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Trucker News

Walmart Unveils Futuristic Truck That Is Fuel-Efficient

Walmart Unveils Futuristic Truck That Is Fuel-EfficientWalmart's logo may be blue, but the company is going green.

The retail giant unveiled a prototype of a new truck at the Mid-America Trucking Show Wednesday that — if it reaches the road — could decrease the amount of emissions the company's enormous fleet produces.

Dubbed the "Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience" or WAVE, the fuel-efficient truck is part of the company's larger commitment to sustainability. In 2005, Walmart promised to double the efficiency of its fleet, which contains 6,500 tractors, 55,000 trailers and 7,000 drivers, by 2015. Now, nearly 10 years later, the retailer claims it has "achieved an 84% improvement in fleet efficiency over its 2005 baseline."

"[WAVE] may never make it to the road, but it will allow us to test new technologies and new approaches," Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillion wrote on the company's blog in February.

WAVE's body is built with lightweight carbon fiber, making it 4,000 pounds lighter than traditional models, according to Walmart. The truck also has 20% less aerodynamic drag than those currently in Walmart's fleet. WAVE runs on a microturbine that uses a combination of natural gases and other fuels, and can automatically choose the most efficient of three modes — charge, electric or hybrid electric — to run on. WAVE's design also has a more futuristic style than previous Walmart trucks: A spacious cockpit boasts a center seat that would give drivers greater visibility, as well as digital displays, a fold-out bed and a sliding door.

New fuel standards for large trucks such as those in Walmart's fleet will be drafted by next year, The New York Times reported. U.S. President Barack Obama ordered the development last month as part of a broader effort to clamp down on climate change.

WAVE was a collaboration between Walmart and multiple vendors, including truck manufacturer Peterbilt and gas-turbine manufacturer Capstone Turbine. Walmart has only just started formal testing on the prototype, and has no definite date for when it might integrated into its fleet.

(reprinted from Mashable.com)

 

2014 Car, Truck Depreciation Limits Issued

Truckers Tax ResourceOn Tuesday, the IRS issued the 2014 inflation adjustments to the depreciation limitations and lease inclusion amounts for certain automobiles under Sec. 280F (Rev. Proc. 2014-21). Prior-year versions of this annual guidance had included figures for first-year bonus depreciation, but because bonus depreciation is not in effect for 2014, the procedure does not contain those amounts.
For passenger automobiles (other than trucks or vans) placed in service during calendar year 2014, the depreciation limit under Sec. 280F(d)(7) is $3,160 for the first tax year, the same as in 2013.
For trucks and vans, the limit is $3,460 for the first tax year, which is $100 greater than in 2013.
For passenger automobiles, the limits are $5,100 for the second tax year; $3,050 for the third tax year; and $1,875 for each successive tax year, all of which were unchanged from 2013.
For trucks and vans the limits are $5,500 for the second tax year; $3,350 for the third tax year; and $1,975 for each successive tax year.
Sec. 280F(c) limits deductions for the cost of leasing automobiles, expressed as an income inclusion amount according to a formula and tables prescribed under Regs. Sec. 1.280F-7. The revenue procedure provides an updated table of the amounts to be included in income by lessees of passenger automobiles and another for trucks and vans, in both cases with lease terms that begin in calendar year 2014.

 

Crows! (Humor)

As a tucker stops for a red light, a blonde catches upResearchers for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority found over 70 dead crows in the greater Boston area recently, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A Bird Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone's relief, confirmed the problem was definitely NOT Avian Flu. The cause of death appeared to be vehicular impacts.

However, during the detailed analysis it was noted that varying colors of paints appeared on the bird's beaks and claws. By analyzing these paint residues it was determined that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with trucks, while only 2% were killed by an impact with a car.

MTA then hired an Ornithological Behaviorist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of truck kills versus car kills. He very quickly concluded the cause: When crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow in a nearby tree to warn of impending danger. They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout "Cah", not a single one could shout "Truck."

 

Questions To Ask When Hiring A Tax Preparer

Questions To Ask When Hiring A Tax PreparerHere are a few tips to help you figure out how to find the best tax preparer for you. The key, as with hiring any professional, is to ask questions not just about the prices. Here's a list of questions to ask a potential tax preparer:

1. Do you have a PTIN (preparer tax identification number)? Anyone who prepares federal tax returns for compensation must have a valid 20 L4 PTIN before preparing tax returns. Without a PTIN, the preparer is not allowed to prepare your return.

