As the year is quickly coming to an end it is time to think about how your taxes will be affected for the year. One thing many businesses consider is purchasing new equipment.
If you are considering acquiring equipment in the near future or are a supplier looking to save your customers money, Section 179 impacts you!
As part of the IRS Tax Code, Section 179 allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of certain assets financed or leased and put into service during the tax year. Accelerating depreciation rather than spreading the deduction over the item’s useful life provides a larger tax deduction come tax time. With a $500,000 maximum deduction available, you could keep a lot more money in your pocket.
Additionally, since Section 179 covers new and used equipment or software, you can get the equipment you need now, take the full tax benefit now, and spread your expense over a multi-year financing term, thus significantly reducing your true cost of ownership.
Equipment could be things like new vans or trucks, tools, heavy duty equipment and even a GPS tracking system to help manage your business.
It is important to contact your tax advisor before making a purchase to make sure you qualify and what impact a substantial purchase would have on your taxes.
For more details go to the following website:
Found this article in Forbes online by Steve Olenski. Covers some great points on the advantages of GPS tracking.
Tracking mileage for business used to involve notebooks, scraps of paper and even napkins from fast food restaurants – admit it, you’ve done this, I know I have. After recording the mileage, you might have had to do the math on your watch calculator to figure out the difference between your beginning and ending points.
Thankfully, technology has come to the rescue and given us apps that can streamline the process of tracking mileage, reporting expenses and fleet management.
Here are some reasons to use a mileage tracking and fleet management app for your business:
1. Mobile Device Capability
Instead of supplying your employees with bulky laptops, apps allow them to use a mobile phone or tablet to track mileage. Once connected with a Bluetooth device, apps will automatically begin recording the mileage and will automatically stop recording when the vehicle is stopped. Users will also have the ability to track locations with GPS. Another feature of having a tracking app on your mobile device is that you can sync data between a mobile device and web services. Apps also have the ability to record the route taken and show it on maps. Be sure to know what the laws are in your state for using a mobile device while operating a vehicle, and provide drivers with a dash mount or hands-free device.
2. Ability to Create IRS Compliant Reports
Apps like TripLog allow you to create reports that are compliant with IRS rules. You are allowed to deduct $ 0.575 per mile, but in order to claim this deduction, and save hundreds or thousands in taxes each year, you must keep detailed records. The IRS requires you to keep receipts for any business or vehicle expense over $75, and a tracking app can give you the ability to take a photo of the receipt and upload it to the cloud for safe keeping. Using an app that has the ability to create IRS compliant reports will help you claim the highest number of exemptions.
Other vehicle expenses include fuel, parking, tolls, maintenance, insurance, registration, etc. Other business expenses include meals, lodging, gifts, travel and many others. Local service companies like Home Inspection All Star rely on mileage tracking for their day to day operations.
3. Connecting with Accounting Software
Using a tracking app can spare you the effort of inputting data into spreadsheets by connecting with and uploading mileage and expense data directly to Intuit QuickBooks. This allows for easier and quicker mileage reimbursement to your employees. You will also have the ability to upload other expenses like parking receipts.
4. Knowing Where Your Fleet Is
If your business has a large fleet of vehicles, a tracking app can show you the location of every vehicle in your fleet, down to a specific parking spot. You can see real-time driving routes and locations for each driver in your fleet. Drivers can also share trips on Facebook, Twitter and GoogleMaps/Earth.
5. Saves Money and Time
Keeping records of repairs and maintenance to your fleet can save you lots of money by eliminating redundancy and oversight of needed repairs. You’ll avoid costly repairs that could have been prevented by performing scheduled maintenance, and also track the costs so that you can compare and save. Many apps allow you to record and compare fuel costs and gas mileage for all of the vehicles in your fleet.
There are also apps that allow your employees to drive safer by alerting to road hazards, accidents and bad weather. You can also track the speed at which the vehicles in your fleet are traveling, alerting you to drivers who are breaking the law and being reckless. Safer driving prevents accidents, which keeps insurance costs down and keeps your vehicles on the road, saving you the time and money involved in repairing or replacing a vehicle.
GPS tracking can do more than improve your fleet operations, it can help improve your entire business. The benefits of implementing a GPS tracking system extend beyond the day-to-day operations that fleet managers and drivers use the technology for, allowing you to get more from your business than you ever thought possible.
1. Maximize Labor – For many businesses, payroll is one of the biggest overhead expenses. Using a fleet tracking system to improve driver accountability translates to higher profits because you can ensure that your employees are actually working while they’re on the clock. This is not just limited to driving. Monitoring PTO events can help in industries that use heavy equipment.
2. Minimize Fuel – In the long run, fuel prices are only going to increase. This means that fleet managers and business owners must change habits and increase efficiency to help control fuel budgets.
3. Speed Up Billing – Good managers know that the faster you can send bills, the faster you get paid, which means better cash flow and more control overall. With GPS tracking, administrative staff members have the power to bill faster with less errors.
