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Friday, October 30, 2015

A Haunting Tale for IFTA Procrastinators

It’s an early fall morning, October 31st to be exact, just before the hour of five. The temperature—a brisk 46 degrees. Halloween is officially here. But Willy has far more important things to worry about today; he just doesn’t know it yet…

He rolls over in the cab of his truck, fast asleep, thoroughly enjoying the miniature space heater he purchased back in September. But despite the cozy environment of his sleeper, Willy is in for a rude awakening.

Beep! Beep! Beep!

“Crap. Is it time to get up already?” he muttered to himself, knowing full and well the answer to his own question.

He began to stretch and let out a loud groan before finally allowing his brain to convince his body it was time to crawl out of bed. It was 5 a.m., and for Willy, that means time for work. Today he was to begin his journey out to California to drop off his next load.

As he maneuvered his way into the driver’s seat of the truck, back still aching from the 12 hours of driving the previous day, he had a thought, “I feel like there was something I was supposed to do today... Eh whatever, probably wasn’t that important.”

Well unfortunately, poor Willy is about to find out the hard way that he couldn’t be more wrong. He does have something to do today and it is very important.

Just as he was merging onto the highway... it happened. Ding! An alert popped up on his smartphone. “I thought I turned off this stupid alarm!” he screamed to himself—but to no avail. However, this time, it wasn’t his alarm...

“Oh it’s just RigMinders sending me a reminder that my 3rd quarter IFTA filing is due today,” he said, as his anger slowly began to dissipate from his unnecessary outburst. Then, all of a sudden, it hit him, “Wait!!! My 3rd quarter IFTA filing is due today!? How on earth am I gonna get that done from the road!?”

Willy didn’t know what to do. While grateful for the handy reminder of his 3rd quarter IFTA deadline, the fact that it was due today had completely slipped his mind.

Willy then proceeded to have a meltdown. He yelled, screamed, and cursed, face glowing red with frustration and rage as he vigorously pounded on his steering wheel.

But once he realized his childish tantrum was going to be in vain, he began to calm down. Willy knew he was going to have to come up with a way to get his IFTA return taken care of— and fast.

He began to brainstorm, thinking of any possible way he could get his return filed while driving across the country for the next several days. After several grueling hours spent pondering what to do, Willy had an epiphany.

“Wait… what was that service agency Rick Carlisle used to get his IFTA return filed?” He asked himself aloud. “Truck Services or somethin’ other… uhh… Truck Services of North America… wait! That’s it, Truck Services of North America!”

After his impressive display of short-term memory, Willy decided he would give Truck Services of North America a call, and see if they could help.

Luckily for Willy, they always come through. After sending over a quick email with his trip sheets, TSNAmerica was able to get his IFTA return filed for him, and more importantly, filed on time. So now, Willy can enjoy his Halloween night in peace without having to worry about any late filing penalties.

Expecting something a little scarier? Well too bad, this is as scary as it’s gonna get. Just a little friendly reminder from your friends at TSNAmerica to GET YOUR IFTA RETURN FILED! So don’t be like Willy. Be prepared and give us a call today (803.386.0320), and we’ll take the hassles of IFTA out of your way.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Use Tax Deadline Reminder: New Mexico, Kentucky, and New York

We know, we know—you’ve had about enough of tax deadlines. But despite the fact that you’ve been diligently working on (hopefully, anyway) getting your IFTA returns filed, if you operate in the states of New Mexico, Kentucky, or New York, you’ve got yet another filing deadline lurking at the end of the month.

Tax Deadlines


If you’re not quite sure what we’re talking about, we’re referring to each state’s special highway use tax deadline! If you operate in any of the three states listed above, you must pay these taxes in addition to filing your IFTA return. Here’s a list of the states that have a highway use tax deadline coming up on November 2.

New Mexico: As those of you that operate in New Mexico already know, the New Mexico Weight-Mile Tax is a special use tax paid on vehicles that weigh over 26,000 pounds. But luckily for you, the tax is graduated, so the less your vehicle weighs, the lower the tax rate.

If you only operate in New Mexico on a rare occasion, you can always obtain a temporary trip permit from your friends at TSNAmerica to avoid dealing with the hassles of getting a weight-mile permit!
 
