will charge phones, GPS, MP3 players, or any other small appliance. And for another $10, you can upgrade to the model with a USB charging port too.







Coming in around $80, these HaberVision polarized sunglasses could just as easily be a main gift. The Rolls Royce of glasses, these shades are durable, stylish, and polarized–perfect for reducing glare from the road or other cars!







3. Cupholder Swivel Tray

Who knew an entire meal could fit into a cup holder? Apparently, the designer of this tray did. Simply pop the base into the cupholder, and enjoy the swivel tray conveniently attached to the arm. Perfect for holding meals-on-the-go, or other essentials like phones, keys, and wallets. And amazingly, it’s only $13– Score!







Perfect for OTR truckers who have to haul their toiletries from shower-to-shower each day. This bag will hold clean towels and robes, along with toothbrushes, first-aid items, and anything else your trucking dude or dudette needs to stay so fresh and so clean. 

As a bonus gift, stock this puppy with some nice-smelling sudsy treats! 




Tech Gadgets

With gifts starting at $25, you don’t have to be loaded to get your tech-loving trucker a shiny new gadget.



Tablets are an invaluable gift for truckers, and can be used for both business and pleasure! Between streaming movies & TV, and Skyping with the family, your friend will never have a dull moment!

And on the business side, your trucker can conveniently use this tablet to manage their business and keep up with trip sheets using a program like TruckLogics, or they can even E-file their HVUT using the ExpressTruckTax app for iOS & Android! 

Oh, and did I mention that this tablet comes with FREE 4G for life? So they don’t even need a W-Fi connection to use it! Not bad for $150. Not bad at all...






6. Gaming Consoles

If your trucker has a TV, then this is the perfect gadget to accompany it! For $175, the XBox 360 will not only provide hours of gaming entertainment, but it will also double as a DVD player and as a way to stream YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu Plus. 









7. Linxup Vehicle Tracker

An incredibly practical and time-saving gift, sure to make your trucker smile at least 4 times a year! That’s because this $60 GPS/Mileage tracker will log mileage according to IFTA standards. And this data can then be uploaded into completed quarterly IFTA reports using a program like ExpressIFTA. Your trucker is sure to appreciate the convenience of not having to type up trip sheets manually!







8. Bluetooth Headset

For $25, this bluetooth headset pairs with the latest smartphones without a hitch, and with a noise cancelling microphone, you’ll be able to hear the voice of your beloved loud and clear! 10-4!




Home Sweet Home

Truckers have to sacrifice a lot while living on the road to bring us our creature comforts. The least we can do is make sure they have comforts of their own! Make the cab feel more like home with these four gifts!




9. Koolatron Compact Cooler 

When you have a cooler stocked with “real” food, your trucking bud will hopefully be less tempted to eat fast food. It may be a $110 investment, but look at this handy compact cooler as a gift of convenience, and a step toward increased wellness!








10. Electric Blanket

With anti-idling laws, temperature control in a truck can be a challenge. Keep your trucker or truckette nice and toasty this winter with a soft, flannel heated blanket! Quite the bargain at $25!






11. Gel Seat Cushion

Durable and portable, this gel cushion is sure to help alleviate the pesky back pain that truckers are accustomed to. Designed just for truckers, this cushion also has a non-skid bottom, so it’s sure to stay put when your trucker is bouncing down the highway.







12. RoadPro Appliances: Coffee Maker

What person doesn’t love a fresh, hot cup of coffee on demand? I sure do! This convenient little appliance from Roadpro is quite the deal for $20! It not only brews 2 cups of coffee fast, it also brews it straight into a stainless steel travel mug, so you can get to the caffeine quicker! Now if only it could brew directly into my mouth...




BONUS ITEM!

Our ExpressTruckTax Support Hero, Patti, is married to a trucker, Oscar. His favorite Christmas gift? A Magical Grab-Bag filled with everyday essentials. Whether it’s soap, pencils, loose change, dental floss, first-aid supplies, or even snacks, Oscar says this magic bag always has exactly the thing he’s looking for when he’s on the road and in a bind. 


Hung in a stocking or nestled beneath the tree, any one of these 12 (okay, 13) practical, thoughtful gifts is guaranteed to make a trucker smile with childlike glee. And they’ll never know you waited until the last minute either! Now what are you waiting for, start ordering those gifts!

Read More »

Monday, December 15, 2014

Form 2290 Taxable Vehicles: What is an Agricultural Vehicle?

0
If our Support Heroes had a nickel for every time they heard this question, they’d all be flying private jets right now!

And that question is: Can I file my vehicle as an agricultural vehicle?

Depending on your vehicle type and how you use it, the tax rates and filing requirements vary. This is just one reason why it’s so important to categorize your taxable vehicle correctly when filing your HVUT Form 2290.