4. Reduce Insurance Costs – Insurance companies love GPS tracking systems because they help reduce accidents, improve driver accountability, and allow companies to enforce safety policies. You get all of these benefits plus lower insurance rates.
5. Improve Customer Service – The more quickly and efficiently you can provide service to your customers, they happier they will be. This translates to more loyal customers, more referrals, and ultimately more revenue for you.
6. Operate More Efficiently – Maximizing efficiency is one of the best ways to boost the bottom line. Faster dispatching, optimized routes, and easier time tracking all help your business become more efficient.
7. Protect Your Assets – Vehicles are valuable assets that are not always easy to replace, especially for small businesses. Fleet management software helps you prevent theft and abuse, and keeps equipment in top shape with maintenance reminders.
8. Be More Flexible – Business owners can track fleets on the go.This is especially useful for owner-operators who need to monitor activity while in the field themselves.
9. Be Green – Reducing your environmental footprint is becoming more important than ever, especially for businesses that want a competitive edge.
10. Understand Your Business Better – Robust reporting tools and driver analytics allow you to truly understand how your fleet operates, which means you have all the information you need to make important business decisions.
Robert is owner of Boston Global Tracking. Helping many businesses by providing GPS tracking.
There are many cost saving benefits to having investing in a GPS tracking system. While you can save substantially by cutting down on wasted fuel and labor, you can also reduce the amount of money your company is spending on insurance premiums.
Many insurance companies recognize that when a company installs a GPS fleet tracking system it means that they are serious about reducing risk. By implementing GPS fleet tracking software you are able to keep a close eye on driver behavior, locate stolen vehicles, and ensure that your trucks are safe by staying on top of regular maintenance.
Insurance companies are committed to good driving behavior and ensuring safety on the road. Implementing GPS fleet tracking will show them that you are committed as well. Most insurance carriers will recognize companies who apply a GPS fleet tracking solution to their fleet and will give them up to a 15% insurance discount!
Simply install a GPS fleet tracking device with a sufficient number of your vehicles, and start saving on your premiums. You can find a range of potential discounts from insurance providers such as Liberty Mutual, Travelers, Zurich North America and The Hartford.
The application of a GPS fleet tracking system will result in a significant decrease of hazardous driving behaviors. GPS fleet tracking provides you with instantaneous alerts to your cell phone and email that will notify you when one of your drivers is speeding or driving erratically. This will help you to stay on top of unsafe driving habits and to cut down the number of accidents and citations your fleet encounters.
With real-time tracking, you no longer have to wonder where your vehicles are. If one of your vehicles is stolen, GPS fleet tracking gives you immediate insight into your vehicles location. Retrieving your stolen vehicles quickly gives you a better probability to also recover expensive assets that you may have on-board the vehicle.
GPS fleet tracking will also help you to keep an eye on when your vehicles having upcoming or overdue maintenance requirements. These friendly reminders will tell you or your drivers when a vehicle is ready for an oil change or tire rotation, to help prevent any dangerous situations on the roadway.
The SmartWay Transport Partnership is a voluntary collaboration between EPA and the freight industry to conserve fuel, reduce emissions, and improve transportation supply chain efficiency. SmartWay “makes the business case” for how companies shipping products, and the carriers that move those products, can improve their environmental profile while saving money and time.
Companies join the SmartWay Transport Partnership for a 3 year period, and begin by analyzing the efficiency of their operations using SmartWay software. EPA helps partners set individualized goals and select the right strategies to achieve them. Fleets choose from a wide variety of strategies to minimize idle time, reduce rolling resistance, improve aerodynamics, refine logistics and train drivers. Shippers participate by increasing the proportion of their product carried by the most efficient SmartWay carrier partners, choosing the most efficient modes, and improving freight logistics. Partners benchmark their operations, track their savings, and report yearly to EPA. Partners’ SmartWay scores can qualify them to use the logo and receive other forms of recognition, including awards.
SmartWay partners now number close to 3000, including most of the biggest trucking companies and most visible shippers. But SmartWay is not only for huge companies—many smaller carriers and regionally-known shippers participate. SmartWay fact sheets and case studies showcase successful fuel-saving strategies. EPA is working with other countries to develop compatible freight efficiency programs that will enable international shippers to streamline their entire supply chain. SmartWay also specs fuel-efficient truck and trailer models, verifies fuel-saving technology, and sets up financing programs.
EPA New England is active in SmartWay, supporting existing partners, signing on new partners, and promoting efficient freight technologies, strategies and infrastructure. Four NE-based SmartWay partners have received regional Environmental Merit Awards. For more information, see the SmartWay website or contact Abby Swaine (firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-918-1841) at EPA New England.
All six New England states have anti-idling regulations. The Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island regulations are part of state implementation plans. State regulations that are part of state implementation plans are federally enforceable. This means that EPA, as well as the State, has the authority to enforce these laws. EPA has taken enforcement action against fleets in Connecticut, Massachusetts and RI for alleged violations of the anti-idling regulations in those states. The press page of this site contains specific information about these actions.