2. What is your tax background? You receive a business card with letters after the persons name. Here is a quick guide to help you sort it out in advance:

  • An Enrolled Agent (EA) has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing
    a three part comprehensive IRS test or through experience as a former IRS employee. EA status is the highest credential the
    IRS awards. EAs must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.
  • A certified public accountant (CPA) is certified by the state to act as a public accountant. A CPA is the only licensed
    qualification in accounting. To be certified, candidates are required to pass an exam.

3. Have you prepared a tax return for truckers before? Tax preparers may focus on small businesses, corporations, partnerships, etc. There are as many variations as there arc schedules and forms. But nobody can do it all.

4. Do you know the requirements of the states and localities where I am required to file? Yes, federal income taxes know no boundaries- those rules don 't change from one state to the next. But that's not true when it comes to states and localities. Make sure that your preparer knows - and can handle- all of those state and local filing requirements.

5. What records and other documentation will you need from me? A reputable preparer should insist that you provide your forms W-2, 1099, 1098 and other verification of income and expenses in order to prepare a proper return. The tax preparer should provide a tax organizer. A tax preparer should be able to explain what will be needed for special schedules, forms or circumstances.

6. How do you determine your fees? Prices may vary based on the complexity of your return, whether you require additional schedules, supporting forms or whether your return has "out of the ordinary" line items. Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of your anticipated refund: they have a financial incentive to encourage them to create credits and deductions.

7. Can I file electronically? It's the fastest way to get your refund and tends to result in fewer math errors. It may also be required: a paid preparer who prepares and files more than ten client returns must file electronically unless client opts out.

8. Who will sign my return? Remember that your preparer must have a PTlN. The PTlN and the preparer's signature need to appear on your tax return. Don 't trust a preparer who refuses to sign a return. And be wary of any preparer or service who won 't tell you in advance who will actually be preparing the return.

9. When will I receive a copy of my return? It's not unreasonable to leave your preparer's office without a copy of your completed return; assembly may be required. However, you should receive a complete copy of your return within a reasonable amount of time following your appointment. If your preparer can't promise you a copy at all, run, you will need a copy for your own records. The law states that the preparer provide you with a copy.

10. How do I find you if l have a question or a problem after tax season is over? Make sure that you know how to contact the tax preparer after your return has been filed. If your tax preparer won 't be around, consider taking your business elsewhere.

11. What happens if l get audited? Nobody wants to think about an audit when filing a return. Find out how the tax preparer handles audits or examinations from IRS: will he or she respond to those questions? Represent you in front of the IRS or Tax Court? And what about the cost to fix any mistakes? How is that calculated?

It looks like a long list. Choosing a good tax preparer does require a little bit of research and effort on your part but it's worth it. Just as you stick with other professionals from year to year, the goal here isn't just to fill out a form but to create a working relationship. A good tax preparer won't mind answering your questions.

 

Trucker's Breakfast (Humor)

A trucker came into a Truck Stop Cafe' and placed his order. He said, 'I want three flat tires, a pair of headlights and a pair of running boards.'

The brand new blonde waitress, not wanting to appear stupid, went to the kitchen and said to the cook, 'This guy out there just ordered three flat tires, a pair of headlights and a pair of running boards... What does he think this place is, an auto parts store?'

'No,' the cook said. 'Three flat tires... means three pancakes; a pair of headlights is two eggs sunny side up; and and a pair of running boards are 2 slices of crisp bacon!

'Oh... OK!' said the blond. She thought about it for a moment and then spooned up a bowl of beans and gave it to the customer.

The Trucker asked, 'What are the beans for, Blondie?'

She replied, 'I thought while you were waiting for the flat tires, headlights and running boards, you might as well gas up!'

FOR ONCE, THE BLOND GETS EVEN !

 

 

QUESTIONS FOR THE PROS

  1. How long have you been in the business and what areas do you specialize in?
  2. What financial services and products do you offer?
  3. How are you and your firm compensated? Fee only? Commissions?
  4. Describe your typical client. What experience do you have working with someone like me?
  5. How do you stay up-to-date about changes in your field? What research do you use to make investment recommendations?
  6. May I have the names of clients (references) I can speak with about your work?
  7. What education, credentials, or licenses do you have?
  8. How many clients are you currently working with, and will you or an associate be working with me?
  9. What problems have arisen in the past year with clients, and how have you addressed them?
  10. Have you ever faced disciplinary action?

These questions will help you evaluate and select specialists for your financial team.