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Thursday, May 28, 2015

2290 Pre-Filing Over the Phone: Now Available

Heavy vehicle use tax season is nearly underway, and it’s time to start filing your 2290.

This year, TSNAmerica is not only continuing to offer over-the-phone HVUT filing, but we are also exclusively offering pre-filing for the HVUT season. Pre-filing your 2290 over the phone is great way to get ahead for the 2015-16 tax season, and it can also ensure that you won’t have to deal with any late penalties down the road.

So don’t wait til the last minute to get it out of the way, call now and get TSNAmerica to pre-file your 2290 today!

What is Form 2290 and Who Needs to File?


IRS Form 2290 is used annually to file Heavy Vehicle Use Tax, or HVUT. You must file Form 2290 and get a stamped copy of your Schedule 1 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 tax period, and if the vehicle will travel over 5,000 miles during the tax year. The tax year begins on July 1, 2015 and runs through June 30, 2016.

Need Some Help? Pre-file Over the Phone!


We know that dealing with all these complicated forms and calculations by yourself can be very frustrating and time consuming. While some may have time to waste fiddling with IRS forms, we understand that for truckers, time is money, and it’s hard to find the time to sit down and file your 2290. That’s why at Truck Services of North America, we’ll take care of the entire E-filing process for you, saving you time, money, and lots of frustration. And we’ll even do it early, which means your return will be at the top of the stack when the IRS begins processing renewals July 1st!

How It Works:


For us to E-file for you, all it takes is a simple five-minute phone call to get all of your relevant information. When you call us you’ll need:
  • Business Contact Information- It must be what the IRS has on record, including business name, phone number, and address
  • EIN- Employer Identification Number
  • VIN- Vehicle Identification Numbers for all of your taxable vehicles
  • Gross Vehicle Weight
  • Payment Information- the IRS no longer accepts credit cards
We’ll also ask you if any of your vehicles are used for special purposes such as for agriculture or logging, as this can affect your tax rates. Then, after we have all of your information we’ll fill out your forms and email you a copy of Form 8453 to sign and send back to us via email, fax, or mail - whichever is the most convenient for you.

After we have all of your information, we’ll immediately pre-file your 2290, and we’ll also send you your stamped Schedule 1 via mail, fax, or email as soon as the IRS processes your return. Just one five-minute phone call, and we’ll take care of the rest for you! For more information on our 2290 E-filing service, visit our 2290 service section here.

At TSNAmerica, it’s our job to simplify yours. That’s why in addition to our E-filing services for your 2290, we also offer a wide variety of other truck services, and a full list can be found here. You can also send us a service request form, email us at support@TSNAmerica.com, or call us at 803.386.0320.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Get Ready for CVSA Roadcheck 2015



That dreaded time of the year for truckers is fast approaching, and no I’m not talking about tax season. Well, not yet anyway. The dates for the 28th annual International Roadcheck have officially been set, and the 72-hour roadcheck sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will begin on June 2, 2015, and run through June 4, 2015.

Though it may seem like a hassle, the International Roadcheck is actually a huge benefit to truckers and civilians alike. And as long as you’re prepared, you should be able to pass without a hitch–which is why TSNAmerica is here to make sure you have all of the information you need to make it through Roadcheck 2015 with ease.


What is the International Roadcheck?


Over the years, the program has helped educate both the trucking industry and the general public about the importance of safe commercial vehicle operations. The inspections will be done by over 10,000 CVSA-certified local, state, provincial, and territorial inspectors in jurisdictions across the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Every minute during this year’s roadcheck, an estimated 17 trucks and buses will be inspected, so be sure to prepare so that your truck isn’t one of the nearly 19 percent of trucks put out of service every year.

Driver Requirements:


The inspectors will be administering the North American standard Level I inspection, which is an incredibly thorough 37-step inspection that takes roughly an hour to complete. During the inspection, drivers will be tested for seatbelt usage as well as for the use of drugs or alcohol during vehicle operation. Drivers will also be required to provide their:

  • Driver’s License
  • Endorsements
  • Hours-of-Service Documentation
  • Medical Examiner’s Certificate
  • Skill Performance Evaluation (If Applicable)

Vehicle Requirements:

The truck itself will also be checked, which will include inspection of the vehicle’s:

  • Braking System, Coupling Devices, Exhaust System, Frame, Fuel System, Lights, Safe Loading Ability, Steering Mechanism, Drive Line, Suspension, Tires, Van and Open-Top Trailer Bodies, Wheels & Rims, Windshield Wipers

Point of Emphasis for 2015


Every year, the CVSA selects a special category of violations for both inspectors and drivers to focus on, and this year the emphasis is being placed on cargo securement. The reason is because CVSA has deemed that proper cargo securement in carrier vehicles is a matter of public safety.

