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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Need More Time To File Your Taxes? Get A Deadline Extension.

IRS Form 4868 tax deadline extension
The dreaded April, 15 tax deadline, will be here before you know it.

Don’t let it sneak up on you. In fact, go ahead and tell the IRS when you’re going to pay your taxes.

That’s right. By filing a Form 4868 tax extension, you can get an automatic personal tax deadline extension.

If you’ve misplaced any forms or information, or you’re just too busy to do your taxes, a tax extension Form 4868 can be invaluable.

Let’s cover the basics of Form 4868.

What is Form 4868 and how does it work?


The Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S Individual Income Tax Return, better known as IRS Form 4868 extends the deadline of the income tax return as far as six-months (October 15, 2020).

Form 4868 is only for individual taxpayers, but businesses can file Form 7004, which has a similar effect.

You will not need to explain why you need a tax extension, but you will need to estimate your tax liability on the Form.

What information do you need to file Form 4868?


  • Full name, address, & social security number.
  • If you're filing jointly, you'll need the same information for your spouse.
  • Total tax liability & Payment for 2019.
  • Balance due if any.

How do you request a tax extension?


Paper File Form 4868


If you’re feeling like going old-school (and brave enough to risk making mistakes), find yourself a paper copy of Form 4868 (the easiest way is to print it) and fill out all the information. You will need to include a copy of last year’s tax return to verify the information you put down.

E-File Form 4868


Alternatively, you can do things the easy way and file Form 4868 from your computer through ExpressExtension.com. They’ll guide you through the e-filing process and help you be more accurate. The whole process only takes a couple of minutes.

ExpressExtension website for IRS Form 4868 tax deadline extension

Interested in getting a tax extension?

Once again, may we recommend ExpressExtension.com? It’s super easy, super convenient, super accurate, and super affordable. File your Form 4868 today!





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Friday, February 14, 2020

3 Simple Tips For Supporting The Trucker In Your Life On Valentines Day

Trucker calling on the CB radio on valentines day
Driving a truck over the road can be difficult on holidays like Valentine’s day.

It feels like everyone in the world is spending time alone with their partner.

It might already be Valentine’s day, but it’s not too late to make the trucker in your life feel special.

To make things a little bit easier on you and your trucker, here are three things you can do to support them this Valentine’s day.

1. Skype or Facetime


One of the easiest things you can do to help your trucker to know you care is to Facetime or Skype them.

Your trucker should be able to find Wi-Fi at their truck stop or connect to cellular service

A regular phone call is great too but being able to see another familiar face can make a big difference when you miss home.

2. Help them feel connected


Similarly, anything else you can do to make your trucker feel connected with the outside world is awesome!

Consider using an online service to order them a special meal. Or try sending them a romantic email since it can be difficult to get a real letter to them.

Female trucker happy on valentines day

3. Celebrate later


Another great way to console your trucker on Valentine’s day is to decide that you will celebrate it later.

Choose a day when you can be alone together and make it your own Valentine’s day.

If you pick your own day, there’s nothing stopping you from having a great Valentine’s day with your trucker!

4. Show them you care by helping with their taxes


Nobody likes taxes. Show your trucker you care by taking those taxes off their plate.

Here at Truck Services of North America, we do all the hard work for you! We file Form 2290, apply for EIN's, and deal with the IRS on your behalf!

Show your trucker you care by calling us today!




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Friday, January 31, 2020

How To Report IFTA In No Time

Trucker in field using ExpressIFTA for IFTA fuel tax reporting
The 4th quarter IFTA deadline is today!

We know IFTA reporting can be a serious hassle -- especially when you’re short on time.

The calculated and reporting process can be maddening when done alone. 

IFTA exemptions and rates change every year, constantly complicating the process.

But you don’t have to be a mathematician to accurately report and calculate your IFTA taxes. 

You just need ExpressIFTA.

Reporting ExpressIFTA


With ExpressIFTA, reporting IFTA taxes is super simple.

Just enter your miles and fuel purchases for each date or bulk upload from a spreadsheet or ELD. Then, ExpressIFTA will take that information and automatically calculate your tax due and give you a detailed report that you can use to file with your base jurisdiction.

Truckers at gas station using ExpressIFTA for IFTA fuel tax reporting


ExpressIFTA will even check for common errors in your IFTA reporting.

Use ExpressIFTA Today


ExpressIFTA is convenient, accurate, and affordable. Generate your report today!



