SPAN Blog

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

This Happened For the First Time Since WWII

Edward Dzialo 7/29/2020 Be the first to comment!



In comparison to what is going on in the world, this is a small thing: for the first time since WWII, the NC State Fair is being canceled. Again, this is not a travesty insomuch as it stands alongside COVID-19, nation-wide protests, and economic uncertainty—not by any measure. 

It is a small occurrence, relatively. 

But it’s one that has led me to think of larger issues. Like Malcolm Gladwell wrote in The Tipping Point, “...the fact that little causes can have big effects.”

The cancellation of a fair led me to think about the last 70 years and the difficulty of everything that we (as citizens and as a business) are facing today.

The Last Seven Decades


It began with thinking about all the various things that have happened in and around our country since the mid-twentieth century: the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the JFK Assassination, Civil Rights Protests, the Vietnam War, Watergate, the stock market collapsing (twice), 9/11, Hurricane Katrina.

And yet, throughout it all, people still went and enjoyed the NC State Fair. During a time of unease and continuous complications, the idea of people doing something wholesome and family-oriented, seemed like a comforting one. 

Resiliency


It’s hard to imagine people going to the NC State Fair during the Vietnam War. More than 2.7 million Americans, roughly 9.7% of an entire generation, spent time in Vietnam. It’s not a stretch—more like a statistical certainty—that there were families at the NC State Fair who had loved ones in Vietnam while they were enjoying the fair.

At first, you wonder how people could go about their day being under that level of stress and uncertainty. But they did. Why?

It’s because there was no other option. You either keep moving or you do nothing. Decide. Act. I used to have a mentor who told me that a half-decent plan executed quickly beats the perfect plan carried out later.

With as much information as we get on COVID-19 and how to handles it, it’s a continuing, evolving thing. Although this is not unreasonable due to the unique nature of the obstacle we face, it doesn’t make the situation any easier to navigate.

We, along with our clients and customers, are still finding a way to maneuver the constantly-changing road in front of us.

And this is where we find ourselves today.

2020


When I used to skydive, my teacher would tell me never to change more than one thing at a time. If I bought a new helmet, every other piece of equipment would need to stay the same. New rig? Then I would jump out of the same plane that I usually went up in.

His reasoning was simple: don’t give yourself more than you can handle.

2020 hasn’t listened to my old teacher’s advice. It’s been a year of continuous debate and difficulty. As of this writing, it is predicted that the COVID-19-related death toll could rise to the hundreds of thousands if interventions aren’t taken. Unemployment checks are about to lessened. Business might remain closed or heavily restricted. 

The Impact


Though I have said this in the past, I will say it again: our role within the trucking industry is one of support. When I look over the challenges that we face as both citizens and as business during the pandemic, I am more inclined to think about the people we support: truckers.

And it comes back to the original question of how to keep moving forward. Like the people who kept going to fair for the last seventy years despite what was happening in the world, how are we to do the same?

Especially since we’re seeing curveball after curveball. The economy is in danger, COVID-19 is building momentum again, offices are shutting back down (Google announced they’re offices would be closed until the summer of 2021 [a year from now]).

People are doing their best to move forward in the ways that they can.

SPAN Enterprises


Here at SPAN Enterprises, we are doing what do every year during this time: filing Form 2290s for our truckers. Why? It’s, in part, what we do. And just like the fair, we are going to keep doing what we do so well.

We are being socially responsible and working remotely, but we’re no different than the generations of people before us who kept going to the fair despite what was happening in the world.

Unlike the fair, we are staying open. Continuing to operate safely within the parameters.

If you need help filing your Form 2290 in these upcoming weeks, we will be here.
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Thursday, July 23, 2020

How A Truck Company Got $700 Million In A Day

Edward Dzialo 7/23/2020 Be the first to comment!


With 2020 still unfolding, we are still seeing a lot of the unintended consequences and results of COVID-19. Beyond the direct effects of the virus, there have been several indirect ones that are still filtering through. There have been both tax changes and extensions due to the CARES Act and COVID-19, respectfully. 


Both of which are having an impact on the trucking industry. 


The Story


One such strange reverberation of our times is a story that involves Congress, COVID-19, and a truck company.


