ExpressTruckTax
704.234.6005

ExpressTruckTax Blog

Showing posts with label Fleet Owners. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fleet Owners. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

File Form 1099-MISC For Your Trucking Independent Contractors

0
ExpressTruckTax knows TaxBandits makes it easy for truckers to file Form 1099-MISC
Well isn’t it just our luck that tax season has arrived smack in the middle of one of the worst trucking winters in history?! Now on top of tracking the forecast to maneuver around winter storms, you have to file employment taxes by the January 31 deadline!

During this busy time be sure not to forget about filing Form 1099-MISC for your independent contractors. Also, you don’t need to hire an expensive accountant or spend hours struggling with the form to file. Simply use the easy online tax e-filing solution, TaxBandits!

Form 1099-MISC


Form 1099-MISC is used to report payments for services performed for a trucking business by people not treated as its employees, like subcontractors or independent contractors. The purpose of this form is to report miscellaneous income.

Employers must file Form 1099-MISC for non-employees compensated $600 or more during the tax period. Your independent contractors will use this information to complete their personal income tax returns. Also, you are required to issue copies of Form 1099-MISC to your independent contractors by January 31.

Information Required To Complete Form 1099-MISC

Luckily it’s easy to complete Form 1099-MISC as long as you have your business records on hand. As a business, you’re considered the payee and you will need to provide your business name, EIN (Employer Identification Code), and address.

Your independent contractor is your recipient, and you will nee their name EIN or social security number, and address.

Then you will need federal details such as the number of miscellaneous incomes you provided to the recipient with the amount of federal tax withheld. You will also provide state details such as the state income, payer state number, and state tax withheld.

Filing Form 1099-MISC With TaxBandits

You can complete Form 1099-MISC in a matter of minutes with TaxBandits. All you have to do is create your free account and follow the interview style e-filing guide. Helpful information along the way explains what information is required to complete your form and where it needs to be entered.

ExpressTruckTax reminds you to prepare for IFTA with ExpressIFTA
Plus, they offer exclusive e-filing features to make the entire process super convenient. For example, you can save time by using the bulk upload feature to import all of your independent contractor information at once.

Also, forget about heading to the post office! Simply use the postal mailing feature to have TaxBandits print and mail hard copies of Form 1099-MISC to each of your recipients.

If you need any assistance while e-filing 1099-MISC, the 100% US-based TaxBandits support team is standing by to help.

Don’t Forget About IFTA


Your 4th Quarter IFTA Return is also due on January 31, so head to ExpressIFTA to easily record all of the calculations you need to complete your return online. ExpressIFTA will even import your ELD data to make IFTA reporting even easier.

At the end of the quarter, all of your information will be totaled up in a quarterly IFTA report that you can download, print, email, and use to instantly complete your IFTA return! Get started with ExpressIFTA to take the hassle out of fuel tax reporting now!

Visit ExpressTruckTax for more trucking blogs.
Read More »

Friday, April 14, 2017

How To Find Trucking Jobs

0

Being a trucker has its perks. Your cab serves as your independent office where you can listen to whatever music you want loudly, and enjoy the freedom of working alone without anyone else around to annoy you, except for those in other vehicles. It’s pretty awesome. But apart of being a successful trucker involves the ability to find trucking jobs, so where should you look? Luckily for you, we have the answers. 

How To Find Trucking Jobs


The first step is simple, look online. Use your laptop, phone, or tablet to check out job sites. There are a few job sites that that cover a broad range of industries and there are others that are dedicated only to trucking. Use those sites to search for jobs, and to post your resume so that employers can find you.

There isn’t just one magical place to find a job, there are many. People are using the internet in new ways every day to look for quality people to hire. Check out social media sites like FaceBook and LinkedIn, forums, company sites, and ads. Opportunity is everywhere.

If you’re just starting out remember that it will look better if you have a little experience. Consider going to a driver school to learn the basics and to get some time behind the wheel. Also, you will need to get a CDL or Commercial Driver’s License and pass the Federal Motor Certification Safety Regulation or FMCSR exam. It has a written, hearing, and physical part, and you’ll need to pass the physical on an annual basis. Some bigger trucking companies will actually provide driving and CDL training when they bring you on board.

You don’t need a college degree, but you do need your GED. Also, you will need a clean driving record. Make your record is clear of accidents, tickets, and DUI’s, as those will make you unqualified for some companies.

In order to get some experience, you need to put time behind the wheel. It’s generally easier to be a long haul trucker at first, instead of a daily local driver. Driving around town involves being on small crowded streets and having to back up and maneuver around parking lots on a daily basis, and you may only do that stuff a few times a week as a long haul trucker.
 
Also, local trucking companies are a little bit harsher about incidents even if they aren’t your fault

Where are you located? You may want to consider moving closer to a good city for trucking. As of right now, the top trucking cities include Atlanta, GA, Charlotte, NC, and Columbus, OH. Other cities in the top 10 trucking locations include Dallas, TX, and Nashville, TN, so those are good places to look.

You can turn to load boards or freight boards online. They allow freight brokers to post loads for drivers to bid on. It’s a good way to get started, but the loads are extremely competitive, and it looks better to have a long term relationship on your resume.

Try to build a good relationship with a shipper. To do that, act like you care, clean yourself up to look and act professional while picking up and delivering loads. Call the shipper to check in with them, deliver loads on time, drive responsibly, keep your truck clean, and more.

As an owner operator, you can lease yourself to a carrier. The carrier will find freight for you, provide dispatches, handle the paperwork, and more, in exchange for getting to use you and your vehicle. However, the carrier also will get to keep an agreed upon percentage of the load.

Get to Truckin’


If you feel the call of the road why not start trucking? The trucking industry is growing and is always looking for qualified drivers as a result. As long as your driving record is clean and you can pass the certification tests why not enjoy the freedom of having a trucking career?

