Monday, July 28, 2014

July 31st Quarterly Filing Deadlines

Are you ready, Truckers? Just four days from today is the deadline for FOUR quarterly tax filings! All you interstate truckers already know that the second quarter IFTA is due, but is there something else you may need to file? Find out which states have additional tax requirements below:

New York Highway Use Tax

  • A tax based on vehicle weight and distance traveled on public highways, it excludes miles traveled on
    toll-paid portions of the N.Y. State Thruway.
  • This quarterly filing is for vehicles with a gross weight of more than 18,000 pounds.
  • An unloaded truck/tractor weighing more than 8,000 or 4,000 lbs respectively must also file. 
  • If you travel through N.Y. only occasionally, you may obtain a Trip Permit in lieu of annual registry and filing of NY HUT. TSNAmerica can obtain this permit for you!
  • No more than 10 trip permits may be used per year. 

Kentucky Highway Use Tax

  • This quarterly tax is determined by the mileage traveled by the heavy truck within the state of Kentucky. 
  • Taxable vehicles have a combined gross weight or licensed weight 60,000 pounds and up (Buses are an exception).
  • This requirement excludes farm-licensed vehicles.
  • Before you can file, you must obtain a tax license called the KYU number.

New Mexico Weight-Distance Tax

  • A quarterly-filed tax based on weight of the vehicle and number of miles traveled on New Mexico roads. 
  • For heavy vehicles with a gross weight in excess of 26,000 lbs. 
  • Each year, companies must obtain the New Mexico Weight Distance Tax permit for each vehicle.
  • The tax rate is graduated, increasing the heavier the vehicle.
Between yearly & quarterly filings, permits, registrations, and more, staying compliant can be a confusing, complicated mess! That’s why we at Truck Services of North America are always working to stay up-to-date on trucking regulations. We pride ourselves on knowing the answers to all of your questions. And if we don’t know the answer, then we'll use our extensive network of resources to find it for you– fast.

Send us a Service Request Form, email us at or call 803.386.0320. See what we can do for your business!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Surviving an IFTA Audit

In our last installment of IFTA 101, we covered some ways to avoid an IFTA audit. Quarterly reports with non-continuous miles or skewed MPG are just some of the red flags for IFTA auditors.

But even if you avoid these pitfalls, there is still a chance that you will be chosen at random for audit. This is because each base jurisdiction is required to audit 3% of IFTA accounts per year. If any lucky trucker can win the IFTA audit lottery, that means you need to be prepared to avoid potential penalties.

So how can you be ready? Daily diligence in keeping records is the only solution. This may sound like a hassle, but if you ever get that phone call, you will be relieved knowing you don’t have to scramble around your cab and dig crumpled receipts out of every crevice! Five minutes a day keeps the penalties away!

Documentation required can be broken down into two simple groups: Distance Records and Fuel Records. Monthly and quarterly summaries are not sufficient alone, so keep all original reports and hard copies.

Distance Records must contain the following:

Basic information about the driver and vehicle:
    • Driver’s signature and name
    • Registrant’s name
    • Vehicle Fleet number
    • Vehicle Identification Number 
    • Trailer number
Trip Information:
    • Start and End dates of the trip
    • Trip Origin and Destination
    • Routes of Travel
    • Odometer/Hubometer readings from start & finish
    • Total Trip Miles/Kilometers
    • Miles/Kilometers by Jurisdiction
Remember that personal and leased miles must also be included.

Fuel Records must contain the following:
    • Original receipts for each purchase. Copies or scans are not acceptable. Keep them in good condition and do not write on or alter them in any way.
    • Date of purchase
    • Seller’s name and address
    • Number of gallons/liters purchased
    • Fuel type
    • Price per gallon or total of sale
    • Unit numbers 
    • Make, model, and gross weight of the licensed vehicle
When withdrawing from Bulk Fuel, a bulk metered record must also be kept. Record the date of withdrawal, number of gallons, fuel type, Unit or VIN number of vehicle you’re filling, and the purchase/inventory records from the initial bulk fuel purchase. This verifies that tax was paid.

