Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Maintain Your Operating Authority: Are You Forgetting Something?

So you’ve managed to obtain your operating authority- which is no easy task!

But now comes the even trickier part of ensuring that your authority is maintained correctly.

With “maintenance” tasks required on a quarterly, annual, and biennial basis, it’s easy to forget one or more of the filings that are required for you to continue operating. But unfortunately, forgetting isn’t an option when your livelihood is at stake.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of everything you need to file- and when- for you to maintain your interstate operating authority like the pro that you are.

Basic Authority Maintenance

  • USDOT # Biennial Update: Your DOT# must be updated every two years in order to remain active. To update, simply provide the FMCSA with your current contact info, even if it hasn’t changed. The deadline for your biennial update is determined by the last digit of your DOT # which corresponds to a particular month. For example, numbers ending in 9 must be updated every other year in September. Not sure what your digit means? We can tell you what year/month your update it due and help you avoid penalties or deactivation. 
  • Change in Operation or Cargo: If your operation changes in any way, or if you start carrying a different type of cargo, you may need to apply for another authority in addition to your MC#. TSNA can apply for your FF or MX numbers as needed and help ensure uninterrupted operation.
  • Change in Contact Info: If your contact information changes, even slightly, you must immediately notify the FMCSA, as well as your BOC-3 blanket agent. This is to ensure that you can be contacted immediately in the event that your business is served legal papers. 

Annual Renewals

  • UCR, IRP & IFTA Renewals: All three licenses must be renewed annually, usually by December 31st. IRP renewals, however, may be due at the end of another quarter depending on regulations in your base state. Check with TSNAmerica to see if you have a staggered deadline. 
  • State Use Tax Licenses: If you’re subject to an additional state use tax, then these licenses must also be renewed annually. For example, the Kentucky Use Tax can only be paid if you first have a KYU Number, and the Oregon Weight Weight-Mile Tax can only be filed with a current Weight Receipt. 
  • HVUT: Heavy vehicle use tax must also be paid each year. The HVUT tax year opens July 1st, and Form 2290 is due by the end of July for all renewals. It is important to file your Form 2290 on time, even if no tax is owed. The stamped Schedule 1 (your receipt for filing) is required for tag renewals. TSNAmerica can file your 2290 over the phone, same day! Just one more way we go above and beyond to accommodate your busy schedule!
  • Recordkeeping: As always, proper recordkeeping is vital to remaining compliant. Failure to maintain records could result in penalties, so be sure you’re updating your distance and fuel records daily. 

Quarterly Tax Filings

  • IFTA Returns: In addition to renewing your IFTA license annually, mileage and fuel use reports by jurisdiction must be submitted each quarter at the end of January, April, July & October. Any fuel taxes owed must be paid at the time of filing. 
  • State Use Tax Returns: Like IFTA, state use taxes also require quarterly mileage/fuel use reports. If you operate in Kentucky, New York, New Mexico, or Oregon, then you are subject to a quarterly tax based on the miles accrued in that state. 
  • Quarterly Recordkeeping: For all of these quarterly taxes, proper recordkeeping is essential. Submitting inaccurate or incomplete distance and fuel records will only result in paying more taxes, and it can even result in being audited, paying penalties, and in the worst case scenario, your license being revoked. All original documents, receipts, and trip sheets should be kept in your base jurisdiction for at least 4 years after the close of the quarter. 

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when your paperwork outnumbers you 20 to 1. Level the playing field by making TSNAmerica your ally.

When you become a TSNAmerica client, you’re our client for life. We won’t register your MC# and then leave you to figure how to maintain your authority all by yourself. We go the extra mile to remind you about upcoming deadlines and to lend you a helping hand when you need it most.

In fact, we can file all of the above and then some! No matter what your business needs, chances are we have a service to cover it. To view all of our service packages, head over to, or to speak with one of our processing professionals, just call us directly at 803.386.0320. We look forward to being your partner!

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