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your tips about where to find a trucking job in the comment section below.
Read More »

Friday, April 7, 2017

Why The Economy Needs Truckers

0

Have you ever noticed that truckers are proud of what they do? They’re the proudest people out of any other industry, and that’s because what they do is extremely important. Without their hard work and long hours the economy could collapse, so if you don’t appreciate trucking, here is why you should.

Why The Economy Needs Truckers


There are over 8.7 million trucking-related jobs in the US today. That’s a lot of jobs. Some of these jobs include driving and others include dispatchers, fleet owners, owner operators, and more. Without this booming industry, where would all of these workers go for employment?

Trucking jobs give those in the trucking related industry paychecks, and they use those paychecks to buy things, which in turn boosts the economy. Maybe you own a lamp store, because of truckers not only are lamps delivered to your store, but the people in the trucking industry can also buy one of your lamps.

While more and more people are going to college these days, sometimes getting a degree or two isn’t an option for everyone. Trucking can provide an upper-middle-class salary for those without degrees, giving them an opportunity to earn more for a better quality of living.

There are small communities based in rural areas that actually depend on truckers traveling through them to survive. Drivers buy gas, food, pay for lodging, and more. Their dollar can really help independent businesses like cafes in small towns stay in operation.
 
Do you like being able to go out and buy stuff? Then thank a trucker! Truckers move more materials than planes, trains, and even boats. If fact over $7 billion dollars worth of goods is transported by truckers.

Truckers are responsible for moving a lot of stuff from waste, healthcare related items, food, refrigerated items, clothes, manufactured items, and more. They move raw materials like cotton to the factory to be made into shirts, then they move those shirts to retail stores. Do you want a shirt to celebrate your favorite football team winning the SuperBowl? Then you need a trucker to haul the raw materials and finished product for you.

When you see a trucker on the road you may try to guess what they’re hauling, but unless you can clearly see the animals in agricultural trailers or logs on logging trucks then there is just no way to be sure. They could be hauling skittles, fresh milk, a sailboat, fair rides, a chemical used in ink, or more. The possibilities are literally endless.

Truckers may be on the road, but they’re also responsible for keeping the road nice. Certain taxes like IFTA or International Fuel Tax Agreement and the HVUT or Heavy Vehicle Use Tax are applied to qualifying heavy vehicles. These taxes are then used to maintain and repair public roadways. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a big pickup truck or little convertible, you have a truck driver to thank for the smooth pavement and safe bridges that you drive on.

We Need Truckers


Truckers are responsible for moving more cargo than you think. Unless you bought something handmade from a local craft show then chances are that everything around you was on a truck at some point! 

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your thoughts about the importance of truckers in the comment section below.
Read More »

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Owner Operators Need To Budget

0

Trucking is a hard industry to break into. Many drivers attempt to make it big and bring in a lot more money by becoming owner operators, but they fail for various different reasons. Sometimes they just don’t put in enough time, sometimes business is just slow. However, the number one reason new owner operators fail is because they either can’t budget or just don’t try to. Learn from our budgeting tips to help you save money to keep your owner operating business going.

How Owner Operators Budget Properly


We understand that budgeting is hard. It takes some self-control and discipline. When the money is there it’s fun and addicting to spend, but if you spend it all you could find yourself up the creek without a paddle pretty quickly.

One of the most expensive things drivers face on the road is food. You may not realize it, but fast food lunches, snacks, and dinners at sit down restaurants add up quick. Before you go out on the road buy your snacks in bulk, also plan ahead by bringing meals to store in your fridge, microwave or cook in a crockpot.

By cooking your own meals and having your snacks on hand you’ll save money and you won’t have to stop every time you get hungry. Plus, the meals you prepare are often much healthier options.

Another expense that adds up is the cost of lodging. Every time you stay in a motel you’re spending money that you don’t have to. By getting a mattress, a nice bedding set, and some blackout curtains you can turn your sleeper cab into a space that’s even more comfortable than a hotel.

Nothing is exciting like a semi truck is. When guys are starting out they want the coolest rig to barrel down the road in. You can get that super awesome new truck one day, but consider starting off in an older rig, or leasing a truck when you first get started in order to have lower monthly payments and sometimes even a lower insurance payment.

Depending on your client there could be a 1 to 3-month wait before you get paid for a load. You could consider using a factoring company to get paid the same day. With factoring companies, you’ll make an agreement where the factoring company pays your invoice from a client. They’ll pay you a percentage of the invoice the same day and then your client will pay the factoring company and the factoring company will keep an agreed upon percentage, then you’ll receive the rest. It’s a way to get money faster, but you’ll get a little less as a result, so budget it wisely.

When the bigger paychecks start to roll in, save them. A lot of guys go out and start to buy fun stuff
for their families and take vacations instead of saving their money. Then when business is slow or their truck needs a major repair they’re out of luck and their business goes under. Trust us, you always need to keep an emergency fund.

We have tips to save your gas because it’s actually your number one expense. First of all, slow down. Actually going to speed limit, or staying at 65 mph will save you tons of fuel. Also, gradually speed up and slow down, to avoid slamming on brakes. Stick to the interstate when you can, unless you need to avoid traffic jams and rush hours. Also, you can save a lot of fuel by cutting down on your warm up, cool down, and idling time.

Take care of your truck. Don’t get lazy and skip out on routine maintenance. Be sure to change the oil, filters, rotate the tires, and more to keep your truck in tip-top shape. The goal is to get every penny you can out of it to avoid the major expenses of having to buy a new truck or pay for a repair.

You Can Become A Budgeting Pro


By studying your books and keeping track of your profit and loss record you can easily give yourself a budget and start to really save money. It does take a little practice at first, but soon saving money will become second nature to you, and your business will reward you later for it. Nothing saves the day like an emergency fund to help you cover your bills and keep your business afloat.

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your tips about budgeting in the comment section below.
Read More »

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Use Factoring To Get Paid The Same Day

0

The trucking industry can be hard to break into. You need a good cash flow to get your business started and to keep it going. Just because you’ve established yourself as an owner-operator doesn’t mean that you won’t face slow periods where you need a little extra cash flow to get by. Now, this doesn’t mean give up, it simply means consider the option of factoring to get cash fast for your business.

