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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

7 Ways to Be Productive During a Snow Storm

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Happy #TruckerTuesday, Trucking Nation!

And what an eventful Tuesday it is! For you West Coaster's who may not know, the East coast has been hit with a huge winter storm, and our hometown of Rock Hill, SC, is currently covered in a thick sheet of ice!

We South Carolinian's aren’t accustomed to weather like this, so at the first sign of a snow flurry, everything pauses. And since road conditions are less-than-ideal at the moment, we know a lot of you truckers are stalled too!

But just because we’re trapped inside, it doesn’t mean we can’t be productive! In fact, Snow Days are a great time to catch up on the tasks you’ve been putting off.

So resist the urge to go sledding (at least until you’ve done some “grown-up” stuff), and let’s be productive together!

If you need a little inspiration, these 7 tips will help.


1. Organize your Business Records


Amidst the every-day hustle and bustle of trucking life, it’s easy to put off (and completely forget about) keeping your compliance records and finances organized–until of course, a deadline sneaks up on you!

But this Snow Day is a chance to avoid all of the pain and stress of last-minute recordkeeping.
Take some time today to catch up on your trip sheets, and you’ll be in a much better position when the end of the 2nd IFTA quarter rolls around.

Ready to level-up your organization game? If the messy pile of receipts and papers on your desk is winning the war, consider using a business management program to de-clutter your life. There are several programs on the market designed just for truckers and fleet managers. TruckLogics, for example, has Accounting, IFTA, and Trip Sheet features to keep every aspect of your transportation business in tip-top shape.


2. E-File your Heavy Vehicle Use Taxes


While you’re taming your wild paperwork, it’s also prime time to get your heavy vehicle use taxes out of the way! All you need is 1. An WiFi or 4G connection 2. A computer, tablet, or smartphone 3. Our free iOS or Android app, and 4. Your business & vehicle information.

In 10 minutes or less, you can complete a Form 2290, a 2290 Amendment, or Form 8849, and securely submit it to the IRS and receive your new stamped Schedule 1 via email immediately. Rain, snow, sleet, or hail, you can E-file your truck taxes all the same. That’s one more thing you can check off your list!


3. Clean Your Cab


Okay, so we can’t exactly call it Spring cleaning when everything is covered in a sheet of ice, but you get the idea.

Get a few steps ahead of Mother Nature, and start cleaning out your cab, closet, junk drawer or whatever other unholy area of your living space has been neglected. Start by going through your closet and sorting clothes into three piles: Keep, Trash & Donate. If you haven’t done this in a while, be prepared to find some wild stuff!

And if you’re feeling extra ambitious, you can even do a little “nesting” once you’ve finished cleaning. Just because the cab of your truck is tiny doesn’t mean it can’t feel like home sweet home. Invest in a throw rug (it’s easier to clean & replace than your floor), hang some curtains, and make your sleeping area extra lush with a new mattress topper and fluffy pillows. For more inspiration, check out my other blog Tips for a Cozier Cab.


4. Brace Yourselves: April 15th is Coming


With less than 2 months remaining, the tax deadline will be here before you know it! And this snow storm couldn’t have come at a better time. By now, everyone should have received their 1099’s and W-2’s from their employers, so there’s no reason why you can’t file now!

Unless of course, there is a reason you don’t want to file yet...in which case, you should use this time to go ahead and file an extension with the IRS. With a program like ExpressExtension, you can quickly E-file to automatically extend your tax deadline for 6 months. 


5. Break a Sweat


When it’s cold outside, it’s time to get hot inside...by working out, I mean! Ward off frostbite and keep your circulation going by trying some of these easy indoor exercises. I know what you’re thinking: “I don’t have any space in my truck,” or “I don’t have any exercise equipment on hand.”

Oh, ye of little faith! No matter where you are, you definitely have enough room to do some isometrics. Here’s an easy & effective one: Get in the driver’s seat, grip the wheel with both hands, and then try to push them toward each other for 10 seconds. Then release. After 10-20 reps, you’ll start feeling the burn!


6. Learn Something New


Don’t just exercise your body; exercise your mind! Do a crossword puzzle, play sudoku, or (dare I say it?) read a book! Even if the storm has knocked out your power, a book will still magically work in these primitive conditions! Alternatively, you can also listen to an audiobook or start learning a new language. YouTube is filled with free tutorials on every language under the sun! Become that bilingual babe you always wanted to be!


