ExpressIFTA Blog

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Best Time Management Tips for Trucking Business Success

Truckers parked using TruckLogics to improve time management tips
Whether you're a driver, an owner-operator, or a fleet manager, you know the trucking business is time-consuming.

You have to drive, respond to dispatch, track expenses, calculate mileage, and try to spend some time with your loved ones.

We could all use some help saving time for the things that matter most. Here are our top trucking time management tips.


Time management tips:



Keep track of expenses as they occur


Compliance is one of the biggest demands on your time. With HVUT (Heavy Vehicle Use Tax) due yearly and IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) due quarterly, you have a lot to keep up with.

IFTA can be especially difficult to keep up with since it requires extremely accurate mileage and fuel consumption calculations.

The smartest way to deal with IFTA is to keep track of your fuel expenses as they occur. And it’s not enough to just save your receipts.

You need to be able to update a comprehensive list every time you purchase fuel. That’s the only way to avoid combing through piles of receipts the night before the deadline.

With TruckLogics, you can do just that. You can enter the amount and cost of fuel you purchased right from their mobile app on your smartphone.


Schedule truck service intervals


It’s common knowledge that regular truck maintenance helps you avoid costly breakdowns. But it can be very hard to keep up with truck service intervals when you’re always on the road.

A software like TruckLogics, however, can automatically notify you when it is time for a vehicle to receive maintenance. You can set the service interval as a certain amount of time, or as a certain number of miles.

If you choose a certain number of miles as your service interval, TruckLogics will keep track of each vehicle’s mileage as it is dispatched. Then, TruckLogics will use that information to notify you when your vehicles are ready for maintenance.


Give your drivers access to record-keeping


As a fleet manager, one way to improve time management is to give your drivers access to record-keeping functions. This way, you don’t have to personally notate every expense and fuel charge.

With TruckLogics mobile app, you can give your drivers mobile access to mileage reporting and expense reporting. They can enter any kind of expense they have and verify it with a photo of their receipt.

This feature can save fleet managers lots of time down the line.

Parked trucks using TruckLogics for time management


Use a solid truck business management software


At the end of the day, you need a central business management software to streamline your trucking business. Thankfully, our sister product TruckLogics has been designed specifically with you in mind.

Whether you’re a driver, owner-operator, or fleet manager, TruckLogics has solutions to help you improve time management

To see just how much time TruckLogics can save you, start a 15-day free trial now! There’s no cost and no obligation to give TruckLogics a test drive!







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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

You Missed the 3rd Quarter IFTA Deadline. What Now?

Truck that missed the IFTA fuel tax report deadline
So you missed the 3rd quarter IFTA fuel tax deadline.

Is it even that big of a deal?

Unfortunately for you, missing the IFTA deadline could actually be a very big deal.

In fact, now that you've missed the IFTA deadline, there are serious penalties making a beeline for your pocketbook right now.

But you still have a few options if you want to hang onto some of that money.


What happens if you miss the IFTA deadline


First, there are penalties. Pretty hefty ones. You will be hit right after the IFTA deadline with a fee of $50 or 10% of the total tax you would owe, whichever is greater.

Unless Nevada is your base jurisdiction, where the penalty for missing the IFTA deadline is $50 plus 10% of whatever you owe. 

It's hard to know if that 10% will be greater than $50. The fuel tax you actually owe will vary depending on factors like mileage and amount of fuel purchased and consumed.

You’re also going to be looking at a .4167% fee for every additional month you are late filing for IFTA. It adds up pretty quick.

Say you actually owe $300 for your IFTA tax. Within three months, you’ll be looking at IFTA fuel tax charges totaling $353.50. But worse than that, if you continue to ignore IFTA deadlines, your base jurisdiction can suspend or even revoke your IFTA license.

This effectively grounds your operations until you can get your IFTA compliance squared away.


So what do you after the IFTA deadline?

Trucker pumping gas and filing with Express IFTA for his IFTA tax report
File. Right away.

Filing now is the only way to keep from incurring bigger fees. Use the IFTA fuel tax report generator at Express IFTA to accurately file.

Express IFTA is easy to use and we do all of the complicated calculations for you


Keep track of IFTA information with TruckLogics


If you’re struggling to keep up with all the mileage and expenses and fuel charges coming at you, our sister product TruckLogics has a solution for you.

You can easily keep track of all your mileage and fuel charges in TruckLogics. As long as you enter all your loads into the system, we will automatically calculate mileage for you.

Plus, with the TruckLogics mobile app, you can enter information while on the go. When the quarterly IFTA deadline comes around, you can generate a report with all the information you need to file.




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Thursday, October 17, 2019

2019 3rd Quarter IFTA Tax Rate Changes You Need To Know

Trucker fueling his vehicle and logging fuel records for the IFTA fuel tax.
Recently, there have been changes made to the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) tax rates.