Factoring

Factoring can be the solution to helping you manage your cash flow for your company because it helps you get cash fast because factoring is an advance on accounts receivable.

Basically factoring companies give you a cash advance by paying you for the invoices on loads that you’ve already delivered. Usually, once you deliver a load you won’t get paid for it until 30 to 90 days later, so factoring cuts that time out by paying you the same day.

Drivers and owner-operators tend to turn to factoring as a way to keep their business afloat or to get their business started for a variety of reasons. For example, factoring could be the best option to get paid the same day when drivers can’t cover their bills, when they have a major fuel invoice, or need to pay their drivers. Different companies have varying amounts of time on when drivers actually get paid, and factoring will help drivers get paid the same day instead of waiting.

When you’re just starting out and want lease a new truck factoring can provide the cash that you need to cover business-related purchases in order to get your owner operating business going.

Before you get paid you will negotiate an agreement with the factoring company. The money you get upfront will be a percentage of the amount the load your client owes you. In the factoring agreement, your customer will pay the factoring company for the load you delivered and the factoring company will keep an agreed upon percentage, then you’ll receive the rest.

Our Top Factoring Companies

Here at ExpressTruckTax we pride ourselves in providing quality service and helping truckers out in any way we can, that’s why we’re telling you about two trusted, and outstanding factoring companies that you can turn to for cash advances.

Since 1994 TCI Capital has been helping those in the trucking industry and more get the cash they need on the same day instead of waiting for it. TCI has experienced and knowledgeable representatives to help serve clients with even the most unique funding needs.

Also, TCI offers the credit history and payment trends of potential clients to help companies take on new customers with confidence, and provides online reporting to keep you informed about your transactions at all times.

FleetOne has 28 years of experience in trucking finance and will work hard to get you funding within 24 hours. By providing credit checks and offering an experienced support team to answer all of your questions, FleetOne makes the factoring process quick and simple.

The FleetOne mobile app can be used to make factoring even easier, by providing you with the ability to take a picture of invoices, documents, and more to instantly scan and upload to your FleetOne account. The app also keeps all of your documents and transactions in one convenient location.

ExpressTruckTax is Here To Help


If you have any questions about factoring or about what we can do to help you e-file your HVUT and accurately calculate your IFTA totals please don’t hesitate to contact our dedicated support team at ExpressTruckTax via live chat, phone, or email.
Read More »

Friday, February 24, 2017

DYI Hacks To Make Your Sleeper Cab Feel Like Home

0


We’ve all felt it. The lonely feeling of the open road. While we’re addicted to driving for miles and miles sometimes we do get a little homesick. Sometimes it’s hard to be away from your spouse, children, and pets. However, somehow you have to fight through feeling homesick to make your drops in time. One easy step you can take towards not feeling homesick is to make your cab feel like home.

DYI Hacks To Make Your Cab Feel Like Home


The first thing you need to feel at home is comfort. You spend a lot of time in your cab, sometimes you spend more time in there than you do at home, so make it a comfy place to be.

In order to do that invest in at least one awesome seat cover. The seat cover can be heated and it can come with built-in massagers, making it the perfect place to lean back in relax in after hours of driving.

Make sure your mattress in your cab is a high-quality one. Not getting adequate rest on the road could leave you cranky and just wanting to head home. You don’t have to come with the factory issued cardboard mattress that came with your truck, especially if you got your truck used. Instead, consider your memory foam and gel mattress options.

You know what comes with a comfortable bed? Comfortable bedding! If you’ll be spending a lot of the nights on the road don’t settle for cheap sheets and blankets. Spring for the softer materials with higher thread counts. Heck, you could even treat yourself to an electric blanket to be warm and cozy.

To get a proper night’s rest you’ll have to block the world out. Invest in some blackout curtains to get rid of all the lights from tracking and truck stops. Also, consider getting some ear plugs so block out some of the noise that traffic and rest stops produce.

It’s important to fill your cab with a few of your favorite things in order to boost your mood. This can be done by adding pops of your favorite colors around. From crimson red to sprinkle blue, whatever color is your favorite will work.

You can add your favorite color by getting a steering wheel cover, seat covers, rubber mats, a rug, a bedding set with multiple of your favorite colors, and more. The possibilities are endless, all you have to do is look around your cab to see what you can customize.

Be sure to put up posters you like and to put up a few of your favorite pictures. Seeing photos of your family and pets or posters of your favorite superheroes can really boost your mood.

It’s always good to be able to do more things in your truck, and the first step towards powering more electronics is getting a good power inverter. Then you can set up awesome things like a flat screen tv and your favorite gaming console.

Nights won’t feel so long and boring when you can watch your favorite movie on Netflix or play multiplayer games online with your kids back home. Also, you can bring a lamp for extra light in your cab at night.

Why stop every time you’re hungry or thirsty when you can stock your cab to be your own personal mini kitchen? You can have your own mini coffee maker to brew coffee anytime you want. If you don’t want to deal with coffee grounds consider getting a K-Cup machine.

For more food options you can place a microwave, mini fridge, and freezer in your cab. This way you can bring more food items with you on your trips that can easily be stored and heated up.

Did you know that you could even bring along a hot plate to boil water? Sometimes nothing is better than a hot bowl of ramen!

You can complete your kitchen with a TV tray or fold out shelf or table to balance meals or your laptop on.

This item should never mix with kitchen items, but are you tired of walking across cold parking lots to wait in a long bathroom line? Then get your own portable toilet to bring along on the road with you. Just make sure it has a lid that you can seal tight to prevent spills.

If you want to bring something with you on the road like extra clothes and tools then bring them with you. Just invest in storage bins and organization items to maximize your storage areas.

