Blog

Blog

Courier-Messenger Inc is a local company, based in the Valencia Industrial Center, providing transportation of time sensitive shipments of all sizes from envelopes to full truckloads.

CMI provides same day, Overnight and Time definite Ltl point to point deliveries, through out the USA. Same day truck service is determined by availability at time of call.

CMI provides our customers with internet tracking, and proof of deliveries at time of completion via email.

CMI provides 24/7 Dispatch

CMI Service Map for California

C.M.I. DELIVERS TIME CRITICAL SHIPMENTS DOOR-TO-DOOR INTERSTATE OR INTRASTATE ANYWHERE IN THE USA

What Tax Write-Offs Do Truck Drivers Have?

What Tax Write-Offs Do Truck Drivers Have?

 Truck Expenses – The truck itself is an obvious place to start. Truck expenses include anything necessary to keep your truck running and operating efficiently. Any business, not just truck drivers, can claim any expense that it deems ordinary and necessary for the operation of the business. If the Internal Revenue Service ever questions an expense you made, they will look to see if the expense is reasonable and ordinary in the industry. If it is, then the tax write-off is allowable.

Travel Expenses – When you are traveling away from your home, you can deduct the additional associated expenses it costs you for being away. For instance, stopping off at a hotel or getting your laundry done qualifies as a tax write-off. The trip must take you away from your tax home for longer than an ordinary workday, and you must need to sleep or rest in order to complete your work. You must prove you took the time to rest and eat, so you will need your truck logbook and the receipts from your expenditures to substantiate them.

Meal Allowance – Meals that you eat while traveling can be deductible up to 50 percent of the actual cost or 50 percent of the standard meal allowance. Publication 463 lists the current standard meal allowance, which you should review prior to using this deduction as they are subject to change. This rule applies unless you are an interstate truck driver. According to the Internal Revenue Service, anyone traveling who is “subject to the Department of Transportation’s hours of service limits” can claim 80 percent of his meal costs; whether he uses the actual or standard methods. Interstate truck drivers are subject to these hours of service limits; local drivers are not.

Personal Equipment Expenses – Equipment expenses can include anything necessary to perform your job. For example, if you need gloves or tools to unload or work on the truck these items are deductible. Uniforms that your company or employer requires can also be a tax write-off. This includes the upkeep of the equipment as well as the actual purchases.

Where to Deduct the Expenses – If you are a self-employed truck driver working as a sole proprietor, you will generally deduct all your expenses on Form 1040 Schedule C. If your business is set up as a partnership, you will file Form 1065 and if it is an S-Corporation, you will file Form 1120S.

As an employee, you will deduct any expenses that your employer did not reimburse on Form 1040 Schedule A and Form 2106. Both of these forms are included with your personal 1040 tax return.

Reference: click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER, INC. – BIG OR SMALL WE SHIP IT ALL

CMI Certified – Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

Courier-Messenger, Inc. completed the Goldman Sachs Certificate of Entrepreneurship!

And you can too…

Video Presentation by J.C. Burnett:

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Long Beach Community College  District is a practical business management education program that helps you develop the skills you need to grow your company.  If you are selected to participate, you also will receive a series of one-on-one business advising sessions from dedicated professionals to help develop a tailored plan for growth.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million national program designed to help small businesses in the United States create jobs and economic growth by providing entrepreneurs with a practical business education, access to capital, and business support services.

Applications at Long Beach Community College District are due on the 15th of every month at 5pm.  After you have submitted your application, you will receive an e-mail confirming its receipt and the upcoming class for which you are being considered.

For application and further details, click here.

Signal Featured Article with J.C. Burnett, click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER, INC. – BIG OR SMALL WE SHIP IT ALL

Transportation App to Keep You Moving #4

Roadify

Roadify

Map data is great, but you know what would make it even better? Real-time data about delays or services changes.

Roadify not only routes you through the transit systems of many major American cities; the app also pulls in updates from other riders, as well as from the Twitter accounts of each service line. The app also includes a parking service that lets you report available or soon-to-be available spots and see a list of reported ones near you.

The free app is available for all your iOS devices at the Apple App store.

Reference: click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER INC. – (661) 257-8689 – BIG OR SMALL, WE SHIP IT ALL!

Transportation App to Keep You Moving #2

MotionX GPS Drive HD

MotionX GPS Drive HD

Why spend $100 or more on a GPS unit for your road trip when you don’t have to? MotionX GPS Drive HD offers you the same turn-by-turn directions of a GPS car unit, plus up-to-date map data and intergration with your address book and music app — all without breaking the bank.

The iOS app is $2.99 and comes with 30 days of free voice guidance for hands-free navigation. Users can pick up a year’s subscription to the voice feature at a 60% discount for just $10.

Reference: click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER INC. – (661) 257-8689 – BIG OR SMALL, WE SHIP IT ALL!

U.S. moves closer to tougher driver training standards

U.S. moves closer to tougher driver training standards

Posted: March 27, 2018 by Elizabeth Bate

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Entry-level truck drivers in the U.S. will face newly mandated training requirements as of Feb. 7, 2020.

