Overdrive Magazine

September 2020

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September 2020 | Overdrive | 11 As the Aug. 31 deadline approached for filing Form 2290 Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax, 52 e-filing providers were named on a list approved by the Internal Revenue Service. However, nearly half were little more than web pages with differing URLs and slightly different designs that all send filers to what appears to be a shared backend. User registration on one such site – AlliedTruckTax. com, for instance – enables easy login at any of the others, such as Red Bird Tax, TurboTruckTax.com, Rocket Truck Tax, Rocket2290.com and oth- ers that have separate links on the IRS approved-provider page. Some of the other providers, using only one listing, are upset that some of the apparently related sites use names similar to those of established companies. They're also unhappy that for customers who choose an e-file provider at random, the mul- tiplicity of listings creates an unfair advantage for what's believed to be a single owner. The 24 related sites list no phone number on their contact pages. Overdrive queries sent to the email contact address listed for Allied Truck Tax and Rocket 2290 received no direct response. Vincent Carney, reached through a phone number listed elsewhere for Allied Truck Tax, said he'd received the emails but that his attorney had advised him not to comment. Carney is the registered agent on State of Missouri incorporation papers for Union Group Labs, LLC, which is in the middle of lawsuits with a compet- ing 2290 e-filing service. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which investigates ques- tionable marketing practices, did not respond to Overdrive's inquiries about the Form 2290 providers. The IRS is well "aware of the situa- tion" and "looking into it" but cannot comment further, said spokesman James E. Southwell. The IRS, however, did respond to the group of longtime e-file provid- ers that complained. The agency said each of the sites in question passed its approval process and that, to an extent, its hands are tied. The requirements for e-file provid- ers detailed in IRS Publication 3112 include adherence to certain advertis- ing standards. That includes requiring a clear display of a provider's "doing business as" name at all locations and websites where a provider obtains tax- payer information. The current provider with multiple listings could be violating the lat- ter requirement, given that a single, shared backend system presents itself as 24 separate companies, said Agie Sundaram, chief executive officer for Span Enterprises, which owns Express Truck Tax service. Sundaram and other providers have been making their concerns known to the IRS since early this year. "There's been no fruit from that," said Charles Hardy, Span's director of administra- tion. IRS Publication 3112 stipulates that a provider can be denied approval for "disreputable conduct or other facts that may adversely impact IRS e-file." That's the case here, said Phil Boyer, of the long-in-business Instant 2290 (I2290.com) service. — Todd Dills FMCSA TRANSITION Jim Mullen (above), who's helmed the Federal Motor Carrier S afety Administration in an interim c apacity since Oc tober, left the agenc y in August. Wiley Deck, who previ- ously ser ved as FMCSA's direc tor of government affairs, now is FMCSA's deputy administrator and will lead the agenc y until a new FMCSA administrator is confirmed. TELEMATICS PROVIDER GEOTAB launched COVID Guardian as a free add-in to its Geotab Drive mobile app. COVID Guardian helps drivers find information about restrooms, food options, parking and COVID-19 regulation modifications. The app also includes a filter for finding state - specific COVID-19 updates, as well as updates for nearby states. ROLLING STRONG, a provider of health programs for drivers, announced that United Transpor t Inc. is rolling out its platform and app for its employees. The Lincoln, Nebraska- based fleet is installing a Higi health screening station at its headquar ters, where drivers can track their weight, blood pressure, pulse and body mass index and share the data with Rolling Strong coaches. APEX TRANSPORTATION will use a Kenwor th T680 to transpor t the 56th U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. The 70-truck flatbed carrier, based in Colorado, will haul the tree from western Colorado to Washington, D.C. Coloradans are expected to contribute up to 10,000 handmade ornaments. FORM 2290 E-FILE LIST APPEARS FLOODED WITH SHELL COMPANIES

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