Enjoy Your Home On The Road


Your truck is sometimes your office and can be the area where you spend most of your time. Be sure to customize your cab to fit your personal preferences to have a comfortable and cozy space when you’re missing home.

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share how you make your cab cozy in the comment section below.
Read More »

Friday, February 17, 2017

Safety Tools You Need To Always Keep In Your Cab

0

Accidents happen. Even the best truckers with spotless records get caught up in emergency situations because you just never know what can happen on the road. In the event of a major accident or inclement weather be prepared with the proper tools in your cab.

Emergency Equipment Truckers Should Carry


You should always have a bag of emergency clothes with you on the road. This is important for all seasons, but especially for winter. Your pack should have warm items in case it gets cold like a sweater and hat, but it should also have waterproof items.

Remember, you can layer a lightweight jacket over winter gear or bring a heavy insulated winter coat. Just make sure the items are in layers so you can shed something if you get too hot.

Don’t forget about your hands and feet. Always carry waterproof gloves and waterproof shoes in case you have to get out of your cab during a major downpour or a cold wintery mix.

Most people carry extra underwear and socks in case they get held up somewhere for a few days.

It’s also good to carry extra blankets. You never know when your heat will go out or when you’ll be in a situation where a little extra heat and a nice dry blanket could make a major difference to your night.

Never forget to bring along extra batteries and chargers for your radio, CB, phone, flashlight, and more. You’ll want your electronics to have a nice charge, and a way to charge them. Hand crank radios and solar powered chargers can give your phone the extra juice it may need.

It’s always great to carry a fire extinguisher with you in case something starts to flame up. Heck, you could even be stuck near a forest's wildfire, so having the ability to spray out some flames could come in handy.

You’ll need some emergency meal items. Keep at least a gallon of water in your cab and a few days worth of nonperishable foods like cans of soup packages crackers, and jerky. Don’t forget your can opener!

A multi-purpose knife can go a long way. You never know what type of items you’ll need to cut. Some knives come with seat belt cutters and points to break glass if you need to climb out of your cab quickly.

If you take a daily medication be sure to bring the bottle with you. You won’t want to be without it if you get stuck somewhere for a few days. It’s also a good idea to carry some pain relievers and antacids.

Consider bringing some personal hygiene items on the road with you. This way you’ll have items to keep your teeth and body looking and smelling clean.

Take a small first aid kit full of bandages, antiseptics, and baby wipes. You might actually be surprised with how often you want a band aid while on the road.

Other people on the road will need to be able to see you, so be sure to bring along flairs to set out, and those reflective triangles. It helps to have a reflective vest if you’re stepping out of your cab near a busy road. Also, have a proper flashlight with you, sometimes your phone light won’t cut it.

Maybe a few candles and waterproof matches would be good to keep on hand as well, in case you need light in a dark cab.

Be Prepared!


You never know when severe weather or a bad driver will strike, so be prepared for any emergency situation that may arise. You never know when a few extra items in your cab will really come in handy.

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and share what emergency items you carry in the comment section below.
Read More »

Friday, February 3, 2017

These Practices Cause Owner Operators To Fail

0

Some owner operators fail, that’s just a plain fact. Sure, some guys make it and bring home the bigger paychecks, but most truckers fail. Becoming an owner operator involves a lot of risks and precise planning, and they guys who don’t make it, usually don’t due to reasons that can easily be avoided. 

Mistakes Made By Owner Operators


The owner operators who fail are generally too big for their britches. They think they can do everything themselves. Even though it’s true that will start out doing the majority of work yourself, it’s best to get the advice of a financial advisor or an accountant to figure out the best plan for your business before jumping in. A man with a plan is generally smarter than the guy without one.

Plus, you shouldn’t be too shy or prideful to ask for advice. Successful owner operators probably know a few tips and techniques about the business that you haven’t heard about before. Why not ask them a few questions to see if they can help you climb up the ladder?

Eventually, as your business grows you’ll get to hire employees! Instead of doing everything yourself, that you probably won’t even have time for, it will be best to hand things off to your trusted team.

2. Speaking of time, a lot of owner operators who fail simply didn’t consider the amount of time the job requires. You’ll be gone a lot more. If you don’t want to drive extra overtime hours and want to be around for more school plays and baseball games then you might want to stick to driving for a carrier.

A lot of owner operators fail to think about the strain it will put on their family when they’ll be gone more, and relationships are tested. Be sure to speak with your partner about being gone more and how to stay in communication with them. This way you won’t end up like the people who had to choose between their new business venture or their relationship.

3. A quick way to find yourself up the creek without a paddle is by not making a budget. If you live paycheck to paycheck you could quickly end up on missing some bills or not having enough cash to pay for dinner. Know how much you’re spending on fuel, insurance bills, your truck, and more a month, so you’ll know how much to set aside for your meals, personal pay, and more. Tracking software like TruckLogics can help you keep up with all of your finances.

Also, a lot of the time new owner operators don’t set aside any money for emergencies, and that’s just not good because things happen. Trucks break down and you’ll need to be able to pay for the repair. If your insurance will cover the repair you’ll still need money to float you by while it’s in the shop.

Keep in mind that being an owner operator isn’t the fast way to success. It takes months and maybe even years to build yourself up as a reputable owner operator who brings in the big bucks, and even then some months are just slow. Always keep an emergency fund set aside for the slow periods.

4. Some people just buy the wrong truck. They get a brand new truck up front that’s all shiny and awesome, but then crumble when they aren’t bringing in enough cash to pay for the bills that come with it.

They don’t explore all their truck options. For example, leasing generally comes with no down payment and lower monthly rates, so it can help owner operators get started in the beginning. Although, at the end of the agreement if you don’t lease to own you won’t have your own truck to trade in towards getting a new one.

If you want to own your own truck avoid getting a lemon. Lemons are new, cheap trucks that don’t have a good turnover rate. You’ll want a truck you can quickly sell to make some of your money back with, in case you find out that owner operating isn’t for you.