But the new training standards set out by the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will not define the minimum number of in-class or in-cab training hours, as previously advocated for, says Laura McMillan, vice-president of training and development at Instructional Technologies. Instead, a registered carrier will need to certify that someone with a Class A or B learner’s permit is “proficient” in 31 topics before a road test can be scheduled.

Those with a learner’s permit before Feb. 7, 2020 will be allowed to complete their licensing under the old requirements, as long as it’s done before the permit expires.

McMillan, who is also a member of the FMCSA’s advisory committee to suggest and approve the new regulations, offered an update on the tightening training regime during the Truckload Carriers Association’s annual convention.

The 31 topics are divided into 12 areas, with each area given a recommended method of delivery and a placement in training curriculum. However, there are few hard and fast rules for how the curriculum should be delivered.

Categories will include basic operation, safe operation, advanced operating practices, operating systems, reporting malfunctions, and non-vehicle activities for the classroom portion, skills on the range and on the road, and specialized information for those dealing with hazardous materials, school buses, or passengers.

Trainees will be able to take the in-classroom portion of the training in a traditional classroom, online, or through a combination of both. And the in-cab portion of the training can be done, in part, through the use of simulators to help trainees experience extreme weather and driving conditions, but it is not necessary to include a simulator component.

While the FMCSA regulations say driver trainees must be “proficient” in each of the 31 topics, there is no definition of what “proficient” means in the regulation. McMillan says the generally accepted definition of “proficient” is when the student can complete a task successfully eight times out of 10, but the definition is still subjective.

While the FMCSA committee originally wanted there to be a required number of in-class and in-cab hours, much like Ontario’s 103.5 mandated hours, McMillan says the feedback the group received from the industry pressured the committee to change its mind and go with the current system instead.

Those in the U.S. military who currently use their vehicle endorsements and training to transition into trucking will still be able to obtain a commercial driver licence through that program if their state allows it.

All training schools will have to be registered with the FMCSA — even if they belong to a group or association that maintains elevated curriculum standards. However, there is currently no active registration process or a timeline for when that will be available, McMillan said.

Schools will also be subject to periodic reviews and audits by the FMCSA once they are registered, but there is currently no timeline or mechanism for how that will be carried out, either.

Once the training is completed, training schools will have to submit their certification and have it received before a trainee is allowed to schedule their final road test. This closes a current loophole that allows tests to be completed and passed before evidence of training is submitted.

That system will be an online, automated portal, which has yet to be designed.

McMillan says she expects the developments that still need to be made will come with a “reasonable buffer” period for schools and drivers, and will be rolled out hopefully over the next year.

Reference: click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER INC. – (661) 257-8689 – BIG OR SMALL, WE SHIP IT ALL!

How Does a Courier Service Work?

Courier services are used by a myriad of businesses and organizations, including doctors, lawyers, automotive repair shops and other offices and hospitals. A courier service can be lucrative if all of the vehicles are kept in good shape and prices are kept in line with gas prices and maintenance costs.

A courier service provides delivery services for businesses, and might have an account with a business, or it may have businesses call them “on the spot” for a one-time delivery. A business that uses a courier service frequently will usually set up an account with the courier service. The courier service will then bill the business according to the terms of the contract signed between the two entities.

Courier services generally have at least 3 or 4 drivers. When a call comes in, the job is assigned to the next available driver. If there is no driver available, the dispatcher will advise the business when the first driver will be available. The dispatcher will then call the driver closest to being done with his current job, and send him immediately on the new job.

A courier service sometimes hires employees who driver their own vehicles. The courier service then is generally not responsible for vehicle maintenance, but may give the employee extra money to go towards vehicle service. Independent couriers (who work as contractors) are always responsible for their own vehicle maintenance and gas, but they can charge a courier service accordingly.

No matter which way the courier service is set up, if it stays on top of employees and vehicle maintenance, it can be a very lucrative business. The money received from the business helps pay overhead, and what is left over goes into the capital account

Reference: click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER, INC. – BIG OR SMALL WE SHIP IT ALL

Top 5 Signs it is Time to Switch Carriers

Top 5 signs it is time to switch carriers:

1.  Financial Warning Signs

With many carriers reporting first quarter losses in 2012, now might be a good time to check the financial health of your current carrier.  While a one-time quarterly loss isn’t a reason to immediately run for the exits, a string of quarterly losses most likely has deeper considerations than just the state of the global economy.

2.  Uncompetitive Rates

Let’s face it, it is always easier to stick with an incumbent provider than bringing in a new partner.  The reasons are many, including I.T. connectivity, customer service and sales familiarity, and knowledge of your business to name a few.  However, if your current carrier is simply not market competitive it might be time to either have a rate conversation or take your services out to bid.  The term uncompetitive will largely be defined within your own corporate culture and how much you are willing to spend to remain with a company that provides good service is a personal decision.  It is not always about the lowest rates…just market competitive rates for a fair competitive service.