At the beginning of the month, we discussed how the U.S. Treasury loaned $700 million to a trucking firm called YRC Worldwide. One of the many strange things about this deal was that the government, in exchange for the loan, took ownership of 29.6% of the company. 


When this was announced, there were several questions regarding the nature of the loan. YRC, was only worth a tenth of the amount of money that was loaned to them. Over the four years before the loan, the company’s stock had dropped by 85%. 


To add to this, YRC was sued by the U.S. government (the people who are now loaning them money), for misrepresenting the weight of their shipments and costing American taxpayers millions. 


The Result


At SPAN Enterprises, we’ve embraced our place within the trucking industry—it is one of support. So when stories like these appear, we’re empathetic to the truckers who, like most of the world, are struggling, during the uncertain times of COVID-19. It was reported by CNN that there have been more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the last two weeks than in all of June. The Hill said that last week's jobless claims rose to 1.4 million, which had been the biggest increase since March. 


Despite the hope that things would return to normal, they have not. For the truckers who have been expected to keep running to supply and feed while living within an economic downturn, we feel for them. 


Congress does too. An oversight committee made up of both Republicans and Democrats are questioning this loan. The reason YRC received it was due to what they were transporting because it was linked to national security. 


One of the concerns that the oversight committee has is that the loan is expected to lose money. As mentioned earlier, YRC’s stock had fallen drastically and their ability to thrive financially in the wake of the loan has come into question.


The committee reviewing this loan noted how close YRC was to being bankrupt. The interest rate on the loan is low when compared to the amount of risk to the lender—you.


If interest rates are to be based on pre-coronavirus conditions, which they are, then how did this one trucking firm in Kansas get a $700 million loan with a relatively low-interest rate?


What’s Next


The oversight committee's position is that the loans going out, including the one we have gone over, may not doing what they were intended for—to give aid to the vital organizations within our economy. 


Because of our proximity to truckers and to the industry, it’s difficult to see their hard work not being recognized. In 2018, the trucking industry had the two best quarters in the history of trucking. 


By 2019, Business Insider referred to the industry as a “bloodbath.” And now, the president at ACT Research, which studies the commercial vehicle industry, said, “...2020 is going to be a very, very tough year.” Both freight and contracts are down. 


Though this story is developing, there is some assurance that the trucking industry is being watched at the national level. 


The trucking industry is not immune to financial difficulties, but there is money to protect businesses for the sake of our economic future. Trucking is a major part of that.


As a trucker, you’ll need to file your Form 2290 by the end of August. Make it simple on yourself and try ExpressTruckTax. It might be the easiest thing you’ll do in 2020. 




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Thursday, July 16, 2020

When Tax Day Comes in July (Strange but True)

Edward Dzialo 7/16/2020 Be the first to comment!

During a normal year, when it’s the middle of July, we’re fresh off a long Fourth of July weekend and methodically working through Form 2290 season.

But it’s not a normal year; it’s 2020.

If you’re an accountant, you’re in the midst of a tax season that you expected to end back in April and now you’re filing income taxes in July. And this is not your average July if you’re an employee at SPAN Enterprises.

People at SPAN Enterprises are in the middle of a proverbial tax crossroads: tax-exempt organizations are filing their annual tax returns through ExpressTaxExempt, people are filing their extensions for both personal and business income taxes through ExpressExtension.

Let’s add two more layers to this. Not only are we in the two-month window where every trucker in America is filing their truck taxes (2290), but anyone or any organization filing extensions will still have to complete the process by October 15th.

No problem.

And I mean that. When I was in the Marines, the leader I looked up to, the person I would’ve followed anywhere, said that the secret of his success was surrounding himself with good people.

The severity the COVID-19 has had in our personal lives notwithstanding, look at the current challenges that we are both facing and solving. If the right people weren’t here, the difficulties of the times would just be that much more crushing.

Anyone can hold their chin up and smile when things are going as planned, when the chips fall where they were expected to. True character emerges when challenges force themselves into your daily life. It’s not as easy to smile then, but it’s every bit as important.

Recently, in the mornings, after I go through my daily rituals of training (CrossFit), making coffee (an espresso blend with a Chemex), and planning and scheduling out my assignments for the day (with a Bullet Journal), I’ve been getting a message. It usually happens right before 9:00 am.

Today the message read, “Helping TaxBandits for today.”