Older trucks that are built sturdier are often more fun to drive and have higher turnover rates. They can be great to start out with until you grow your company enough to comfortably buy a new truck.

5. Owner operators who fail are low maintenance. They don’t take care of themselves. They cut corners and drive even if they haven’t gotten enough sleep. Some truckers don’t take their personal health into account and constantly get terrible options from fast food chains, smokes, and don’t even think about making an effort to work out. You have to be healthy and full of energy to put in the time and work that being an owner operator requires.

They also don’t take the time to maintain their trucks. Skipping out on regular maintenance like oil changes and changing your brake pads can wear out your rig pretty quickly. You have to take the steps to winterize your truck, tune it up, check all the fluid levels, and more in order to squeeze all of its value out of it. 

Don’t Fail!


You can make it as an owner operator, we believe in you. Just make sure you don’t make simple mistakes that can easily be avoided. Make a plan for your business, ask the experts and tell your family what you’re up to. Be financially responsible and know where your money is going. Also, don’t forget to take care of your truck and yourself.

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com, and please share your comments about why owner operators fail in the comment section below.
Read More »

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Issues With Leasing

0


Do you hear that? It’s the call of the open road, with miles of freedom. It would just be great to be an owner operator right? With the ability to schedule your own dispatches, and to drive without little company policies to follow or a manager constantly watching you to make sure you don’t make mistakes? Well to do that you need your own truck to operate, and one way to do that is by leasing one.

A Little About Leasing


Leasing is basically another word for borrow because you’re using someone else’s equipment. Only instead of ‘borrowing’ the semi truck you’ll be paying to use it. In order to lease a truck, you’ll sit down in an office and agree to a contract with set monthly payments over a certain amount of time. The average lease lasts about three years, then you’ll be on your way, driving a truck that someone else owns.

Many truckers turn to leasing because it’s a quick option to jump in a truck when their credit isn’t in order to buy a truck or their finances aren’t in order, because leasing companies often don’t turn those with bad credit away, and don’t require a down payment.

It’s seen as a good way to start driving as an owner operator while you can get your finances together and credit score up to buy your own truck. However, there are some negatives with leasing to consider.

The Downsides of Leasing


When you lease a truck, it’s not your own. Now you may be comfortable with that, but you also might not be. Part of the call of the open road is the romance of being attached to your truck. Not to be mushy or anything but in the automotive industry people really love their vehicles. Will you be able to give your truck up at the end of the agreement?

Plus, when the truck isn’t yours you can’t modify it. Lease contracts will prevent you from installing lift kits, or the latest technology to make your life easier as a trucker.

If you think that leasing is your way to get into a brand new truck you’re wrong. Just like with buying a newer trucker, leasing a newer truck comes with higher monthly payments. Chances are that if you’re trying to start your business you’ll be in an older truck with a lower monthly payment at first.

Also, leasing isn’t a way to get out of higher monthly payments due to poor credit. Your monthly rates will still be higher when leasing if you have a bad credit score.

Speaking of monthly payments, did you know that leasing companies have protecting their vehicles from depreciation in their best interest? So, they want their trucks to be perfectly repairs and maintained. will add on a maintenance fee to your monthly payment. They’ll also add in the cost of insurance.

Don’t forget to watch out for lease contracts that have step up agreements, meaning that over time the amount you pay will increase.

If you buy a used truck you can use it for its trade in value to help you out with your down payment on a new truck. However, with leasing you have to give the truck back, leaving you with nothing to trade in.

Sure, you can lease to own, but generally, at the end of your leasing contract you’ll end up paying more for the truck than you would have if you would have simply bought the truck up front.

Is Leasing For You?


Sometimes leasing is the right option to help guys get their business started. As their business grows they can buy their own new or used truck or continue to lease. Speak with a financial advisor to figure out your best option for your current financial situation and business plan.

For more trucking trips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your thoughts about leasing in the comment section below.
Read More »

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

6 Qualities To Adopt To Improve As An Owner Operator

0


In the trucking industry, many drivers dream of being an owner operator with the freedom of making their own decisions without the say of some company manager watching their every move, not to mention the bigger paychecks. However, owner operators don’t become successful overnight, and many of them fail. Check out these traits commonly found in successful owner operators to see if you have what it takes.

Successful Traits Of Owner Operators


1. Even though owner operators are independent, they are not afraid to ask for help. They go to financial advisors to figure out the best business plan and they go to accountants to help them with their taxes. In most cases, accountants know where and how to save you money or get you more money with your returns.

They ask other successful owner operators questions about the business, as well as gather all the new information they can. There’s always new information to learn from new magazine articles, blog posts, podcasts, and more.

2. Successful owner operators have a plan, and they stay focused on their business plan with long term and short term goals to make their business plan successful. They don’t just buy a truck and hop on down the road. They set goals for how much income they should get for the month and the year. Sometimes they try to make a certain amount of trips.

Goals are set on an individual basis, so set the ones that best fit your needs. Also, be decisive when you make these goals, to avoid wasting a lot of time procrastinating. Owner operators need the ability to quickly make decisions on a daily basis, so if you’re indecisive practice making choices without delay.

3. They’re committed. The owner operators who make it know that they’re playing the long game. Sometimes they won’t see success for years, but they don’t give up. Instead, they keep trying to build their careers.

You have to commit more time to your job, meaning you’ll drive weekends and you’ll have more overtime hours. Chances are you’ll miss one or two baseball games or the school play. If you like to be home more often then you might want to consider sticking to being a company driver.

Also, you have to commit to your clients and we mean really commit. In order to get more business by creating long lasting relationships, you need to regularly call your clients to check in with them and provide outstanding service by making pick ups and drop offs on time.

4. They have good attitudes. It’s impossible to make it as an owner operator without having a positive outlook on things. Don’t let problems get you down, and don’t start cursing everyone and everything. Instead, know that you’ll figure out a way to solve the issue and have a sense of humor about it.