7. Recharge


This one may seem like cheating, but it’s actually quite important. While the whole world is frozen, take this opportunity to just stop and recharge yourself. You work hard every other day of the year, maybe it’s time to take a cue from Mother Nature and get some R&R.

Sleep in late, meditate, catch up with a loved one, or just have a Netflix marathon. Whatever you do, turn your brain off for just a little while and enjoy yourself. You deserve it!

(If your conscience won’t let you not work, then just do one or two things on this list first to absolve yourself of any guilt.)


Hopefully this list has inspired you to count this day as a blessing in disguise! The weather may be yucky, but there’s no need to write off today completely. You can still be a productive, upstanding citizen of the Trucking Nation! Now get to work, and most importantly, stay safe out there!

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

#ThrowbackThursday with our partner: the South Carolina Trucking Association

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It’s time for another installment of #ThrowbackThursday featuring our partners at the South Carolina Trucking Association!

The year was 1932. The place: Greenville, South Carolina.

For over a decade, truck & bus operators had been meeting in Greenville to discuss issues in the transportation industry, but on this fateful day, they decided to make it official and found the Motor Carriers Association of South Carolina.

Now known as SCTA, the organization’s first major task was overturning state legislation that favored railroad companies. 

South Carolina then had a 20,000 pound weight limit for trucks which forced companies to ship their goods via railroad up and down the east coast.

With their newly-unified voice, the trucking industry’s presence in SC was finally strong enough to overpower the influence of the railroad companies, and the legislation was overturned. Companies could now ship their goods via truck from north-to-south uninhibited.

That was the first of many battles that SCTA fought on behalf those who work in and who are dependent upon the trucking industry. Today, they have over 600 member companies; some are large national corporations, but most are small, family-owned businesses–just like us!

That’s why we’re so proud to be partnered with SCTA. We too are dedicated to helping owner-operators and small fleets in our home state of South Carolina by providing them with the most affordable and easy-to-use E-filing program that money can buy!

With this partnership, SCTA members will have easy access to our E-filing solutions through the member site SCTA2290.com.

Check out the training video we made for SCTA members! Account manager Patti will walk you through how easy it is to E-file a Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.




  • Step 1: Create an account and choose which form you’d like to E-file (we offer Form 2290, 2290 Amendments, Form 8849, and more). Then enter your business name, contact info, and EIN.
  • Step 2: Enter the vehicle’s first-used month, followed by it’s VIN, gross weight, and whether it is used for logging or agriculture.
  • Step 3: Finally, choose from three convenient payment methods and securely transmit your return!

Through the portal, SCTA members will enjoy all of the perks our ExpressTruckTax users enjoy. Not only do our E-filers receive their stamped Schedule 1 via email just minutes after filing, but they also get free VIN corrections for any return E-filed with us, as well as unlimited free access to our stellar support team!

From our hometown of Rock Hill, we provide 24/7 support in English and Spanish. Just call us (704.234.6005), message us on live chat, or email us at support@expresstrucktax.com.

From all of us here at ExpressTruckTax: Welcome, SCTA members, to the ExpressTruckTax family! It’s an honor to serve our fellow South Carolinians. Whenever you need us, you can count on us being there!

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Instant Notifications on Your 2290's Status: Only with ExpressTruckTax

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Biting your nails, pulling your hair, refreshing the page over and over as you wait for approval from the IRS. That’s no way to spend your down time!

The days of logging into your account repeatedly (or worse- waiting for the mail carrier!) to bring you word from the IRS are over. 

When you E-file with ExpressTruckTax, there’s no guesswork and no stress. As soon as you hit “transmit,” you can rest assured knowing you’ll receive a notification the instant your return is processed.

In fact, there’s 4 convenient ways to stay up-to-date on the status of your return.


4 Instant Notifications


  • Email: This one is automatic. All of our E-filers receive an email the moment the return has been processed by the IRS. If your return is accepted, you’ll receive an email with your new stamped Schedule 1 attached. If your return was rejected, you’ll receive an email with instructions for how to fix it. (And as a bonus, VIN corrections are free to E-file with us too!)
  • Text: From the payment options page, enter a phone number of your choosing to receive a text alert when your return has been accepted. You will not, however, receive your stamped Schedule 1 via text, but that can be retrieved by logging into your account at any time.
  • Fax: To receive a hard copy of your Form 2290 and stamped Schedule 1, simply enter a fax number on the payment page. And it doesn’t even have to be your fax. Fax it to your accountant, your carrier, or your home office–or all of the above if you like!
  • Postal Mail: No printer? No fax machine? Then opt for the postal mail delivery to get a hard copy of your 2290 and stamped Schedule 1 sent straight to your door. We’ll mail it out same day if your return is accepted by the IRS.