3.  Service Standards 

With many carriers offering similar services (ie moving boxes from A to B), one huge differentiator is the level of service that is provided by your carrier.  If the level of customer service offered by your incumbent carrier has slowly deteriorated over the course of your business dealings, it might be time to shop for a carrier that is eager to provide you with stellar service.  Also pay close attention to the level of support you are offered from a commercial perspective.  There is something to be said about having consistency in sales support.

4.  I.T. Dark Ages

In today’s modern world, knowledge is power, and no more so than in today’s competitive supply chain environment.  The days of monitoring your supply chain via spreadsheets are over.  If your carrier does not have the tools necessary from an I.T. perspective to assist in managing your business on a day to day basis, then it is time to take a look at alternate options.  One of those options might be to research I.T. connectivity methods with your carrier through a third party supply chain platform.

5.  Internal Changes

As your company (hopefully) grows, it is important that your existing carriers grow with you.  If you have outgrown the service capabilities of your carriers, whether it is in I.T. requirements or shipment volumes, then now is a good time to start identifying any current shortfalls.  Once identified, start looking for ways to address those needs in preparation to take your supply chain to the next level and increase your competitive advantage.

Reference: click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER INC. – (661) 257-8689 – BIG OR SMALL, WE SHIP IT ALL!

Transportation App to Keep You Moving #1

CityBikes

CityBikes App

Bike share networks are still a relatively new phenomenon in the U.S. — New York is the latest city to institute such a program. But if you’re traveling abroad, these programs are a cheap and easy way to see some of your favorite cities. CityBikes aggregates bike sharing data for networks in over 40 cities in Europe, Asia and North and South America.

The Android app tells you which stations are near you, how to get there and the number of bikes available. If you happen to be traveling in Paris or Barcelona, you can also receive notifications when bikes at stations near you become available.

CityBikes is a free app available for Android on the Google Play Store.

Reference: click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER INC. – (661) 257-8689 – BIG OR SMALL, WE SHIP IT ALL!

Transportation App to Keep You Moving #3

ParkMobile

ParkMobile

The last thing you want to do after a long trip is circle the block for a parking spot. ParkMobile will find both private and public parking spots on city streets, at airports, even sports stadiums and let you pay for your spot before you even arrive.

The app also sends you a notification 15 minutes before your parking expires, and there is even a feature to export your costs as a business expense if you are traveling for work.

ParkMobile is a free app available in the Google Play store and App store.

Reference: click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER INC. – (661) 257-8689 – BIG OR SMALL, WE SHIP IT ALL!

Last-minute Tax Tips

Legit Last Minute Savings on Taxes:

Car expenses. The rule is you can deduct the costs of operating a car only when that car is being used for business purposes. Keep track of the miles you drive and add them up at the end of the year. The deduction rate in 2011 was 50.5 cents per mile and in 2012 is 55.5 cents per mile for business-related driving.

Travel. In addition to car travel, you can also deduct the cost of plane fare, taxis, lodging and meals as long as the trip was undertaken primarily for a business purpose.  Additionally, travel expenses paid or incurred in connection with a temporary work assignment away from home are deductible.

Education.  As a small business owner, staying up to date on the complexities of your industry is imperative for operating a successful business. Author Stephen Covey calls this “sharpening the saw,” investing in yourself to become smarter and more effective. You can deduct education expenses if the courses you take are related to your field and help you run your business.

Software.  Most software programs bought for business purposes have to be depreciated over a period of 36 months. But if the software is only useful for less than a year, you can deduct its cost as a business expense in the year that you buy it.  With rapid changes in technology and software constantly being updated and replaced, this is becoming a more common source of tax savings.

New Equipment. The key here is “new.” Section 179 deduction can sometimes allow a small business owner to write-off the full costs of new equipment in the same year they were purchased. This year you can write-off up to $139,000 in expenses, and half of what you spend above that amount. The writeoff starts to decline once your total spending exceeds $560,000.

Profit Sharing.  It’s nice the Uncle Sam lets you deduct a key tool for attracting and retaining high-quality employees and increasing productivity. That’s right: A profit sharing plan does this for us, and more.  Your contributions to retirement plans (and often plan expenses) are generally tax-deductible.  You may also be eligible for a tax credit for establishing a qualified retirement plan.

Carryback. In addition to tax-deductible expenses, executing a net operating loss (NOL) carryback is another good way to recoup some of the losses you suffered during the recent economic crisis.  This deduction allows you to offset one year’s losses against another year’s income.  Calculating a NOL can be tricky and we suggest that, if you have one, you consult a tax professional to help ensure you do it correctly.

Have more questions? The IRS is actively working to make information more easily accessible, and believe it or not, they have social media tools that describe tax changes, initiatives, products and services. Check out the IRS2Go phone app (for iPhone and Android phones), YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and free IRS podcasts on iTunes.

Reference: click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER INC. – (661) 257-8689 – BIG OR SMALL, WE SHIP IT ALL!

© 2017 Courier-Messenger, Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Web Design by Bright Mind Media

© 2017 Courier-Messenger, Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Web Design by Bright Mind Media