Plus, be honest. Don’t give unrealistic expectations about what you can do or exaggerate about the difficulty of a route to try and entice people to give you sympathy or more money. Know your value to get an accurate figure for your worth.

5. The top owner operators are organized. They have all of their receipts, expenses, and bills accounted for and clearly listed. Plus, they have records of their mileage reports, fuel type, and fuel costs for the IFTA reports, 2290, and more.

You’ll be responsible for all your taxes and all of your paperwork. You’ll need to be able to find it at a moment’s notice, and it would be even better if you remember where all of your important documents are. If you want to make it as an owner operator then your days of having piles of paperwork in random places are a thing of the past.

Owner operators also look a lot better when they keep their trucks clean. Your truck is the tool that makes your business possible and can be seen as your office, so wash off the mud, salt spray, and bird poop to keep it looking all pretty and shiny. Also, keep the inside clean by throwing away trash at every truck stop, cleaning up stains, and taking the necessary measures to keep your cab smelling fresh.

6. Last but not least, successful owner operators are self-sufficient. A major part of being independent is being on your own. You have to hold yourself accountable and plan the best routes to save fuel and make a delivery on time. Only you will be responsible for filing your taxes on time.

You have to be realistic and manage your money well. Before splurging on something awesome like a new dirt bike, remember that sometimes the trucking business gets slow and you’ll need some extra savings set aside to cover all of your bills.

No one will be looking out for your health but you, so be responsible and choose a few healthy meal options, make sure you get enough sleep to drive safely, and get out to exercise by walking around truck stops when you can.

Are You Up To The Challenge?


Do you possess these six success traits that the leading owner operators have? If so it might be time to quit your day job to own and operate your own rig. As long as you have motivation, a good plan, and your finances are in order you can get on your way to becoming a successful owner operator.

For more trucking tips check out ExpressTruckTax.com, and share your thoughts on what it takes to be a successful owner operator in the comment section below.
Read More »

Friday, January 13, 2017

Have You Seriously Considered Leasing Your Truck?

0


Alright, so you’re thinking about becoming an owner operator or independent driver, that generally comes with getting your own truck. However, have you carefully considered all of your options from buying a brand new truck, buying a used truck, or maybe even leasing a truck?

The Benefits of Leasing


Sometimes leasing gives truck drivers a break because buying a trucks is just outright expensive. For a reliable truck, that's older and used the costs are about upwards of $40k. Plus, to get a loan for that bad boy then you need good credit, what happens if you’re rejected or if your credit causes you that have a higher monthly rate?

Well then, you can lease. Leasing provides smaller down payments, and generally provides you with lower monthly rates, even though some leasing companies have step up payments, which means after a period of time the monthly payments will go up. Also, along with lower monthly rates leasing your truck may provide you with more tax deductions.

However, don’t get discouraged, if you want to have your own truck one day, you can do it. Simply keep driving a company truck for a while and save up some money while cleaning up your credit or check out leasing options, some of which include leasing to own.

Leasing is basically agreeing to pay a company a fixed monthly rate in exchange for the ability to use their truck for a set amount of time. You are bound by a contract, that generally lasts about three years or so, which is much shorter than the commitment of buying a truck. At the end of the agreement, you can return the truck, lease it again, or work towards owning it. Returning the truck early or breaking the lease will come with fines and consequences.

When you lease a truck you can get the picture of what it would be like owning your own truck and the extra expenses that come along with it. For example, you’ll be responsible for the maintenance repairs big and small on your leased truck. Plus, all of the insurance that comes with it, like cargo insurance, health insurances, and more.

Luckily at the end of the lease agreement if you see that you actually don’t want to own your own truck and miss the financial comforts of driving a company truck you can simply return your truck. Leasing is much more flexible than owning a truck.

Technology is moving quickly these days. Every time you buy the latest, most innovative truck, something more advanced rolls out about an hour later. With a leased truck you can more quickly upgrade to more advanced and more fuel efficient trucks on a regular basis.

If you end up buying a truck and then realize it isn’t the correct career move for yourself, then you could lose out on a lot when you sell the truck due to the depreciation of its value.

However, you might enjoy the freedom that comes with leasing. It gives you more of an ability to quickly change companies if need be. Plus, you can choose a truck that’s best suited for your personal preferences.

Is Leasing Right For You?


If money is tight and you’re chomping at the bit to get started as an independent trucker leasing gives you a quick way out with a cheaper down payment and lower rate. It also comes with more freedom and flexibility to either return your truck to upgrade to a nicer one more often. 

However, you should speak with an accountant or financial advisor first to determine which move is best for your career plans and current financial situation.

For more trucking advice keep checking back with ExpressTruckTax.com and be sure to share your thoughts and experiences with leasing a truck in the comment section below.
Read More »

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Consider The Facts of Becoming an Owner Operator

0


Do you want to become an owner operator? You love trucking, and the call of the road runs through your blood, but are you ready to take the next step to further your trucking career? Becoming an owner operator is a serious choice that can’t be made overnight, but considering these following facts may help you weigh in to make your final decision.

You Have to Talk to the Suits

It isn’t as simple as gassing up the rig and hitting 70 on the highway when becoming an owner operator, you need a plan. You also need to get around all of the red tape with the proper licenses and meet the standard regulations.

Most likely you’ll have to put on a nice shirt and go visit the offices of financial planners, accountants, and professionals who know the business and can help you make a serious plan for your trucking business. Trust us, even if you want to be independent and hate the idea of sitting in a boring waiting room, you’ll be a lot better off with a plan and guidelines to follow.

There are way More Costs Than you Think

As an owner operator, you will have to be financially smart and set budgets for your personal paychecks and meals. Can you handle sticking to a certain budget for every meal or will you buy a filet mignon at the beginning of the trip and be down to a loaf of bread a jar of peanut butter by the end of it?

How much debt do you have? Are you close to unburying yourself? Can you add more to your credit cards to spruce up your rig and make necessary repairs? On and off the road, emergencies happen, do you have funds squirreled away to handle them, even if you can’t work for a month or more? Will anyone give you a loan? Hopefully, your credit is in good shape.