Retrieve a Return–Anywhere, Anytime


If you should ever lose your stamped Schedule 1 or need a hard copy, just login to your account. All returns E-filed with ExpressTruckTax can be viewed, downloaded, and printed from the Dashboard of your account. You can also fax a previous 2290 or Schedule 1 to as many fax machines as you like, and it’s free too!


This is just one of the many ways ExpressTruckTax works to make your life easier. Taxes are arduous enough without adding the stress of the unknown on top of it. With us, you’ll always know where you stand and what you need to do next.

But just in case you don’t, you can contact the support team for speedy answers to all of your questions. We’re available via phone at 704.234.6005. You can also chat with us online or get 24/7 email support at support@expresstrucktax.com, in English or in Spanish! 

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Friday, February 6, 2015

Everything You've Ever Wondered about the Stamped Schedule 1

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The IRS E-filing watermark.

So small, so faint– and yet– it makes all the difference. Without this watermark stamp on your Schedule 1, that piece of paper loses all of its power.

And it is powerful. You see, the stamped Schedule 1 is your proof that you filed and paid your annual heavy vehicle use tax for all of the vehicles listed on the schedule.

Without that proof, you cannot renew your tags at the DMV, or renew your registration for IFTA, IRP or UCR, and of course, you have no proof that you paid your taxes either, which will certainly cause trouble if you are ever audited.

Moreover, it’s always a good idea to carry a copy in your glovebox, especially if you traverse international borders (i.e. to Canada and back). Border patrol will check that you have a current stamped Schedule 1 before allowing you back in the United States.

Thank goodness ExpressTruckTax makes it easy to retrieve a Schedule 1 for any return E-filed with us. Whenever you need it, and wherever you are. And every time you E-file a new Form 2290, you’ll receive your new stamped Schedule 1 via email immediately after the IRS accepts your return.

  • Pro Tip: To receive your stamped Schedule 1 on a night, weekend, or holiday, simply elect to pay your HVUT via check or money order. The IRS will then accept your return and send you the stamped copy right away even though the payment has not been received. 

The Elusive E-filing Watermark


So here’s the first, most important thing to note when receiving a Schedule 1: does it have the IRS E-filing watermark? The watermark will be very faintly stamped in the middle of your Schedule 1, and beneath it you’ll see the date the IRS accepted your return.

Without this stamp, the return is not valid.

Here’s a sample of what a stamped Schedule 1 should look like. Of course, yours will have your business information and VIN #’s on it too.




Ways to Get Your New Stamped Schedule 1


  • We will automatically email the stamped Schedule 1 to you upon acceptance, but if you’d like a paper copy, we can arrange that as well. We offer postal mail delivery of your Form 2290 with the stamped Schedule 1. Just be sure to indicate you’d like postal delivery on the payment page.
  • You can also choose to fax the Schedule 1 to as many numbers as you’d like. This way, you can fax one to yourself, one to your carrier, and so on. 


Retrieving a Stamped Schedule 1


  • Uh oh! You lost your stamped Schedule 1? No biggie. You can login to your ExpressTruckTax account at any time and view, download, or print a Form 2290 and stamped Schedule 1 right from the Dashboard. For free!
  • Already submitted your return, but you’d like to fax your Schedule 1? That’s also possible, and free! Just head to your Dashboard, and enter as many fax numbers as you need.

I don’t know about you, but all of this sounds a lot better than paper-filing your return and waiting weeks to receive your new Stamped Schedule 1 in the mail! And then what happens when you spill coffee on it? Well, I guess you’ll just have to cry yourself to sleep.

So what are you waiting for? Those returns aren’t going to E-file themselves! Get started now, and if you have questions, just shout out to our Support Team. They’re available via phone at 704.234.6005. You can also send them a message through online chat, or get 24/7 email support at support@expresstrucktax.com.

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E-file your HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.