We recently discussed the different requirements for logging vehicles, which are vehicles used solely for the transport of forested materials. Logging vehicles are taxed at a lower rate than typical heavy vehicles, so if you drive a logging truck, be sure the check “used for logging” to be taxed at the lower rate!

Another type of taxable vehicle with special requirements is the agricultural vehicle.


Agricultural Vehicles & Higher Mileage Limits


Vehicles typically required to file HVUT are those with a taxable gross weight over 55,000 lbs and that travel over 5,000 miles on public highways throughout the tax period.

BUT to give farmers a break, the IRS made the requirements a bit more lenient for vehicles used in agriculture. Agricultural vehicles, regardless of their weight, are allowed to drive up to 7,500 miles on public highways each year before having to pay any tax at all!

Just to clarify, this does not mean that you don’t have to file HVUT at all. If your gross vehicle weight is over 55,000 pounds, you must still file HVUT and receive a stamped Schedule 1. However, if your agricultural vehicle will drive fewer than 7,500 miles throughout the tax year, you will owe zero tax when you file! This is known as filing a Category W or a Suspended/Low Mileage Vehicle.


Does My Vehicle Qualify as an Agricultural Vehicle?


To ensure that your vehicle qualifies as an “agricultural” vehicle according to IRS standards, here are the two requirements your vehicle must meet:

  • 1. The vehicle is used primarily for farming purposes throughout the tax year. But what does the IRS consider “primarily for farming purposes”? It’s actually quite simple. More than half of the vehicle’s total mileage for the year must be used for farming purposes.

    And a farming purpose, according to the IRS, is any activity that contributes to the conduct of a farm. This can include activities such as transporting goods to and from a farm (goods like livestock, produce, animal feed, fertilizer, etc), direct use in agricultural production, or just performing work around the farm like repairing fences, building irrigation ditches, clearing land, etc. 
-AND-
  • 2. The vehicle is registered as an agricultural vehicle in your state. Although your vehicle must be registered as such, no special license plates or tags marked “agriculture” are required to maintain your status as an agricultural vehicle.
If your vehicle meets both of these requirements above, then you can file as an agricultural vehicle with a higher mileage limit! Woo hoo!

To file as a suspended agriculture vehicle, skip the first “Taxable Vehicle” section of the 2290, and instead enter your vehicle’s information under the “Low Mileage/Suspended Vehicle” section. And be sure you check the box “Used for Agriculture.”





Exceeding the Mileage Limit

Occasionally, agriculture vehicles will be filed as Suspended (Category W) at the beginning of the tax period, but then exceed the 7,500 mile limit during the year.

If your vehicle goes over, you must file a Form 2290 Amendment for a Mileage Increase. The amendment is due by the end of the month following the month in which you exceeded the limit. This means that if you went over 7,500 in January, then the amendment must be filed by the last day of February.

When filing the mileage increase amendment, the IRS will prorate your HVUT for the remaining months of the tax year (which runs from July 1st to June 30th each year). This means that even though you will owe some tax, it will not be the full amount you would’ve owed if you had filed as a non-suspended vehicle initially. Hooray, for lower tax!


Year-Round Support for Farmers!


If anyone deserves a break, it’s farmers! That’s why we’re always here to assist you 24/7, 365. At this time of year, we’re getting plenty of calls from farmers trying to renew their tags, but suddenly realizing they need a stamped Schedule 1 to do so! Luckily, they’ve come to the right place!

E-filing with ExpressTruckTax is the fastest and easiest way to receive your stamped Schedule 1. You can even get it after business hours or on the weekend! (If you elect to pay the IRS by check or money order.)

If you have questions about E-filing your Form 2290 with a Suspended Vehicle or questions about E-filing a Form 2290 Amendment for exceeding the mileage limit, call our Support Heroes! They’re available at 704.234.6005 or for 24/7 assistance, email support@expresstrucktax.com.

Read More »

Friday, December 12, 2014

Form 2290 Taxable Vehicles: What is a Logging Vehicle?

0

What is considered a logging vehicle?


It’s a question our Support Heroes get quite often. That’s because when filing your IRS Form 2290, you will be asked to indicate whether any of your taxable vehicles are used for logging.

Some confuse the term “logging vehicle” with any vehicle that tracks (logs) mileage or fuel. For the purposes of Form 2290, however, logging vehicle refers only to vehicles used to haul...well...logs!– as in wood or other products from the forest.

How you answer this question is important because logging vehicles are taxed at reduced rates.