Want more help?

Check out this helpful step-by-step guide to generating your report with ExpressIFTA!




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Thursday, December 19, 2019

5 Truck Registration Renewal Deadlines You Need To Know About

Truckers at truckstop filing for ifta renewal and irp renewal
We know you’ve got a lot on your plate. There are so many things to keep track when you’re trucking.

But to remain compliant in 2020, you need to be sure you’ve kept up with renewing all your registration.

Here are five important registration renewal deadlines you need to be aware of.

Registration Renewal Deadlines


IFTA


The deadline to file for IFTA license renewal is December 31st.

All of your quarterly IFTA taxes for 2019 need to be filed before you can be eligible for IFTA license renewal.

This is a good reason to get ahead of the curve on filing for this quarter.

Table of ifta renewal, irp renewal and wdt new mexico renewal dates

IRP


The IRP renewal deadline is staggered. It will, however, always be 30 days before the date you originally registered. 

So if you originally registered on March 1, your filing deadline will be February 1.

Typically you will receive an IRP renewal notice 45-90 days before that date.

UCR


The Unified Carrier Registration deadline for 2020 was originally set for but has been delayed “until further notice” while the FMCSA completes final rulemaking. 

When this has happened in previous years, the due date has been pushed back into March.

NM WDT


If you will be driving in New Mexico a lot in 2020, you need to register for their Weight Distance Tax (WDT). The WDT tax in New Mexico is calculated based on mileage. The deadline for license renewal is December 31.

Similar to IFTA, the NM WDT requires quarterly reporting in addition to yearly registration.

Oregon


Similar to New Mexico, Oregon charges taxes per-mile in addition to IFTA that must be reported either monthly or quarterly. The deadline for license renewal is December 31 with no grace period.

How to make keeping track easier in 2020


With TruckLogics, you can track expenses, records, maintenance, and much more from anywhere you are.

Get a 15-day free trial and give TruckLogics a try in 2020! There’s no obligation and no credit card information required.



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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Short On Time? How To Save Time With a Trucking Management Software

Trucks from a fleet managed by TruckLogics Trucking management software
As a fleet manager, you’ve got a lot on your plate.

You’ve got to keep up with drivers, dispatching, expenses, truck service intervals, clients, insurance, and more (and that’s not even including your quarterly IFTA and yearly HVUT taxes).

So how do you keep up with all of it? Luckily, we’ve got just the trucking management software to help you save time and money.


What TruckLogics trucking management software can do for you


OTR expense tracking


Pass off some responsibility to your drivers by letting them track their own expenses on the road. With the TruckLogics mobile app, they can notate expenses like fuel-ups, per diem, and just about anything else. You can even have them capture receipts right from their phone so you don’t have to rifle through physical receipts later.

This one trucking management software feature can save you from a lot of unnecessary data entry and wasted time.


Maintenance scheduling


Add service intervals to individual trucks in the TruckLogics digital garage. Whether you select a certain amount of time or a certain number of miles, TruckLogics will automatically update you when it’s time for maintenance. You can create truck service intervals for any kind of maintenance and even enter preferred servicer information.

IFTA tracking


With TruckLogics, you can generate pre-calculated reports for IFTA filing. As you assign individual trucks to specific dispatches and notate their fuel consumption, TruckLogics will keep that information on file for quarterly IFTA reports. All you have to do is enter the information from TruckLogics reports into the IFTA form and you’re good to go.

Check calls


In addition to allowing your drivers to manually send check calls to clients from our mobile app, Truckloguics now supports automated geofencing check calls. This means that your clients will receive automatic updates when your drivers leave or pick up or arrive. These updates can be fully customized.
Trucks from a fleet managed by scheduled for truck service intervals by TruckLogics Trucking management software


Expense reports


TruckLogics will automatically generate business reports for you, based on information like 'Cost Per Mile', 'Revenue Per Mile', and 'Profit Per Mile'. This way you can see what routes, clients, and drivers are most profitable for you. TruckLogics gives you unparalleled control of and visibility into your trucking business.

Try TruckLogics for free!


You can try all of these TruckLogics time-saving fleet management software solutions free for 15 days! There’s no obligation and no credit card information required.



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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Want to Start Hauling Interstate Loads? Here’s What You Need To Know

There are two types of trucking: intrastate and interstate. Intrastate refers to hauling loads only within one state. Interstate, refers to moving freight between multiple states.

