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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Highway (Vehicle Use Tax) To Hell: A 2290 Horror Story



Guest blog by Victoria Lurie of ExpressTruckTax in partnership with Chad Boblett, the founder of Boblett Brothers LLC and Rate Per Mile Masters Facebook Group.

As a former Marine Chad Boblett doesn’t spook easy, but when he was attempting to file his very first Form 2290 for his very first truck, the prospect of what could go wrong weighed on him pretty heavily.

“My brain was swollen with all the new stuff that I needed to figure out,” Boblett says now, musing on how easy it all comes seven years later. But at the time Boblett was a ball of nerves and some serious unanswered questions.

His 2290 nightmare began when the dealership gave him marching orders to head to the IRS to pay his HVUT before he could get his plates. Seemed simple enough; there was an IRS office right there in Lexington, KY, and Boblett brightened at the chance to talk one-on-one with a human being who could help him sort things out.

What he got instead was a window and a wait time.

His human interaction wound up being a woman stationed behind a pane of glass facing a tiny waiting area, and the extent of her help was a curt “Take a number, take a seat, and fill out the paper” hissed at him through a small window. A mountainous security guard eyed Boblett as he grabbed an IRS Form 2290 from a display and took a seat. Real inviting place.

Boblett had barely gotten his clipboard settled when the questions started to swirl in his brain. One of the first things the 2290 wanted to know was “what is the weight of your tractor?” Boblett stared at it. Was that with fuel? Without? Before the 600-pound APU was added or after? Boblett went to go ask the attendant for clarification –– this was for the IRS, after all. Answers mattered.

They just mattered to Boblett more than they mattered to the attendant, who spat out a helpful “Our job is not to tell you how to fill it out. We’re just here to collect the form and process it.”

That didn’t sit with him too well. “I’m a very black-and-white person,” says Boblett. “The thing I got in trouble for most in school was asking too many questions. I question until I have a full understanding.” And understanding what he was up against was going to be crucial in dealing with the federal government.

“I don’t want to be looking at a DOT officer and go ‘well I put 20,000 pounds down because that was my best guess!’ I’m not gonna lie to nobody. It’s the IRS! If I mess it up, this is my livelihood.”

The questions in Boblett’s brain swirled harder, a swarm of bees hellbent on getting an answer. Boblett’s usually good at getting the information he needs. “I would be an awesome reporter,” he says now. “People love to give me vague answers, but I just keep asking until I get one. You can scoot around it, but you’re going to give me an answer.”


Highway (Vehicle Use Tax) To Hell: A 2290 Horror StoryAnd so he braced himself and headed back to the window. Seeing Boblett for the third time was not the charm, and the woman grew rude. And, well, Boblett got a little to-the-point. “If you’re rude to me, you’re not gonna get Nice Chad, you’re gonna get Marine Chad.”

The lady behind the window screamed for the security guard, having deemed a Marine with questions to be a major threat. The security guard hulked over Boblett and pointed to the door. “You need to leave.” Boblett left, with his 2290 and more questions than ever, among them why on earth 2290s needed to be guarded so heavily.

Boblett then took to the internet, and even went back to the dealership to ask some questions. He filled out the Form 2290 to the best of his ability, changed his clothes, threw on a hat, and went right back to the IRS office where they processed his form without issue...or security interference.

This entire ordeal replayed in Boblett’s mind when he first heard of ExpressTruckTax. He was on the road at the time, so he relayed what he’d found to his wife, who was quick to call back and tell him it was done. His 2290 was in. “You were able to figure it out that fast?!” No questions...no attendants...no disguises..?

Boblett was gobsmacked. “That is so much damn easier than going to the IRS office.” Boblett says he’d happily pay $10 never to deal with the IRS office again. “Hell, I’d pay $20. Screw driving all the way across town and dealing with lines and rude people. Just go online to ETT and save yourself the hassle. It’s just total common sense.”

In addition to sparing people the DMV-like tedium, Bobblet says he enjoys ETT’s immediacy. You could still paper-file, “but why would you want that on your to-do list? If I’m not doing it right, I want to know. I don’t want to call the IRS every week because [my stamped Schedule 1] didn’t come in.”

In an effort to save others from repeating his ordeal, Boblett decided to partner with ExpressTruckTax and spread the word. E-file your Form 2290 through Boblett’s Rate Per Mile Masters portal and stop sweating about your Schedule 1. But do it fast – the Form 2290 deadline is August 31st.

You no longer have time to languish in line at the IRS or at the post office. E-file today and get it all done before the deadline. If you have any questions, ExpressTruckTax can help. Having questions is only human. Getting answers shouldn’t be a hassle.


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