Here are some ways to be sure you are adequately prepared to have your cargo securement inspected:

  • After traveling the first several miles of the trip, be sure to stop and re-check the tie downs and all other load security equipment. This is actually a legal requirement for all truck drivers carrying loads of any type. 
  • Brace and block the cargo being carried as cargo can often slide during transport even if secured properly. Oftentimes an extra block or brace is all that is needed to keep the cargo from shifting too much during shipment. 
  • Inspect tie downs for wear or damage before use. Often the reason for cargo moving during transport is because the tie downs meant to keep it in place are worn and therefore break. Proper inspection before use can prevent this from ever becoming an issue during transport. 

Why Should I Prepare for Roadcheck 2015?


Overall, the International Roadcheck has been wildly successful since its inception in 1988. The program has seen over 1.4 million vehicles inspected in its 27 years of operation, and those inspections have saved an estimated 318 lives and prevented 5,840 accidents.

Not to mention that on average, having your truck put out of service by an inspector will cost you $861, and that doesn’t even include the cost of fines or repairs as a result of the inspection. So in addition to potentially saving lives, save yourself some time and money by making sure you have all the proper documentation, and have taken all the proper precautionary measures to ensure that you pass inspection.


If you have any questions to help ensure that you are informed and safe for the International Roadcheck, give TSNAmerica a call at 803.386.0320 or email them at support@tsnamerica.com. Not only can they answer any questions you may have about International Roadcheck, but they also help their clients with their HVUT, quarterly IFTA filings, and even their HazMat Certificate of Registration

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

HazMat Certificate Registration Period Now Open



Along with the hustle and bustle of HVUT renewal season comes the registration deadline for vehicles transporting hazardous materials. Just like filing your 2290, it’s not wise to wait until the last minute to register, or you could subject yourself to late penalties and fines.

The HazMat Certificate registration period for the upcoming year began May 1, 2015, and runs until June 30, 2015.

For those unfamiliar with the registration process or that need a slight refresher, we have highlighted everything you need to know about applying for a Hazmat Certificate of Registration.


Why Do I Need to Register?



The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration requires anyone that offers transportation of shipments containing hazardous materials, including hazardous waste, to file a registration statement with the Department of Transportation in addition to paying an annual fee. This is required for the transport of any hazardous material requiring a US DOT placard, which includes oil, petroleum, and propane.

Registration for the upcoming year is due by June 30th, but please note that partial years are still required to pay the entire filing fee. Therefore, if you already registered in May, your registration will need to be renewed again before July 1st.


How to Register


Registration to transport hazardous materials can be applied for online through the PHMSA website or by mail. The fees for registration vary as small businesses and nonprofit organizations get significantly lower rates than large businesses.

Several different categories of hazardous materials have been created by PHMSA, and each requires a different certificate and a unique placard displayed on the vehicle.






If you’re unsure which placards are required for your operation, contact TSNAmerica, and we can help you determine what’s right for your business.


Recordkeeping Requirements



After obtaining the proper registration, it is necessary to follow PHMSA regulations, which require that registration be kept on file at a company’s place of business for three years and available for inspection.

Moreover, every truck or tractor used in the transportation of hazardous materials is required to keep a copy of the current registration on board. Truckers are also given the option to instead keep a document with the current year’s registration number.


Penalties



Penalties can be levied on those that fail to register or to comply with recordkeeping requirements by either the local, state, or federal government. If a roadside inspection or DOT audit shows that a truck is not properly registered, the owner of the truck can:

  • Be fined up to $32,000 per day of violation. 
  • Lose their interstate or intrastate operating authority. 
To avoid penalties, be sure that all of your trucks are properly registered today. To check on the registration status of any of your trucks you can visit the PHMSA company registration search.

If you need help with your HazMat registration, or even with your HM Safety Permit, give Truck Services of North America a call at 803.386.0320, or fill out a service request form. As a premier processing agency, we will take care of the registration process for you in its entirety.

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Friday, May 8, 2015

Demystifying the E.I.N.- How to Get It or Retrieve It Safely



With 2290 renewal season around the corner, you should already be preparing to file your heavy vehicle use tax. But many of you may still be wondering if you can file using your Social Security Number. 

Unfortunately, the good old days of simply using your Social Security Number to file those 2290’s are long gone, and if you don’t already have an EIN, NOW is the time to apply for one.



What’s an EIN?


An EIN, also known as an Employer Identification Number or a Federal Tax Number, is a unique nine-digit number that is used to file heavy vehicle use tax. This number must be obtained from the IRS, and you can apply for one for free on the IRS website.

EIN numbers:


  • Contain nine digits in the form of XX-XXXXXXX
  • Cannot be transferred or cancelled
  • Are used for business activities only
  • Should not be used in place of your SSN

Why Do I Need One Now?