The states that made changes in IFTA tax rates include Alabama, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia.

The 3rd quarter IFTA tax deadline is coming up on October 31, 2019. Here’s what you need to know about IFTA tax rates in regards to generating your IFTA tax return.

IFTA Tax Rate Changes

IFTA Fuel Tax Rates

Each state has different rules and regulations regarding fuel tax. IFTA fuel tax rates vary by state.

This year, the state of Alabama has made some changes in IFTA fuel tax rates for the month of September, but not for the months of July and August. That means that Alabama will have a split rate for the 3rd quarter of 2019.

Virginia has also made changes that will affect the upcoming quarter, by altering the surcharge for the 3rd quarter of 2019.

Refer to the table below for all 2019 3rd quarter IFTA fuel tax rate changes:

3rd Quarter IFTA Reporting Deadline


The IFTA fuel tax due date for the 3rd quarter is October 31, 2019.

Generate your IFTA tax return now with ExpressIFTA, the industry’s leading online IFTA reporting software.

Follow these simple steps to generate your IFTA tax return in minutes:

-  Create your free account
-  Add your basic business details
-  Select your base jurisdiction
-  Add you vehicle details
-  Enter your miles and fuel records
-  Generate your IFTA report

Once you’ve generated your report, simply file it with your base jurisdiction. For more information about IFTA reporting, please visit https://www.expressifta.com/, or select the button below to get started!





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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Trucking Industry News: Recent Changes You Need To Know About

The trucking industry has undergone significant changes recently.
The trucking industry has undergone significant changes over the last few years as it has grown into one of the most important industries in America.

Trucking regulations, DOT hours of service rules, and paperwork have kept truck drivers on their toes.

Are you up to date with the latest trucking news?

Here’s all the trucking industry information you need to know.

Trucking Industry Information

Trucking Regulations

One of the biggest changes to trucking regulations has been the introduction of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD).

There was plenty of fear and worry surrounding this topic in 2017, as truck drivers were unsure how ELDs would affect the trucking industry as a whole.

While some concerns regarding ELDs, such as increasing van rates, have proved true, the trucking industry has seen steady growth through 2018 and 2019 due to ELDs.

Trucking HOS

Hand in hand with the creation of the ELD is the government’s attention to drivers’ HOS, or Hours of Service.

ELDs are intended to make drivers more accountable for their trucking HOS, or drive time. This includes accountability for the 14-hour DOT hours of service rules.
The 14-hour rule specifically says that the driver, “May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.”

Although these DOT hours of service rules have been around since 2013, drivers commonly “doctored” their logs to circumvent this regulation.

With ELDs, this log manipulation is impossible.


Staying Up To Date

The trucking industry is constantly changing, and it’s important to stay up to date with trucking business news in order to remain profitable.

Keeping up with trucking industry news is critical to your success. Check out our other blogs to get the inside scoop!

Are you an owner-operator, fleet manager, or leased operator? Manage your entire trucking company from one place with TruckLogics.

Schedule maintenance, track finances, generate invoices, and more with this trucking management software solution.

Get started with a free 15-day trial today!











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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

How to Stay on Top of Your IFTA Taxes

Truckers need to file their IFTA taxes on a quarterly basis by the 4 IFTA deadlines.
Trucking is a critical industry in America. You have lots of responsibility, and unfortunately, lots of taxes to keep up with.

Thanks to online software, however, many trucking taxes can be completed online, saving you tons of time.

Are you familiar with IFTA taxes? You’ll need to file quarterly by the IFTA deadlines to avoid penalties. Here’s everything you need to know about IFTA reporting.

IFTA Reporting

What is IFTA?

IFTA stands for the “International Fuel Tax Agreement”.

This agreement between the lower 48 American states and the Canadian provinces was created to simplify fuel tax reporting between jurisdictions.

Essentially, if you were to travel all the way through North Carolina, just to fill up in Virginia and turn around and go straight back through North Carolina, your fuel tax will not be properly distributed amongst the states you traveled.

Rather than turning in separate reports abiding by the mandates of each state, IFTA fuel tax report simplifies that process with only one quarterly report for the state you’re registered in.

IFTA reporting is used to list how many gallons of fuel have been bought, and how many miles have been traveled in each jurisdiction.

Do You Need to File?

You’re required to file an IFTA fuel tax report if your vehicle:

1.  Has two axles and a gross vehicle weight that exceeds 26,000 pounds or
2.  Has two axles and a registered weight that exceeds 26,000 pounds or
3.  Has three or more axles or
4.  Has a combination weight that exceeds 26,000 pounds.

If your vehicle meets one of these requirements, you’ll need to complete your IFTA reporting on a quarterly basis.