If these records are kept organized and legible, you’re several steps closer to surviving an IFTA audit. Here are a few more survival tips:
  • To stay organized easily, print your Trip Record on an 8 ½ x 11 envelope and store fuel receipts inside.
  • Use a G.P.S. to automatically track and upload your miles, but be careful. Not all systems track mileage precisely enough for tax purposes, so be sure that your G.P.S. is IFTA approved. 
  • Routes taken must be accurate as auditors know details, such as when and where construction was taking place, detours, closed bridges, etc.
  • Supporting documentation for the last 12 quarters should be stored in your base jurisdiction, or you may have to pay travel expense and per diem for the auditor to access them.
  • Cooperate with the auditor to the best of your ability. Avoiding phone calls or not providing the correct documents will only increase the likelihood of penalties. Also, the four-year retention requirement will be extended until you cooperate. 
With some diligence and cooperation, your IFTA audit should be pain-free and over in no time!

Truck Services of North America is here to help with all of your IFTA needs. As a premier processing agency, we will prepare your quarterly returns based on the information you provide us and file it directly with the state department.

The deadline for filing HVUT Form 2290 is also approaching. If you’re short on time, we can take care of that for you and much more! To see the array of services we offer, visit, and send us a Service Request Form, email us at or call 803.386.0320. Our goal is to eliminate that bothersome paperwork and get you back on the road!

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Avoiding an IFTA Audit

Did you know that each base jurisdiction is required to audit 3% of its IFTA accounts per year? This policy
is in place to ensure that all drivers are keeping accurate fuel and mileage records according to IFTA standards— meaning that any driver can be selected at random for an audit, sometimes with little or no time to prepare. 

However, not all audits are determined at random. Quarterly IFTA filings are reviewed to check for
inconsistencies and errors. As such, inaccurate or insufficient record keeping could trigger an audit. So what can you do to avoid being audited?

Of course, the best way to avoid–and to survive–an IFTA audit is diligent record keeping. The reports, along with the originals, should be kept on hand for four years after the filing date. Beyond these basics, there are a few common mistakes drivers should steer clear of. These will give the appearance of non-compliance, even if you are doing everything right.

Here are some red flags for IFTA auditors:

  • Non-continuous Jurisdictions: Trip logs must show continuity from the starting point to the destination, with every district in between. It’s impossible for a vehicle to begin in California and suddenly be in Utah. This is a glaring error to auditors.
  • Gaps in Mileage: This occurs when your end of the day trip logs don’t match up with the beginning of the next day. Often this happens because drivers don’t realize that their personal or leased miles must also be included on the trip logs. 
  • Over-simplified Fuel Calculations: When reporting fuel, it is not acceptable to divide your miles traveled by a predetermined Miles Per Gallon estimate as MPG will naturally fluctuate. The precise fuel use and mileage must be recorded.
  • Skewed MPG: If your average MPG varies drastically from one quarter to the next, there needs to be a legitimate reason, such as different road conditions, varying weights of the loads carried, etc. If the reason is not apparent, it could trigger an audit.
  • Excessively High/Low MPG: The average MPG for a heavy vehicle is between 5-10 MPG. If your MPG falls outside of this range, there is likely an error in calculations. Moreover, some states will not let you file your IFTA return until your MPG is within that range.

Remember that even if you avoid these pitfalls, there is still a chance that you will be chosen at random for audit, which means you need to be prepared in order to avoid potential penalties, such as double taxation or even license revocation for non-compliance.

If the paperwork required for IFTA is getting out of hand, Truck Services of North America is always here to help. We not only calculate the tax amount due and prepare the return based on the information provided to us, we also file it directly with the state department. We also file HVUT Form 2290, IRP, and much more on your behalf, cutting down on paperwork and increasing time you can spend on the road.

To find out more about the array of premier services we offer, visit, and send us a Service Request Form, email us at or call 803.386.0320. You’ll always speak to a real person, not an automated system. And if we don’t already know the answer to your question, we will find it!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Common IFTA Mistakes

Truck Services of North America receives many questions about the requirements of IFTA.  Here are a couple common mistakes that can be quite costly for IFTA license holders.