To ensure you’re paying the correct tax, check if your logging vehicle fits the IRS criteria below:

  • 1. The vehicle is used exclusively to transport materials harvested from a forested site, OR the vehicle is used exclusively to transport harvested materials from one forested site to another forested site. If your vehicle runs between forested sites, it can use public highways in between those sites and still be considered a logging vehicle. 
-AND-
  • 2. The vehicle is registered in your base state (or any other states in which it is required to be registered) as a highway motor vehicle used exclusively for the transport of harvested materials from a forested site. Although the truck must be registered as a “logging vehicle” in your state, no special tag or license plate is required to identify the vehicle as a logging vehicle.

So the vehicle must be registered as a logging vehicle, and it must be used to transport harvested forest materials only– but what does the IRS consider “harvested material”?

According to IRS guidelines, harvested products can include any raw timber taken from a forest, OR any timber that has been processed on the forested site for commercial processes, meaning the timber has already been sawed into lumber, chipped, or milled in some way.

If your vehicle fits these guidelines, then be sure to check the box “Used for Logging” when completing your Form 2290 to reap the rewards of a lower tax rate!



If you have questions about the status of your taxable vehicle, ask our Support Heroes! They know all of the IRS guidelines for logging, agriculture, exempt, suspended vehicles, and more! They provide truck tax support 24/7, 365, so you can always trust them to steer you in the right direction! 

Call them now at our headquarters in Rock Hill, SC, at 704.234.6005 or email them at support@expresstrucktax.com for ‘round the clock assistance.


Have a taxable vehicle used for agriculture?


Read More »

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Creating an ExpressTruckTax Account: A Quick Guide for New Users

0
A new year is coming! Why not start it out right by E-filing your HVUT and IFTA with the easiest-to-use, most affordable E-filing program in the biz!

ExpressTruckTax is the fastest and most secure way to E-file for several truck taxes, including IRS Form 2290, 2290 Amendments, and Form 8849 for credits. If you've been paper filing, don't be scared about the transition! It only takes a few minutes to set-up your account, and you'll hit the ground running immediately. 


Becoming an ExpressTruckTax user is definitely a New Years' Resolution that'll be easy to keep. And I can guarantee, you won't miss that messy paper filing!

What you’ll need to get started E-filing:
  • A computer, tablet, or smartphone with an internet connection (no paper or calculators required!)
  • Business name & address
  • EIN
  • VIN
  • Gross Vehicle Weight
Once you’ve gathered your documents, you’re ready to roll. Just head over to the New User section and create your free account in just minutes.


Step 1: Create an Account

  • Enter your name, phone number, email address, and a password of your choosing. Then choose whether you’d like to see the site in English or Spanish. 
  • OR to make account creation even faster, simply choose to login with your Facebook or Google + account. Just click on the icon at the top of the login page, then choose to allow ExpressTruckTax to have access to your account.
  • After successfully creating a login, you’ll be prompted to watch a quick orientation video. (Or you can skip it, up to you.) Just click the green “Begin” button to embark on your E-filing journey.



Step 2: Enter Business Details

  • Choose your business type from the dropdown menu. Select from LLC, corporation, sole proprietorship, etc.
  • Enter your legal business name exactly as the IRS has it on record. The business name must match the EIN record; otherwise, your return will be rejected.
  • Next enter your DBA (Doing Business As) name. Only enter if it’s different from the legal name registered with the IRS.
  • Here’s the big one. The EIN. The Employer Identification Number is required by the IRS for filing excise taxes. If you have a new EIN, it’s imperative that you wait at least 10 business days from the date it was issued. It takes the IRS a little while to register your new EIN in the E-filing system. Before that happens, your return may be rejected for an unrecognizable EIN.

    If you don’t have an EIN, please note that the IRS no longer accepts Social Security Numbers in their place. To register for your EIN, simply use the IRS website or call the IRS hotline at 1.800.829.4933. Or call our friends at Truck Services of North America and enjoy the luxury of having someone file for you! Just call 803.386.0320 or email them at support@tsnamerica.com, and they’ll take it from there.
  • All that’s left is to enter the business address and the information of the signing authority. The signing authority is the name of the person filing for your business. Whether it’s your CEO, bookkeeper, spouse, or a CPA, you must enter the individual's name and title here.

Finished! Your account is fully locked & loaded, and you’re ready to start E-Filing! That process is easy too. You’ll just need to enter the VIN and gross vehicle weight for each vehicle (or use the Bulk Upload option to import all of your vehicle info from an Excel file).

Once you E-file, there’s no going back to paper-filing. After all, nothing beats experiencing the convenience of E-filing anywhere and any time, and the benefit of getting your stamped Schedule 1 emailed to you within minutes. No snail mail! You’ll be hooked for life, but at least it’s a healthy addiction!

If you need help setting up your account, we’ve got a whole team of dedicated E-filing experts ready to assist you. Our support heroes are available 24/7 from our headquarters in Rock Hill, SC. Call them at 704.234.6005 or email them at support@expresstrucktax.com.

Read More »

ExpressTruckTax Blog

E-file your HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.