For additional information go to the EPA website:
Robert Drucker, owner of Boston Global Tracking, writes and shares information of interest to fleet owners. Contact Robert at 508 341 5115 or robert@BostonGlobalTracking.com
Based on 10 drivers, adding only 3 extra hours a week per driver:
Combine this savings with reduced fuel costs from reduced speeds and less idling plus less accidents due to better driving behavior.
15% Fuel Savings: $13,125
(based on 25,000 gal at $3.50 per gal)
10% Insurance Savings $1,500
Total Annual Savings: $50,000 +
Contact us on how for as little as $1.25 a day per vehicle you can reduce your fleet costs and make your business more efficient.
Anytime managers or owners implement new policies there is bound to be resistance from some employees. This is no more evident when a company implements GPS tracking and telematics to their fleet. Learning how to implement vehicle monitoring systems in a positive way can help managers avoid pushback from drivers.
Known Benefits of Telematics Push Fleet Managers to Implement Systems
It’s the benefits of telematics and GPS technology that often pushes fleet managers to add systems in spite of resistance. Outside of the obvious benefit of GPS technology, one of the most important benefits is monitoring driver behavior. Not only does this improve fuel efficiency, but it also provides proof against false claims made against drivers involved in crashes.
Strategies to Reduce Resistance
Fleet managers are quick to see the benefits of telematics, but drivers don’t always respond positively to these systems. In one study published , nearly 43 percent of fleet managers surveyed stated they had a “significant amount” of resistance when implementing telematics systems into their fleets, with another 35.7 percent reporting at least a “little” resistance. In other words, the majority of fleets surveyed had resistance of some sort.
So what can a fleet manager do to implement this valuable system without this resistance? While avoiding all resistance may not be possible, it can be limited with the right approach when implementing telematics, electronic tracking technology, or other vehicle monitoring systems.
Having a policy that clearly states the purpose and use of the system or technology as well as driver responsibility can help communicate the company’s expectations better. The company/agency should have each potential driver acknowledge that they have no expectation of privacy regarding the information gathered through the use of this technology. The City of Napa circulates a policy to all their potential drivers to inform them of the purpose and use of the technology. The policy also addresses tampering with the hardware.
Using the system as a positive as well as a negative can also help. Using the system to reward drivers who had the least number of offenses, and posting the weekly driver report in a common area, helps create a positive peer pressure about driver safety and fuel efficiency. This created changes without much intervention from management.
Today’s drivers have a lot to keep track of, and any tool that helps them do so more safely is welcome once it is understood. Once drivers realize that the systems are going to improve overall safety, while also potentially earning them rewards for positive behaviors, they are often more willing to embrace telematics.
In the end, the approach needs to be one of coaching, not reprimanding. While there is often some driver turnover when implementing a system, the end result, which is more efficient and attentive drivers, creates a positive environment for all members of the fleet.
Robert Drucker, Owner of Boston Global Tracking, often writes about issues facing owners and managers with fleets of vehicles. His expertise is highly regarded in the industry and provides his insight and knowledge to help business owners better manage their fleet.
Technology moves so fast today that making a technology purchase for your business or for personal use can be horribly mind boggling.
“When I purchase will I find what I just bought obsolete?” “Will the price drop?” It seems today either the next greatest is thing is coming out next week or the price is dropping by 20%.
Gone are the days of technology changing every few years. Today it is down to months or even weeks.
“The next iPhone is due out in 3 months do I wait?” “Next week a new Android phone is coming out, is that a better choice?” “What do I do?”
Here are some tips on how to evaluate when to purchase the next new technology.
1. First determine if the technology is actually right for you. Is this something that is going to be just a toy or will it be something that will enhance your life or business?
2. Is there a return on investment? Does it do everything that I want it to do now or are there predicted improvements down the road that you really want.
3. Next step is to do your research: Consumer Reports, friends, co-workers and reviews on the internet are all good sources.
4. Once you have evaluated your needs set yourself a price limit. If it is within your budget go for it. If not wait, as the newer technology comes out the price of what you really want will drop.
5. If the need and the price are right for you, pull the trigger and buy. Don’t look back or re-evaluate your purchase. Enjoy it because it is right for you. Do not get caught up in the have to have the latest and greatest just because everyone else has it.
As a personal example my iPhone 3 works fine for me, it gives me what I want and I have no interest in moving to the 5. When I purchased the 3 I made the decision because I wanted internet access to my phone for business purposes. It was the best purchase I ever made and I got it cheap because the 4 had just been released.
I find so many people wait on making decisions because they are not sure. Do your due diligence and if it is right for you now, don’t wait. Just make the decision and go on with your life. You will be glad you did.
Below is a reprint from an article by Mike Magner for the National Journal at http://www.nationaljournal.com on November 11, 2012.
I would highly recommend sharing this article with your staff, family and friends.
“The National Motorists Association has a warning for the millions of drivers hitting the road for the busy holiday travel season: Beware of the yellow lights.
The timing of yellow lights on traffic signals at many intersections is purposely set to a minimum so more drivers can be ticketed for running red lights, says the 30-year-old activist group based in Waunakee, Wis.