Are you prepared for the future? You’ll need a lot of insurance, including disability and life. If you become disabled and can’t work you’ll need the regular checks to keep coming in to help you out. Also, if you don’t make it in the event of an accident don’t you want money going to your wife and family to get your affairs in order?

It Takes More Time

Are you ready to put in the time it takes to be an owner operator? Can you handle driving longer hours with further routes? Will you mind driving all weekend? You have to be ready to put in a little overtime, or while getting started and establishing yourself, a lot of overtime.

Do you like to park on the weekends at stops to talk to your fellow road warriors and catch up on some tv or shoot the breeze to talk about what the bears with ears are catching on the CB or how the turtle races have been grinding your gears? Unfortunately, owner operators have less time to fraternize.

Is your home life demanding? Do you have a wife and kids to get back to? Do you have to be back every other weekend for custody of your kids?

You and Your Truck Might not be Healthy Enough

How old are you and how do you feel? Can you stay up for longer hours to drive farther? Do you have the time to put in overtime hours or are you just too exhausted? You never want to push yourself past the dangerous limit!

Do you have a growing health condition that will require more time for rest in doctor visits in the future? Will you need time off for treatment? If so then it might be the best time to make the jump to owner operator.

How old is your truck? Can it make the distance? How many miles have you and your loved one gone together? Do you own your own trailer and is it in good condition to haul various loads of frozen foods or materials? What if you needs to haul liquids or livestock? Do you have the necessary trailers or will they be another expense?

You may Miss Company Comforts

Leasing yourself to a company or being totally independent is always something to consider. While the freedom of not having to say yes sir to a supervisor and not having to follow dumb little rules may seem irresistible, you might miss the perks.

Working with a company comes with company trailers, paid time off, reimbursements for permits, miles, gas, and more. Plus, you can get on a company insurance plan. It’s a little less work, with a little more financial padding, even if you have people to answer too.

Do you Have What it Takes?

This article isn’t meant to put you down or discourage you from taking the steps to become an owner operator, it’s to make sure you’re prepared. Consider all the costs and the effort it will take. In the end, if the timing is right, your finances are in order, and your health is in good condition then there’s nothing like being an independent owner operator, making your own schedule, without any managers breathing down your neck. It’s pure trucking freedom.

Learn more about becoming an owner operation at ExpressTruckTax.com and be sure to share your tips and tricks in the comment section below. 
Read More »

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Bulk Uploading: HVUT for Fleets

0
Just a quick update for our fleet managers out there! When you need to file HVUT for a fleet of vehicles, take advantage of our easy-to-use bulk upload feature.










Start by filling out First Used Month & Year, and then select Bulk Upload Using a File when you’re on the Taxable Vehicles tab.






The nice thing is, we provide an Excel template you can use to upload your data to our sites. Select Express Upload to continue.



Just follow these three steps! Download the template by following the “clicking here” link, fill out the saved file, and then upload the completed spreadsheet!




The excel template is easy to navigate, and has clear labels and drop down menus with itemized selections for your filing convenience.




If you make a filing error, our system will let you know! Click “View Upload Errors” to examine the errors. Once your errors are identified, simply fix the flawed entries in your downloaded spreadsheet and then re-upload the file by clicking “Bulk Upload using a File” again.




After that, you can view, file, and pay your HVUT taxes all at once! You have to admit, that’s way easier than doing each vehicle one-by-one.





While we think bulk uploading is easier, you may still run into a question we can answer for you. We’ll always be ready to help you by phone or email. Give us a call at 704.234.6005 if you need assistance!


Read More »

Monday, January 18, 2016

Celebrity Trucking: Famous People Who Used to Drive Trucks

2
You ever wonder if that driver you’re passing is gonna be the next Elvis Presley? Okay, maybe not -- but the King of Rock used to be king of the road. Before going on Christmas Vacation, Griswold patriarch Chevy Chase was also once a truck driver. So maybe you knew those -- but what other stars used to live the trucking life?


A Particular Set of Skills


Not only has Taken star Liam Neeson played a Jedi Knight and a Batman villain, he was once a member of the Trucking Nation. Before making a name for himself on the screen, Neeson drove a truck and operated forklifts for the Guinness brewery. Turns out his resume is as varied as his acting abilities!



Soldier, Trucker, Actor


You may know Charles Bronson from film classics like The Magnificent Seven and the Death Wish series, but he too spent time behind the wheel. Drafted into the Army in 1943, Bronson drove trucks for the Air Corps before becoming a tail gunner on a B-29 bomber.

Hasta La Vista, Baby


While on the road, one trucker found his true calling after watching Star Wars. Director James Cameron quit the trucking business and went on to become one of the biggest filmmakers in history -- whose film Avatar was only recently de-throned as highest grossing domestic release by the latest Star Wars picture. Do you think his fascination with blowing up trucks in his movies is some kind of therapy?

Trucked by an Angel


After driving a cab, future gospel singer and Touched by an Angel actress Della Reese sought more money as a truck driver. Reese’s route had her hauling produce from Toledo to Detroit a few times a week. While she went on to become a household name, Reese enjoyed trucking, and especially liked that she never had to load or unload her truck!

From Stardom to Trucking


On the other hand, how many celebs decided the trucking life is for them? Once a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, retired player Roy Williams now runs his own fleet, RDUB Trucking out of Odessa, TX. While it’s not the retirement he envisioned -- his company now operates with 14 vehicles. Not a bad retirement plan if you ask me!

But whether you’re going to be the next Elvis, writing the next summer blockbuster, or starting your own fleet -- you have to keep up with your 2290’s. So you're not as famous as Liam Neeson, but we'll still help you file your 2290 at ExpressTruckTax. And if you're a fleet owner like Roy Williams, check out ExpressIRSForms for W-2s and Obamacare Forms 1094 & 1095.