Kentucky: All drivers that operate a vehicle with a gross weight over 60,000 pounds (with the exception of agricultural vehicles) must file a return to pay Kentucky Highway Use Tax. The tax, just like the other states with a special use tax, is determined based on the mileage driven on Kentucky public highways and interstates.

Note: In order to file your Kentucky Highway Use Tax, you must first obtain a tax license from the state, and then you’ll be given a KYU tax number to file under.

New York: All drivers that operate heavy vehicles in New York must file and pay New York Highway Use Tax. Only drivers operating vehicles that weigh 18,000 pounds or more loaded or 8,000 pounds or more unloaded are required to pay this tax, and mileage driven on toll-roads is not taxable.

For those drivers that only drive through New York on occasion, you aren’t required to pay this tax as long as you obtain the proper temporary trip permits required by the state of New York. If you don’t know what these are and you’re going to be headed into New York soon, temporary trip permits are the best and least expensive route for travel. How can you get one? Great question. Just give us a call and we’ll get you taken care of!

How Can I File?


How do you think? With us of course! Just give us a call at 803.386.0320 and your use taxes will disappear! Well, not literally, but you sure won’t have to deal with them yourself. Sounds nice right? Well it is—so what are you waiting for?

And remember, if you’re having trouble with your IFTA return that’s due at the end of the month, we can help with that, too! Just give us a call. Now you’re probably thinking to yourself, “wow these people really do it all.” And if you are then you’d be right because yes, yes we do. We look forward to hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

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Friday, October 16, 2015

TSNA: Trucking News Update

That’s right, the next installment of the Trucking Industry Update is here - powered by Truck Services of North America. Don’t hide it; we know you’re excited. In an industry filled with ever-changing regulations and policies, we know it’s a daunting task to stay up-to-date and informed. But not to fret, that’s what we’re here for. So just like always, keep reading and we’ll get to the good stuff.

Operation Safe Driver Week:


Starting on October 18 and running through the 24th is the annual Operation Safe Driver Week, sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). During this week, officers in the United States, Mexico, and Canada will be looking for a variety of specific violations.

The five most common violations they'll be searching for are:

  • Speeding
  • Failure to Wear a Seat Belt
  • Failure to Obey Traffic Control Devices
  • Improper Lane Changes
  • Following Too Closely

Last year during safe driver week, officers pulled over nearly 60,000 commercial vehicle and car drivers for “unsafe driving behaviors.” That’s right, almost 60,000 traffic stops across North America over a one week period. So if you want to be safe, drive safe, and don’t get pulled over next week!

Delayed Regulations:


There’s been a lot of long awaited trucking mandates that were expected to be implemented before the end of the year: but many have now been postponed. Don’t get too excited thoughthat’s postponed, not canceled. But regardless, it looks like you’re all going to be getting just a little bit more time before you have to deal with any of these new rules.

Let’s take a look and see some of the regulations that have been delayed so far:

Speed Limiters: The official rule that would mandate speed limiters was originally expected to be issued by the end of September 2015, but now the final rule is not expected to pass until the end of 2016.

ELDs: This one isn’t going to be delayed quite as long, but the ELD rule originally expected to pass by the end of September has been pushed back until the end of October.

Entry Level Driver Training: The new requirements for entry level driver training may not ever be passed. Just kidding, well, kind of. The rule has already been delayed multiple times, most recently to November 15, and Congress expects that date to get pushed back even further. The reason cited for the delay is that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has had a tough time justifying it from a cost benefit standpoint. So while this new regulation may still may be coming your way soon, there's actually a strong chance it may not be heading your way at all.

Minimum Insurance Increases: Many agencies already agreed to this rule in principal, and the FMCSA was set to to issue an advanced notice of the new regulation. Instead, it appears that other regulations have moved to the top of the priority list, and this has been put on the back burner for now.

I-95 Reopens in South Carolina:


This one hit us close to home here at TSNAmerica (quite literally), and we’re excited to say that all closed sections of I-95 through South Carolina have been reopened. Earlier this week, the state DOT announced that all southbound lanes had been reopened, and that bridges on the northbound lanes were still under construction. But as of now, all lanes in both directions are ready for truckin’!

Well folks, you’re welcome; you’re now the most well-informed truckers on the road. Stay tuned for more updates so you can continue to stay ahead of your brethren in both preparedness and knowledge.

