ExpressIFTA Blog

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

What You Need to Know About The IFTA Tax Return

What You Need to Know About The IFTA Tax Return
In addition to the HVUT Form 2290 filing deadline, members of the trucking industry should be aware of the impending IFTA tax return deadline coming up on July 31st. Don’t let this deadline sneak up on you. To help you get started here is what you need to know about the IFTA tax return.


What You Need to Know About The IFTA Tax Return

IFTA, or the International Fuel Tax Agreement, is an arrangement between 48 of the United States (only excluding Alaska and Hawaii) and 10 Canadian provinces to report fuel use by authorized motor carriers that operate in more than one jurisdiction (state). The IFTA fuel tax redistributes fuel taxes equally among the jurisdictions.

To show you filed your IFTA return and paid the taxes owed by the deadline, you will be issued an IFTA license and IFTA stickers. The license should be kept in your truck at all times and the IFTA stickers are to be displayed under your driver’s side window.

What is a Jurisdiction?

A jurisdiction is a state that you drive through. Your IFTA report should be made directly with your base jurisdiction or home state. Your base jurisdiction is also where your truck and information is registered.


Vehicle Qualifications For IFTA Reporting

Your vehicle qualifies for IFTA reporting if it travels between more than one jurisdiction and:
  • Has two axles and a gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 lbs 
  • Has two axles and a registered weight exceeding 26,000 Ibs 
  • Has a combination weight exceeding 26,000 Ibs
  • Has three or more axles regardless of weight


IFTA Fuel Tax Reporting Requirements

You are required by law to complete an IFTA report quarterly and with your base jurisdiction. To file you will need the following information:
    What You Need to Know About The IFTA Tax Return
  • The total miles traveled per jurisdiction including taxable and nontaxable, IFTA and non-IFTA, and trip permit miles.
  • The total gallons of fuel consumed in each jurisdiction including taxable and nontaxable, IFTA, and trip permit miles.
  • The number of gallons of fuel purchased per jurisdiction.
  • The tax paid on each gallon of fuel purchased per jurisdiction.
  • And the current tax rate per jurisdiction.

IFTA Fuel Tax Rates 2nd Quarter 2018

At ExpressIFTA we automatically update our calculations and IFTA tax rates to ensure 100% accuracy. Plus our innovative features help you complete your IFTA quarterly fuel tax report.

Here is how to get started today:
  1. Create your free ExpressIFTA account
  2. Enter your business information
  3. Specify your base jurisdiction
  4. Enter your vehicle details
  5. List your miles and fuel records
  6. Generate your IFTA quarterly fuel tax report

No more complicated IRS terminology or calculations. Our IFTA software will accurately calculate your IFTA fuel tax rates and IFTA tax based on the provided information guaranteeing you are not over or underpaying.




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Thursday, July 5, 2018

Important Mistakes to Avoid When Filing IFTA Online

Important Mistakes to Avoid When Filing IFTA Online
The International Fuel Tax Agreement is one of those things that just keep coming. Four times a year to be exact! If IFTA filing is already a hassle then it becomes even worse when simple mistakes are made on your return which causes it to be rejected. Here are important mistakes to avoid when filing IFTA online or anywhere else.

Important Mistakes to Avoid When Filing IFTA Online

On top of the impending HVUT Form 2290 due date coming up you also need to be aware of the 2nd quarter IFTA deadline on July 31st. You need to file your IFTA return with your base jurisdiction by this date or face outrageous penalties.

 

Filing Your IFTA Report Late or Not at All

We understand you are busy and the IFTA deadline always seems to sneak up on you. It is tough to dig up months of fuel records and mileage calculations. But you have to send your IFTA report on time to avoid penalties. Late submission or forgetting to file at all will lead to an automatic $50 or 10% penalty on the total tax amount, whichever is greater. Also, this could result in a dreaded IFTA audit.