In order to start hauling interstate, you’re going to need a lot more registration than before. Let’s cover everything you need to legally operate interstate trucks.

Interstate operation requirements


USDOT Number:

Issued by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), USDOT Numbers are required for vehicles that haul cargo or transport passengers interstate and that meet one or more of the following requirements:
  1. Has a gross or combined weight of 10,001 lbs or more
  2. Transports 8 or more passengers for compensation
  3. Transports 15 or more passengers not for compensation
  4. Transports hazardous materials.
The USDOT Number serves as your identification during inspections, compliance reviews and more.
*If you solely travel intrastate within one of the 33 states that require a USDOT Number or transport hazardous materials in any state, you will still be required to obtain a USDOT Number.

MC Number

The MC Number serves as your interstate authority, or your right to travel between states. In addition to your USDOT Number, you may be required to obtain one or more types of authority through the FMCSA based upon your business and the type of cargo you carry. The type of authority obtained will determine the type and level of insurance coverage needed.

BOC-3

The BOC-3 is a federal form that designates legal agents upon which process may be served in each state. BOC stands for “blanket of coverage,” and is often required before federal operating authorities can be granted within the United States.

A BOC-3 is typically filed after an MC# has been issued. The BOC-3 form is submitted to the FMCSA, and is used to designate process agents in each state where your business operates.

Process agents act as your representative for particular states and accept all legal documents or court papers that may be served to your business. The agent then forwards those documents to you and can advise you on how to proceed according to the laws in your state.

Process service agencies are third-party companies capable of granting BOC-3 filings. All process agencies must employ or lease the services of individuals or entities in each state and must be registered with the FMCSA in order to grant a BOC-3.

UCR

The Unified Carrier Registration Agreement (UCR) requires anyone operating interstate or international commercial vehicles that weigh at least 10,001 lbs to register annually and pay fees based on the number of vehicles used. 

Even if a business is not based in a participating state, interstate carriers are still required to register with the UCR and will be assigned a base jurisdiction in a nearby state.



IRP

The International Registration Plan (IRP) is required for commercial motor carriers operating in multiple jurisdictions across the contiguous United States or provinces of Canada. Vehicles that require IRP have a gross weight in excess of 26,000 lbs and/or have three or more axles. 

IRP fees are determined by the number of miles driven in each jurisdiction, but all fees are paid to the base jurisdiction only. This jurisdiction then apportions the funds accordingly, which are used to improve highways and safety programs.

IFTA

The International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), like the IRP, applies to commercial motor carriers traveling in more than one jurisdiction (state or province). 

Fuel use must be accurately recorded and filed with one’s base jurisdiction four times a year. Taxes are then distributed to other jurisdictions according to the amount of fuel burned in each.

How to file IFTA

The quarterly IFTA deadline is January 31, 2020. Our sister product Express IFTA is the best way to file your IFTA taxes! 

Enter your mileage and fuel consumption and they do all the complicated calculations for you!




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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Here's How to Easily Keep Your Truck Maintenance Up to Date

Man with toolbox doing maintenance for a truck service interval
Keeping your truck up-to-date with service intervals can be difficult, especially if you’re always on the road or overseeing lots of vehicles.

But it’s no secret that well-maintained, up-to-date vehicles will have fewer breakdowns, get better gas mileage, and cost you less money.

So how do you keep track of truck service intervals and keep them running longer? Here are our top tips for keeping your truck service intervals up-to-date.

Track mileage from your computer


It's not good enough just to have paper logs or ELDs. Neither of those can send you automated updates to remind you of service intervals. What you need is a software that tracks your mileage ahead of time-based on dispatch information, and then applies that to the specific truck running the route.

Fortunately, our sister product TruckLogics does just that. When you enter dispatch information, you can attach a truck or trailer and TruckLogics will keep track of how many miles it has run. Depending on the service interval preferences, TruckLogics will send you automatic updates when it’s time for truck or trailer maintenance.

Track all kinds of maintenance


But what if you want to check electrical components every several months, in addition to getting the tires serviced every several thousand miles? TruckLogics can send you reminders about that too. 

Man doing wheel maintenance for a truck service interval


TruckLogics tracks service based on the parameters you choose, whether mileage or time. You can even enter notes about what needs to be done and select a preferred vendor to perform the maintenance.

Use TruckLogics


If you’re a company driver, owner-operator, or fleet manager, using TruckLogics can help you keep track of your service intervals.