The woman who sent me this message is a true professional. When you call for help on one of your products, you might speak to her. She’s kind and she’ll solve your problem for you. Once, she was on the phone with a client for over three hours. Not only was she helping him with our product, but she had to explain to him how to use a computer. That’s not a knock on our client, by no means. It’s a testament to how committed she is to helping other people.

That said, because of the challenges we’re facing because of the tax season being drastically altered due to COVID-19, she’s jumping on another product to give the support where it is needed. To be clear, this is not a result of being understaffed. It is a direct reflection of us trying to adjust to the times we are in. Being able to shift focus and realign your priorities is fundamental for survival.

I take two things from this: 1.) It’s a wonderful thing when people help one another. 2.) I know that if you are a TaxBandits client, you are going to get the support you deserve.

To be honest, I started this piece to discuss the tax season, why it has shifted to the right, and what to expect in the future. The more I thought about it, the real story became about the people behind the products.

If you’re reading this and you’re considering using any of our products, understand that our dedication and professionalism comes with each.

Whether you are looking to file your 2290 with ExpressTruckTax, your tax exemptions through ExpressTaxExempt, or your extension through ExpressExtensions. No one else has our product. And no one else has our people. 
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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

It's A Crazy Time of Year, and We're Here to Help

Edward Dzialo 7/08/2020 Be the first to comment!



At SPAN Enterprises, July 1st marks a shift in the year: it’s when the IRS begins accepting Form 2290 for the 2020-2021 season. And it gets our attention because truck drivers from all over the country have to file and pay their Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT)...

...Or Truck Tax, as we’ve been calling it for more than a decade.

If our truckers have a motor vehicle that weighs more than 55,000 pounds, then they will need to file their 2290. We know this. Our clients, the professional drivers who have maintained and carried on despite the pandemic, know this too.

This tax applies to more than 3 million of those truck drivers.

Part of the crunch that is felt from this tax is due to A.) the sheer number of drivers who need to file and, B.) that every one of those aforementioned drivers will need to file their new returns by August 31, 2020.

Two months. Sixty days. Since the beginning of COVID-19 there have been tax extensions and delays for other tax deadlines, but there has not been one granted for filing Form 2290.

I don’t have to go on about why 2020 has been challenging. Everyone has felt it, and our truckers are no exception. On top of having to provide for themselves and their families during a nationwide shutdown due to a pandemic, they are also forced to file their taxes as normal.

We’re by no means complaining. But this is a time when truckers are either trying to work more due to limited supplies, or maybe they're running more frequently to keep Americans fed and supplied. Behind every stocked shelf there is a truck driver who spends hours on the road and months away from their families to get it there.

What we are saying is that they have a hard job, and we respect them for it.

What we also want to say is this: we are here to help. ExpressTruckTax has been the market leader for Form 2290 e-filing for ten years. This is something we stand behind and are equally as proud of.

To avoid delays, truckers can file with us before June 30th with ExpressTruckTax. After they are completed, they will go to the IRS on July 1st, the first available day to send them. If you’re a trucker on the road, no matter where you are on July 1st, your forms will be going to the IRS.

ExpressTruckTax provides a simplified, interview-style e-filing solution designed to get truckers back on the road as quickly as possible. While you’re doing your job, we’ll be doing ours: making sure your filings get to the IRS early. You’ll be among the first people to receive your proof of payment which is a stamped Schedule 1. And this is a must-have for when you go to register your vehicle.

Part of the reason why we offer e-filing because our truckers move. It’s their job. It’s their life. Time is critical. ExpressTruckTax is a cloud-based solution with 100% US-based support staffed by trained professionals.

No matter where they are, our truckers can stop and e-file their Form 2290 in minutes. That’s efficiency. That’s the solution we offer.

2020 hasn’t been easy for anyone. But we are committed to making your 2290 as stress-free as possible.

Try ExpressTruckTax Today!

 


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Jun 19, 2018

ACA Year End Reporting Software Available for ALEs and TPAs

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Jun 19, 2018

HVUT Form 2290 Filing is Now Open

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May 02, 2019

TSNAmerica is Saving Thousands of Truckers Time and Money This Year

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June 01, 2018

HVUT Form 2290 Filing Now Available For 2018-19 Tax Year

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