Estimating Fuel Calculations

It might be tempting to save time by estimating your average miles per gallon and miles traveled at the end of the quarter, but it is essential to record all of the numbers accurately.

To receive your full refund or tax credit you will need to record all of your fuel receipt information such as your gallons purchased and where. 

Not Logging Personal or Unloading Miles

All miles need to be reported on your IFTA return. Although it may seem irrelevant to report the miles you take during a trip to unload or for personal errands like food, it still needs to be included. It will raise a red flag on the IRS end if there is a gap between mileage on your log from day to day.

Waiting Until The Last-Minute

Important Mistakes to Avoid When Filing IFTA Online
The struggle against procrastination is real. It is tempting to put off filing your IFTA return but given all the information you need to compile, procrastination is not your friend. As time-consuming as it may be, you have more than enough time to organize all your information to complete your IFTA report before the July 31st deadline.






File With The Best IFTA Software Available

If all of this information is slightly headache-inducing we totally understand. Which is why at ExpressIFTA we make IFTA reporting simple. Our IFTA software for reporting includes innovative features that let you upload your IFTA fuel tax information at your own pace. Upload your trip information as you go or all at once with each quick entry screen. You can even upload your miles from your fuel card.

Don’t worry about handling any complicated calculation yourself, because we will automatically calculate IFTA fuel tax rates for you. And all of your information will be kept in an easy-to-read report that can be easily printed and used to complete your return.



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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Here Are the Differences Between Road Tax 2290 And IFTA

Here Are the Differences Between Road Tax 2290 And IFTA
If you are new to the trucking industry, it is understandable that it is hard to remember all the various abbreviations and tax forms. So to give you an extra hand, here are the difference between road tax 2290 and IFTA. 

What is Road Tax 2290?

The IRS Form 2290 or Heavy Vehicle Use Tax is a federal tax on commercial vehicles that:
  • Have a total gross weight of more than 55,000 pounds
  • Operate on public highways for more than 5,000 miles per year
Truck taxes are annually collected and used for highway construction and maintenance. For more information click here for the Federal Highway Administration website.

But what does “gross weight” mean?
  • This is the weight of your truck when it is fully equipped for a haul. This will include any equipment you usually carry such as lubricants, fuel, etc.
  • However, this does not include you and any specialized equipment you use on a blue moon like a compressor or crane.

Your HVUT tax amount is $100 plus (approximately) $22 for every 1,000 Ibs over the taxable gross weight of 55,000 lbs. The maximum HVUT tax amount you can owe is $550 if your vehicle is 75,000 pounds or more. For a more accurate HVUT tax amount click here.

Please note that your tax amount will vary greatly if your vehicle is exclusively used for logging.

What is IFTA?

Here Are the Differences Between Road Tax 2290 And IFTA
IFTA, or the International Fuel Tax Agreement, is an arrangement between 48 of the United States and 10 Canadian provinces to report fuel use by motor carriers that operate in more than one jurisdiction (state).

To show you filed your IFTA return and paid your taxes you will be issued an IFTA license and IFTA stickers. The license should be kept in your truck at all times, and the IFTA stickers are displayed under your driver’s side window. 



Unlike the annual Heavy Vehicle Use Tax, your IFTA report is quarterly.
Your vehicle qualifies for IFTA reporting if you travel between states and :
  • Have two axels and a gross/registered weight of more than 26,000 lbs
  • Have a combination eight exceeding 26,000 lbs
  • Have three or more axels regardless of vehicle weight

Deadlines Up Ahead Truckers


IFTA Deadline: July 31, 2018 (2nd Quarter)
IRS Form 2290 (HVUT): August 31, 2018


If you have any questions regarding how to file your IFTA report, don’t hesitate to contact our dedicated 100% US support team. Or if you still need to file your IRS Heavy Vehicle Use Tax our sister product ExpressTruckTax is always here to help as a market leader.