By employing TruckLogics powerful maintenance scheduling tools, you won’t have to ever forget another oil change, annual registration fee, tune-up -- or anything else -- again.

Get a 15-day free trial today! There is no obligation and no payment information required.

 



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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

2020: The Year of The Electric Semi?

Tesla semi truck
Electric semi-trucks are coming soon.

Volvo and Peterbilt have already rolled out fully electric semi-trucks. Daimler and Tesla have plans to release theirs sometime in 2020.

Tesla has generated significant buzz and pre-orders from large trucking companies. Could this be the beginning of the end for fossil-fueled semi-trucks?

Some experts aren’t so sure.


The future of electric trucks: Tesla semis

For starters, Tesla has made bold claims of fully electric semi-trucks with a 500-750 mile range.

Tesla's statements about their semi-trucks have been controversial, to say the least. Competitors like Daimler say it's impossible. Martin Daum of Daimler said:

"If Tesla really delivers on this promise, we'll obviously buy two trucks: one to take apart and one to test, because if that happens, something has passed us by. But for now, the same laws of physics apply in Germany and in California."

Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates also weighed in on the issue saying, “Eventually batteries might work for a truck, but it’s a far more difficult problem because the weight is a lot higher there.”

Daimler, Peterbilt, and Volvo meanwhile are all promoting day cab models with expected ranges well under 500 miles.

Daimler quotes about 250 miles, Peterbilt about 133 miles, Volvo about 186 miles.


Nikola semi truck trying to beat Tesla semi truck

Startups: Nikola semis & Xos Trucks

There are a number of other companies with plans extending farther into the future.

For instance, newcomer Nikola is planning both fully electric and hydrogen fuel cell semi-trucks for the near future.

The release date projected for Nikola semis is around 2022.

Xos Trucks (formerly Thor Trucks) also had plans to push out electric trucks with a 100-mile range this year, but so far there is no word on when that will actually happen.


Will Tesla semis overtake diesel?

What do you think? Will diesel ever be phased out? Will trucking become entirely autonomous?

One thing is for sure. Until that happens, you’ll still need a trucking dispatch system. Have you heard about our sister product TruckLogics?

They offer dispatching, invoicing, IFTA compliance and so much more. You can get a 15-day free trial with no obligation!





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Thursday, November 7, 2019

So. What Happens If I File IFTA Late?

Trucker filing IFTA quarterly report form online with express truck tax
Well. That depends on how late you are. And since there are four quarterly deadlines each year, it’s easy to forget to file IFTA. We wouldn't recommend that, though. No need to fork out more money towards taxes than you already are.

If you file IFTA one month late.

In the first month, you will be slapped with an additional fee of $50 or 10% of the tax you owe, whichever is greater. That $50 might not sound like much, but let’s put it in perspective.

The actual amount you will owe for IFTA will vary widely, depending on factors like the miles you drove in each jurisdiction and how much fuel was purchased and consumed.

So, for example, let’s say you would have owed $300 for the quarter. This is already a lot to be forking out. But after forgetting for that first month, you will be looking at another $50 penalty on top of that. After a month, you already owe $350.

If you file IFTA more than one month late

But let’s say you fail to file IFTA even longer. Well, you’re going to get another .4167% tacked on each month.
So if you forget to file IFTA for three months, you’ll owe $353.75.

Are you starting to see why it’s important to file IFTA on time? When these kinds of unnecessary expenses pile up, they can sink a business.

And did we mention that your base jurisdiction reserves the right to suspend or even revoke your IFTA license? That’s right. Not filing your IFTA form can get you in big trouble.

Trucker filing IFTA quarterly report form online with express truck taxGenerate your IFTA quarterly report form in minutes

The easiest way to avoid paying these unnecessary late penalties is to generate your IFTA quarterly report form with our sister-product Express IFTA. They make it simple it for you.
Express IFTA is user-friendly, and it does all the complicated calculations for you. Just input your information and Express IFTA will generate a highly-accurate form you can file with.
Best of all, you’ll get a report starting at just $19.90.



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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Your Ultimate Guide To The Jake Brake

It's important for truck drivers to understand how to use a Jake Brake.
A Jake Brake is a separate component installed on diesel engines. When engaged, it releases compressed air, using kinetic energy to slow the vehicle.

This is why truck drivers also refer to it as the “compression release brake”.

Basically, it puts resistance or drag on the crankshaft, and therefore on the tires, to slow the vehicle down.