These are the the IFTA deadlines you need to be aware of:


Quarter
Quarterly Period
IFTA Due Date
1st 
January - March
April 30
2nd 
April - June
July 31
3rd
July - September
October 31
4th
October - December
January 31

It’s important to file your IFTA forms before the IFTA deadlines to avoid penalties and interest.

How to Complete Your IFTA Filing

To file your IFTA fuel tax report, you’ll need the following information:


-  Total miles traveled by vehicle
-  Total gallons of fuel consumed by the vehicle
-  Total miles traveled per jurisdiction
-  Total taxable gallons consumed per jurisdiction
-  Tax-paid gallons purchased per jurisdiction
-  Current tax rates for each member jurisdiction


Luckily, you can use an online service like ExpressIFTA to generate your IFTA quarterly return.

Simply create a free account, enter your business & vehicle details, select your base jurisdiction, upload miles & fuel records, and generate your IFTA fuel tax report.

The best part is that ExpressIFTA conveniently allows you to enter records into the system via Trip Sheets, Quick Entries, or GPS Upload. Plus, everything you enter is automatically saved so you can add records as frequently as you’d like to update your IFTA fuel tax report at any time.

Once your IFTA forms have been generated, complete your IFTA reporting by filing with your base jurisdiction.

Get started with your IFTA filing today in preparation for the 3rd Quarter IFTA deadline!











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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Road Rage Prevention: Tips That Just Might Save Your Life

Truck driver safety tips help reduce the danger of life on the road. Road rage prevention starts with truck driver safety.
For many truck drivers, life on the road can be a constant challenge.

You’re just trying to do your job, but distracted drivers are everywhere, and so is road rage.

Just like you, our biggest goal for truckers in America is to promote truck driver safety on the road.

You work hard every day. At the end of it, you deserve to come home safely to your family. That’s why we’ve collected these road rage tips to help with road rage prevention. 

Tips to Avoid Road Rage

Identify Road Rage Promoters

The first step to road rage prevention is recognizing the factors that cause it.

Road rage is aggressive behavior triggered by uncontrolled anger towards fellow motorists or truckers on the road.

This anger can stem from other drivers’ actions, or from more personal issues like running late, or having a bad day.

Road rage prevention starts with recognition. Are you tailgating the driver in front of you? Swerving in and out of lanes quickly with no blinker? What about speeding?

When you’re doing these things, you are not only increasing risk of accident due to the inability to stop quickly, but you’re also taking your focus off of driving.

Road rage consumes all thoughts and emotions, causing drivers to miss things and have delayed reactions.

One of the best ways to avoid road rage is to recognize the situation and remove yourself from it, choosing truck driver safety above all else.

Road Rage Prevention

Now that you’re able to recognize the situation you’re in, adhere to these tips to avoid road rage:

1.  Ignore other drivers

The most effective road rage prevention strategy is to ignore other drivers completely, even if they are also truck drivers.

If you’re angry at the drivers around you, stop focusing on them.

The same goes for road rage around you. If drivers near you are exhibiting signs of road rage, avoid eye contact and let them pass. Like I mentioned, one of the best ways to avoid road rage is to recognize the situation and remove yourself from it.

2.  Control what you can

Truck driver safety is largely dependent on you, the truck driver. Consider altering the things you can control, such as music.

Try playing calming music, or listening to an interesting podcast to distract yourself from other drivers.

3.  Your life is the most important

Sure, your job pays the bills, but your life is the most important thing.

Life on the road can be filled with pressure and uncertainty. However, if you need to pull over to the side of the road to re-group and de-stress, do it. Your load will be fine. Prioritize your safety.


Keep Trucking

With the holidays approaching, the roads will start to get crowded. 



Take a deep breath. Prioritize life on the road, and understand the consequences of untailored road rage.

Keep your cool with these road rage tips, or whatever works best for you.

Share these trucking safety tips to help promote trucker driver safety on the road.

Keep on trucking!







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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

How to Know if Your Trucking Company Needs to File 941

Trucking companies need to determine if they must file IRS Form 941 for 2019.
By now, you might have seen a few articles on the web reminding you to file Form 941.

What exactly does that mean?

If you’re a small trucking business owner you might be confused on whether or not you need to file Form 941.

Let’s clear a few things up. 

941 Quarterly Report

IRS Form 941

Form 941 is a quarterly form used to report employment taxes.

All employers in the United States are responsible for withholding federal income tax, social security tax, and Medicare tax from each employee’s salary.

IRS Form 941 is also used to calculate the employer’s portion of Social Security and Medicare tax.

We are currently nearing the third quarter 2019 Form 941 deadline. Employers must file Form 941 by October 31, 2019 to avoid penalties.

To file 941, you’ll need both employer and employee details regarding your trucking company.