If you have questions, our US-based support team is available through phone, email, and even live chat. We'll assist you any way that we can by phone at 704.234.6005, or by email at support@expresstrucktax.com.
Read More »

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Be Ready to File Form 2290 for Heavy Highway Vehicles

0

As the month of November moves closer and closer, you will want to be able to get your Form 2290 taken care of as swiftly as possible once it is made available. It is unfortunate enough that the filing process was delayed, but to avoid any future confusion about the issue, it would be beneficial to be ready to file once the form is available.

In order to make the filing process easier with the IRS using Form 2290, it is very important that you keep accurate records, just like you would when filing any other type of tax return. It is crucial for anyone filing form 2290 to maintain their records for at least 3 years prior to the filing date for any taxable highway vehicles registered to them. For fleet owners and small trucking companies who have filed form 2290 in the past, it is wise to always keep the 2290 records on hand, as one never knows when IRS inspection may take place. It is even important to save these returns if they are only for a part of a year. In the case of a suspended vehicle (public highway use was less than 5,000 miles/year) it is still necessary to keep records of Form 2290’s filed for them as well.

You will need to gather the following information before filing form 2290 to accelerate the filing process. You will need a description of all vehicles for which you are filing as well as a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) for each one. You will also need to know the gross taxable weight of the vehicle.  It is also necessary to report the date the vehicle was acquired, as well as the name and address of the previous owner. The first use month for the taxable period is also required for reporting. If a vehicle is considered to be suspended, keep a record of actual highway mileage. If the vehicle is an agricultural vehicle, then keep accurate records of the number of miles it is driven on a farm or field. Keeping proper records of your 2290 information will be a great help to you in the unfortunate event of an audit.  It will also make the task of filing this form much easier.

ExpressTruckTax.com is an IRS authorized E-File provider who can help you file form 2290 as well as keep secure online records of previously filed form 2290’s. For more information on the 2290 filing process, heavy vehicle use tax, IRS payment methods, etc visit the Express Truck Tax website or call our Truck Tax experts at 704-234-6005. You can also email any questions to support@ExpressTruckTax.com.
Read More »

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Truck Tax Regulations for 2011 (HVUT)

0

You don’t have to be a transportation expert to understand that Washington DC is known for its gridlock. The very worst of it is actually off the roads and on Capital Hill. While both parties in Congress continue to argue, there is a significant piece of legislation that has yet to be voted on. The delay of this legislation being enacted has thrown many people in the trucking & transportation industry for a loop.

The law previously referred to is a transportation law known as SAFETEA-LU – the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users – which expired in 2009, but it allowed the taxes associated with the Highway Trust Fund to be collected for an additional two years. When SAFETEA-LU became law in 2005, lawmakers added what they believed to be enough time to get the next multi-year transportation authorization bill in place.

Those two years have passed faster than expected and we are left without a new Highway Bill to replace it. The House and Senate committees are now drafting preliminary versions of the legislation and will continue to debate its details. Let’s hope that both sides come to an agreement soon to avoid massive confusion in the trucking industry. Trucking Regulations alone are complicated enough.

Under normal circumstances, tax provisions related to the Highway Trust Fund would be extended as part of the authorization. Unfortunately, no one can accurately predict what will happen in the future, especially with the extreme volatility between political parties of late. One thing that is predictable, however, is that ExpressTruckTax.com will keep updating their website and blog with the latest news affecting the Trucking Industry. Once there is more information available about the HVUT filing process, we will let you know. Express Truck Tax is the premier provider of Tax Services for the Trucking Industry; as soon as the IRS releases the new Form 2290, it will be available for EFiling at www.ExpressTruckTax.com.
Read More »

Friday, August 19, 2011

IRS Tax Implications for those in the Trucking Industry

0

For many Owner-Operators of Heavy Highway Vehicles, the benefits of self employment make being on the open road a very exciting experience. However, due to the heavy regulation of the Trucking and Transportation Industry, there are various taxes you must pay for self-employment income earned as an independent truck driver. Since self-employed individuals are not subject to tax withholding, there is more control over periodic tax payments throughout the year, which can be cut down by claiming deductions for business expenses.

Self-Employment Tax

The Self-Employment tax applies to truck drivers who operate their own business. These taxes are imposed in order to fund the Social Security and Medicare programs. The disadvantage of paying these taxes as a self-employed individual is that you owe twice as much as taxpayers who earn their income from employment. This is because employers are responsible for paying the other half of these taxes for their employees. There is somewhat of a silver lining to this though, the IRS does allow you to claim a deduction for 50 percent of the self-employment tax payments you make as an adjustment to income.

Truck Driver Deductions

You are not required to pay income tax or self-employment tax on your gross earnings from self employed truck driving. Instead, it calculates your tax due on net earnings, which is equal to your gross earnings minus all deductions you can claim. In order to claim a deduction, the expense must be ordinary and necessary to operate your business. This may cover any number of expenses you incur, but typically, truck drivers may deduct the cost of gasoline, oil, truck repairs, insurance and parking charges. You may also deduct the cost of the truck itself by including the lease payments or depreciation of the purchase price in your deductions. And, if you ever stay in a hotel during those long road trips, you may deduct your lodging expenses also.
Other Truck Taxes

IRS Form 2290 is meant to send information about the usage of a commercial truck and to pay taxes on that use to the IRS. You can use this form for a single truck filing, or up to twenty-five vehicles can be reported on one form. The major reasons for filing the form include:
The typical Tax year for Form 2290 is from July 1st to June 30th of the next year. The form and any payment are typically due by the end of August of the corresponding year. The IRS requires that forms with 25 or more vehicles to be electronically filed.

As mentioned Earlier, the typical tax year is from July 1 to June 30, but this year it has changed. Due to legislation being held up in Congress, there has yet to be a legislation enacted to collect these Heavy Vehicle Use Taxes. The IRS has announced that it will not be accepting these 2290 forms until November 1 of this year.
Read More »

ExpressTruckTax Blog

E-file your HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.