At TSNAmerica, we take pride in helping you take care of all things trucking. We know the UCR registration season has begun and those 3rd quarter IFTA reports are due soon. So if you want someone to take care of it for you, just give us a call! You can reach us at 803.386.0320, email us at support@tsnamerica.com, or send us a service request.
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Friday, October 9, 2015

UCR Registration is Now Open!

Yeah we get it, the timing is less than ideal. But what’s new? We know all you truckers are currently buried under piles of of paperwork trying to finish up your 3rd quarter IFTA returns, but don’t forget about your UCR registration amidst all the madness!

The period officially opened on October 1, and now is the time to get it out of the way before the end of the year deadline. After all, nobody likes things hanging over their head; you’ve got enough on your plate already. So give us a call and let us complete your UCR registration, and while we’re at it, we can do your IFTA return for you, too!

If you aren’t sure what UCR registration is or how to go about getting yours taken care of, no worries, just keep reading and we’ll answer some of the most common UCR questions.

What is UCR Registration?


UCRA stands for the Unified Carrier Registration Agreement, which is mandated by the federal government. (Although it is administered by participating states) The registration is typically only for vehicles that operate interstate or internationally, and the fees are based on the total number of vehicles used or leased by the individual or company.

Most carriers that operate intrastate only, or that are registered under the PRISM program are not required to complete UCR registration. Although, certain states do have a UCR program for intrastate only carriers, like Georgia. If you’re unsure of the requirements of your state, be sure to check, as many state requirements change from year to year.

What’s My Base State?


Your base state is simply the state you are registered with that collects UCR fees on behalf of all participating UCR states. When choosing your base state, it is typical to choose the state where your business is headquartered, unless that state doesn’t participate in UCR.

If your state doesn’t participate, but you still need to register for UCR, you can choose the closest state that does participate where your business has an office or an operating facility. If that still isn’t an option for you, then you can just choose the nearest participating state as your base.

How Do I Change My Base State?


Well if you do need to change your base state, you couldn’t have picked a better time to do it. Even if your business has moved to another state, base changes are allowed once a year, and can only be done during the registration period - which is now! Just make sure you give the advanced notice of the change to your base state, and when renewing, choose your new base state.

What Happens if I Don’t Register or Register Late?


Each state that participates in the UCRA has the authority to enforce registration compliance through roadside enforcement checks and comprehensive business audits. During theses enforcement checks and audits, states are given the option to issue citations and fines if anything is found not to be in compliance. So while we can’t say for certain what will happen to you, we can confidently say that you can expect a pretty hefty fine.

We know that you have until the end of the year to register, but putting it off until then is probably the best possible way to forget about it entirely. So if you don’t think you’ll have time to get your UCR renewal completed, or if you just flat out don’t feel like doing it (we don’t blame you) then just give us a call at 803.386.0320, email us at support@tsnamerica.com, or send us a service request. Let us take the paperwork out of your way so you can get back to your day!

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Friday, October 2, 2015

New Annual Renewal Packages: IFTA, UCR, IRP, DOT, and More!

Well folks, a new season is officially here, and that’s not the only thing that’s new. At Truck Services of North America, we’re proud to announce our newly-designed renewal packages! We’ve made some revisions in order to give you the most comprehensive packages in the industry, and also the best pricing.

Just take a look below and see which package fits your business best. After all, who wouldn’t want TSNAmerica as their own personal assistant for all things trucking!

Renewal Packages


Below we’ve listed all the latest and greatest packages we have available. Take a look at the details of each to see which one best fits you and your business!

Basic Annual Renewal Package - Starting at $295

-IFTA Renewal + state fees, if applicable
-IRP Renewal + state fees
-UCR Renewal + UCR fees
-DOT Update

Premium Annual Renewal Package - Starting at $340

-IFTA Renewal + state fees, if applicable
-IRP Renewal + state fees
-UCR Renewal + UCR fees
-DOT Update
-One State Permit Renewal (NM, HUT, OR) + state fees

Complete Annual Renewal Package - Starting at $385

-IFTA Renewal + state fees, if applicable
-IRP Renewal + state fees
-UCR Renewal + UCR fees
-DOT Update
-Two State Permit Renewals (NM, HUT, OR) + state fees

Find the package that you need? Great! Now just fill out a service request, and we’ll get you taken care of. If you have questions about any of our renewal packages or how you can register for one, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 803.386.0320, or email us at support@tsnamerica.com. Let us take the paperwork out of your way so you can get back to your busy day!
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