Form 941 and Your Trucking Company

Technically, if you’re an owner-operator and have no employees under you, there’s no need to file 941.

However, S-corporations, also known as S-corps, work a little differently.

S-corps are taxed on a pass-through basis, much like a sole proprietorship or partnership.

Because of that, the corporation does not pay taxes on its profits, but rather, those profits pass on to shareholders who are then taxed as part of their personal income.

An S-corp may have no employees in the traditional sense of people working for the business without ownership stake, but for tax purposes, any shareholder who performs a duty for the business may be treated as a shareholder-employee.

The money each shareholder receives in dividends may be treated as income.

This means you'll need to file 941.

The 941 quarterly report also becomes relevant when a driver has an S-Corp and is paying himself a W-2 salary.

No matter what type of business your trucking company is, if you’ve chosen to hire help in the form of independent contractors, you do not need to file 941.


Technically, independent contractors are not your employees. You are only responsible for paying them a gross wage determined by the contract.

The reason for this is that a business withholds and pays taxes on behalf of all employees, and has an obligation to pay employment taxes on wages paid to employees.

In contrast, there are no taxes for a business to withhold or pay independent contractors. They need only pay the compensation amount agreed upon in the contract.

The bottom line is that if you own and operate a business with employees, you’ll need to file IRS Form 941. Every trucking company is required to file 941’s for all of their W-2 paid company drivers.

2019 Form 941

So, do you need to file 941? Let our sister product, TaxBandits, help!

Take your time back with TaxBandits and file your 2019 Form 941 quarterly report online in just a few minutes.

With their interview style e-filing process and built-in automatic error check, you’ll be happy you did.

If you’re still unsure if you need to file 941 for your small trucking business, give the TaxBandits live support team a call at 704-684-4751.

Avoid penalties and stay tax compliant. Get started today! 









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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

How to Start a Trucking Business in 5 Simple Steps

Starting a trucking business is a huge step for drivers. Trucking management software can help.
So, you’re starting a trucking business, but aren’t sure quite where to start.

Don’t sweat it. Starting your own trucking business doesn’t have to be difficult.

Understanding the investment you’ll need to make to run a successful trucking business, and taking advantage of tools that will fast-track your success and growth are critical.

Keep reading to learn more about starting a hauling business and steering it to success.

Starting Your Own Trucking Business

Step One:

The first step in starting a trucking business is to legally establish your trucking business as an LLC. This protects your personal property as a business owner, and offers several other tax and business advantages.

To complete this first step, you’ll need to appoint a registered agent and obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number) to open a bank account.

A registered agent will serve as the direct point of communication between your trucking business and the secretary of state.

Your EIN is unique to your business and is necessary for opening a business bank account and submitting tax filings each year.

Step Two:

The second step in the process of starting your own trucking business is to obtain business licenses and permits.

Here’s what you’ll need when starting a hauling business:

-  CDL: Drivers of commercial motor vehicles must have a CDL, or Commercial Driver’s License. Contact your state’s licensing agency for more details.
-  USDOT Number: This is used to identify your trucking company when conducting audits, inspections, and investigations.
-  MC Number: You may need to get more than one MC, or Motor Carrier Operating Authority, number depending on your business operations.
-  IRP Credentials and IFTA Decal: If you’re planning to offer services across multiple states, you’ll need IRP (International Registration Plan) credentials and IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) decals for your vehicles.

Be sure to understand exactly what your trucking business needs depending on its services and location.

Step Three:

The next step in our guide to how to start a trucking business is buying or leasing equipment.

Be sure to understand exactly what you need before choosing equipment. What purpose will your trucking business serve? What types of goods will you be transporting?

Do your research first. Consider speaking to other trucking professionals if possible as well.

Step Four:

The next step in starting your own trucking business is choosing insurance.

You’ll need to get business insurance for your company. Contact several agents and weigh your options.

Consider these options before making a decision:

-  Primary liability insurance
-  Cargo insurance
-  Physical damage insurance
-  Passenger accident insurance

Step Five:

The last, and most important, step in starting a trucking business is tracking your income & expenses and staying compliant.

Starting a trucking business isn’t enough to reach success. If you really want to grow your trucking business and become successful, you need to take owner-operator bookkeeping seriously.

Choosing a trucking software for small fleets can help make this easy and save you time.
Consider trucking management software TruckLogics.

Whether you’re an independent owner-operator, leased operator, or fleet manager of any size, TruckLogics trucking management software is designed to simplify managing your trucking business on the road and assist with owner-operator bookkeeping.

From managing dispatches and scheduling maintenance, to tracking income and expenses, you’ll get tons of features that will save you time and effort as you juggle the efforts of starting a trucking business.

Get started today with a FREE 15-day free trial.













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