I do not have to file a quarterly return since I did not operate.
Many IFTA license holders assume that if they do not have any mies to report, that they do not have to file a quarterly IFTA return. This is not the case, if you hold a valid IFTA license, you are required to file a quarterly return by the deadline, even if no miles were traveled.  In the instance of no operations, you would simply file a zero return and no tax will be owed.  However, if you fail to file the zero return by the quarterly deadline, you will be responsible for the late filing penalty fee.

If I do not renew my IFTA license at the end of the year, my IFTA account will automatically be closed and I will not be required to continue to file quarterly returns.
This is not always true and depends on your state.  The process to close your IFTA account varies from state to state.  Some states revoke and close IFTA accounts as soon as you fail to file for one or two quarters.  Others close the account at renewal time, while others allow the account to remain open and each quarter that is late, is subject to the late filing penalties and interest for any tax due. You want to check with your state to find out what is required to close your IFTA account if you are going out of business or easing operations for any reason.  We have had customers who have been required to file over 4 years of outstanding IFTA returns, because they failed to close their account with the state.

TSNAmerica works very closely with state IFTA offices and can assist you in setting up, maintaining and closing your IFTA account.  We keep you informed of deadlines, file your quarterly returns and notify you of changes in rules and regulations, should they occur.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Know Your HVUT Responsibilities

What is HUVT?
HVUT is the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax that is a fee assessed annually on heavy vehicles operating on public highways at registered gross weights equal to or exceeding 55,000 pounds. The gross taxable weight of a vehicle is determined by adding the unloaded weight of the motor vehicle and any trailers together with the maximum load customarily carried on-road by the truck-trailer combination.

Who Must File?
You must file Form 2290 for the tax period beginning on July 1st and ending on June 30th of the following year, if a taxable highway motor vehicle is registered, or required to be registered, in your name under state, District of Columbia, Canadian, or Mexican law at the time of its first use during the period and the vehicle has a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more.  The deadline to file the annual tax is August 31st.

What is Required?
Business Details:
  • Business Name (Sole proprietor can use their legal name)
  • Address
  • EIN (Employer Identification Number)
  • Name & phone number of authorized signatory.
Vehicle Details:
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Gross weight of the Vehicle
IRS Payment Method:
  • If paying by direct debit, you will need your bank routing number and account number.

Deadline to File?
Heavy Vehicle Use Taxes must be filed using the Form 2290 on an annual basis. The Tax period for Heavy Vehicles begins on July 1st and ends on June 30th of the following year. The annual renewal of your Form 2290 for a new tax period IS DUE BY August 31st each year.

For new vehicles placed in service, the IRS Form 2290 must be filed by the last day of the month following the month of first use. For example, if you purchase and first use a vehicle in October, you must file a Form 2290 by the end of November.

Give Truck Services of North America a call and we can phone file your Form 2290.  We take all your information over the phone and submit it to the IRS on your behalf!  All we need is your information and a signed Form 8453, giving us the authorization to file for you.  We can send you the form, you sign it and send it back and we take care of the rest. We will even send your Stamped Schedule 1 to your employer for you!

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

ATTN: Ohio IRP Customers - Cab Card Update

On Tuesday, June 24, 2014, the International Registration Plan, Inc posted an IRP Cab Card Update from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  The update is regarding the validation stickers, which were discontinued as of January 1, 2014.  The Ohio BMV is requesting member jurisdictions to circulate this notice to their law enforcement member along with a copy of this cab card example.

Truck Services of North America works to help you stay informed of changes in laws that affect you.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

14-15 2290 & 2nd Quarter Filing Period Now Open!

2nd Quarter Filing Period for IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement), KYU (Kentucky Use Tax), New Mexico Weight Distance Tax, and NY HUT (New York Highway Use Tax) is now open. The deadline for 2nd quarter filing is July 1, 2014 and we encourage you not to wait until the last minute to file.

The filing period for the 2014-2015 Form 2290 tax year is also open. Each Heavy Highway Vehicle weighing 55,000 pounds or more must file Heavy Vehicle Use Tax on an annual basis using Form 2290. The filing period opens today, July 1st and the deadline to file is August 31st.

As a premier processing agency, Truck Services of North America can assist with your your IFTA, NY HUT, KYU, and New Mexico Taxes as well as filing your Form 2290 over the phone.  We can help you obtain the necessary credentials and file your quarterly taxes for you.
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