It is not the same system as the service (foot) brakes, and will slow the truck when it is in gear and both throttle and clutch are released.

There are certain situations in which one should not use the Jake Brake. Understanding how to use a Jake Brake is critical for truck driver safety.

Truck Driver Safety

How To Use a Jake Brake

With winter approaching, it’s more important than ever to adhere to these truck driving tips regarding the Jake Brake.

Each truck’s Jake Brake and engine combination can be different, so check with your mechanic for the safe operating ranges of your truck.

Jake Brakes are great for controlling truck speed when descending a steep grade. This saves the foot brakes from wear. Many drivers also keep it on most of the time.

It’s a good idea to use them in the mountains, as it can add years of life to your foot brakes and save from wear and tear on tires.

If you choose to keep it on all of the time, slow your speed relative to road conditions to maintain traction.

The Jake Brake is incredibly helpful, and can be used in conjunction with foot brakes. 

Jake Brake Safety Tips for Truck Drivers

However, although the Jake Brake is a great tool, there are many situations when you should avoid using it, or use it with caution to maintain truck driver safety.

Most importantly, the Jake Brake is not designed to be used on ice or other slippery conditions.


Using the Jake Brake on slippery surfaces could cause your wheels to lock up and lead to a jackknife. This is due to the fact that the anti-lock braking system has no effect on the Jake Brake.

If you must use it in these conditions, be sure that the tractor-trailer unit is lined up before engaging.

Also, keep an eye out for road signs, as some municipalities and jurisdictions will have laws against the use of the Jake Brake for certain areas.

Here are some other safety tips for truck drivers:

-  Don't use your Jake Brake when shifting gears
-  Make sure you're not low on oil before using it
-  Don't use it when the engine is cold - give it time to warm up!
-  Before descending a long grade, briefly lift your foot off the throttle to check Jake Brake functionality

Road Safety

Truck driver safety and the safety of those around you depend on your ability to make good decisions on the road.

That’s why it’s important to stay educated on how to use a Jake Brake, and other truck driving tips.

TSNAmerica is here for you. For more trucking resources and information, check out our blog.

Stay safe out there!







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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Latest on the DOT and Automated Trucking

Automated trucking is growing and how it will affect the trucking industry remains to be seen.
A big point of conflict in trucking industry news today is trucking driving automation.

You may have heard that less than a month ago, on September 18th, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that they were funding research groups and state transport departments who are exploring vehicle automation projects.

This funding, in the amount of $60 million, was made possible through the Department of Transportation Automated Driving System Demonstration grant program.

This program supports the development of automated driving systems.

For truckers, it means the possible advent of automated trucks. Here’s what you need to know about automated trucks and the trucking industry.

Trucking Industry News

Automated Trucking

Truck drivers around the world have mixed feelings about automated semi-trucks, making it a huge topic at GATS this year, where there were a variety of educational sessions addressing automated trucking, including a session called “The Driver’s Role with Driverless Trucks”.

The truth of the matter is that truck driving automation offers a huge opportunity to increase roadway safety, which is the main focus of the DOT.

While many truck drivers express fear regarding AI and automated semi-trucks, the more immediate impact of automated trucks on the industry is positive.

Automated trucking increases efficiency on the back end and decreases human error.

The DOT

This goal is made apparent by how the DOT chose to delegate its money.

Of the $60 million of DOT grant money, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute received the most at $15 million split between two grants.

The first will support the development of Fleet Concept of Operations, intended to provide the trucking industry with guidelines on how to implement and benefit from automated trucking systems.

The second will support a project for demonstrating scenarios for the safe interaction of automated vehicles in northern Virginia.

What Does Truck Driving Automation Mean For You?

A report by MarketsandMarkets estimates that the AI market for transportation is projected to grow nearly 18% from 2017 - 2030.

With this increased focus on truck driving automation comes increased value for human skills.
As more jobs or activities become automated, people are freed from routine and predictable tasks, and the attention shifts to things that are uniquely human.

This is a positive change, involving the extinction of boring mundane tasks and the addition of challenging processes like managing new technologies and exercising greater critical thinking skills on a regular basis.

Growing truck driving automation in the trucking industry means growing human skills like communication, empathy, trust, and judgement.

TSNAmerica knows trucking. We’re here for you in every aspect of the industry you love.

Check out our other blogs to stay up to date with the latest trucking industry news. 








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