You may be wondering why you should begin this process now if you haven’t already, and maybe you’re even thinking that you’ll just get around to it once tax season actually starts. However, the best practice is preparation, so you should go ahead and get prepared now.

The process of filing for and receiving an active EIN can be a bit time-consuming, and if not done in time, can delay your filing and even potentially cost you late penalties. On average it takes the IRS 10 business days to activate an EIN, and in some cases it can even take up to 15. Until your EIN becomes active, your return will be rejected again, and again, and again.


How Can I Get One?


Although the process of obtaining an EIN is free through the IRS, it can be somewhat of a daunting task to handle on your own. The good news is that even if you don’t have the time to go through the strenuous process of filing and waiting for an EIN to become active, there are people that do.

Truck Services of North America specializes in making the entire process as simple and hands-off as possible for truck owners and operators. TSNAmerica’s tax specialists provide countless services for truckers, and will take care of the EIN process in its entirety with a simple five-minute phone call.

Be sure to exercise caution, however, as there are no shortage of scams out there charging upwards of $400 in return for assistance with the process, while TSNAmerica provides this service for only $50.

After you have your active EIN, there’s only one thing left to do and that’s to file your 2290. Don’t want to deal with that process either? With another simple five-minute phone call, TSNAmerica will take care of that for you too and have your stamped Schedule 1 sent to you in a matter of minutes. If your return is rejected for any reason, TSNAmerica will even make any necessary changes and resubmit your 2290 until it is accepted by the IRS, leaving your business to do exactly that, business.


Misplaced Your EIN?


If you have already received your EIN number but forgot or misplaced it, here’s what you can do:

  • If you’ve ever E-filed your 2290 with our friends over at ExpressTruckTax, then your EIN is automatically stored in your account. Just login and view your business details on your dashboard, or pull up a previously filed return to find your EIN.
  • Check with the bank or the institution that you applied for a license with. Both should have your EIN on record.
  • If all else fails, call the IRS Business and Specialty Tax Line at 1-800-829-4933. After you verify your identity, the IRS will be able to provide you with your EIN.

To get in contact with TSNAmerica, you can email support@TSNAmerica.com, use live chat support, or call (803)-386-0320. TSNAmerica support is available every Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and we are always more than happy to assist with any questions or issues you may have. So don’t cost yourself extra time and money by waiting until the last minute. Let TSNAmerica help you today!

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Friday, May 1, 2015

IFTA Late Filing Penalties: Get Your Account Back in Good Standing!



The April 30th filing deadline has officially passed!

Were you able to file on time? If your first quarter IFTA, NM Weight-Distance, Oregon Weight-Mile, NY HUT, or KYU returns are late, Truck Services of North America is here to rescue you!

But we can’t help unless you give us a call, so get ready to drop what you’re doing and pick up the phone (unless of course, you’re reading this on your phone).

The sooner you act, the lower the penalties you will face. What penalties exactly? Let’s have a look.


Late IFTA Filing Penalties


You must file your return AND pay all of the taxes due by the deadline date, or your return is considered late and subject to these penalties:

  • You must pay the greater of $50 or 10% of the net tax due to all member jurisdictions.
  • Additionally, interest accrues on the tax you owe at a rate of 1% per month.
  • Your jurisdiction will assess interest on a monthly basis, so even if you’re only 1 or 2 days late, the full 1% interest will be applied. It is not prorated. 

Get Back on Track


That’s the bad news. But the good news is that TSNAmerica has IFTA Filing Services that can get even the latest of late filers back on track.

We file IFTA and State Use Tax returns every day of the year! Here are some of the filing services we offer:

  • IFTA Basic- $75 per quarter + State Fees

    Send us your total miles and fuel purchases each quarter, and we’ll complete your return and file it directly with your state.
  • IFTA Premium- $110 per quarter + State Fees

    We’ll calculate your mileage per jurisdiction and fuel tax based on your trip sheets and fuel receipts. Then we’ll complete your return and file it for you. (Audit not included.)
  • IFTA Complete- $150 per quarter + State FeesThe ultimate IFTA service! This includes everything you need to get your quarterly IFTA filed with minimal effort and minimal risk of being audited. This service includes a thorough audit of your information to decrease the risk of errors. We check for state adjacency and gaps in odometer readings and review fuel purchases for consistency. 

And don’t forget: we also file quarterly State Use Tax returns. And fast! To see our entire line-up of services, head over to TSNAmerica.com, and then send us a Service Request Form. Your wish is our command!

Not sure how to get back on track? Call us and we’ll talk about how to get your IFTA or State Tax account back in good standing. Our happy helpers are standing by at 803.386.0320. You can also email us at support@tsnamerica.com.

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