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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

You Need to Know What The Senate DOT Bill Contained

You Need to Know What The Senate DOT Bill ContainedThe DOT bill released by the U.S. Appropriations Committee did not contain any trucking policy reform such as the ELD (Electronic Logging Device) mandate and Denham Amendment. The bill passed but the Senate Appropriations Committee differs from its counterpart passed by the House Committee. So what was included? You need to know what the Senate DOT bill contained. 

You Need to Know What The Senate DOT Bill Contained

The bill passed by the U.S. House included the proposed changes to the ELD mandate for livestock haulers. It also prevented the Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) rule without the implementation of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program.

Unlike the House bill, the Senates does not heavily impact the trucking industry. It mainly focuses on general litigation and FMCSA mandated deadlines.

The Senate Appropriations Committee did direct the DOT to evaluate the needs of livestock drivers in relations to the ELD mandate further. The plan passed by the U.S. House extended the ELD exemption for both livestock and insect haulers to September 2019. The Senate committee stated that lawmakers should “consult with stakeholders, the Department of Agriculture and Congress on legislative solutions for drivers with unique working conditions.”

The current DOT funding expires at the end of September, however, the Senate has not set a date for considering the bill. Once consideration begins in the Senate, legislatures can add trucking reforms during the amendment process. The U.S. House has yet to bring the DOT appropriations bill to the floor as well.

You Need to Know What The Senate DOT Bill ContainedIf the two governing bodies pass a different version of the bill, the lawmakers will enter a conference committee to produce a finalized bill. This will then be passed again by the respective governing bodies. Any trucking reform that is attached would be subject to intense review during the committee process.

We want to hear from you! Click here to share. Let us know your thoughts on the DOT bill!

For more trucking news and information click here.


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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

You Need to Know About The Possible ELD Exemption for Small Carriers

A bill filed in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 23, 2018, may bring ELD exemption for small carriers. If passed, carriers with 10 or fewer trucks will be exempt from the Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) electronic logging device mandate permanently. Here is what you need to know about the possible ELD exemption for small carriers.


You Need to Know About The Possible ELD Exemption for Small Carriers

The Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018 is sponsored by Representatives Collin Peterson (Dem-Minnesota) and Greg Glanforte (Rep-Montana). This is the first attempt to exempt small carriers and owner-operators from the ELD mandate specifically.

The Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018 would allow carriers with 10 or fewer trucks to use paper logs instead of the mandated electronic logging devices. For this piece of legislation to pass it will need to be approved by the House, Senate, and President Trump. 


Representatives Collin Peterson and Greg Glanforte also introduced a bill that would exempt drivers hauling agricultural commodities from the ELD mandate. Livestock drivers have received an ELD exemption until the end of September but will need to comply after this date. Agricultural truckers have only until June 19th to switch from paper to an electronic logbook.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) petitioned FMCSA in November to allow small business truckers to continue using paper logs until December 2022. However, the FMCSA has yet to issue a decision on the topic.

As this issue continues to develop, we will continue to deliver you the latest news and information in the trucking industry. Click here for additional blog content.






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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

What You Need to Know About Reefer Fuel Regarding IFTA?

Trucker and his vehicle back on the open road again after fueling up after he read about reefer fuel and how he can save on his tax refundI'm a big believer in being prepared for everything and I've learned truckers are the same way. You never know what can happen, so it's always best to be ready for anything. When it comes to IFTA, you can never be too prepared, and the learning never ends. The rules governing IFTA are a bit lengthy, and every single state is different, but don't let that stress you out. IFTA is a lot easier when it is broken down, so let's go over what you need to know about reefer fuel regarding IFTA.

What You Need to Know About Reefer Fuel Regarding IFTA?

First of all, reefer fuel is NOT included when filing IFTA when it is used to power the refrigeration unit of the trailer. You should always purchase reefer fuel on a separate fuel receipt.

Never pump reefer fuel on the same fuel receipt when fueling your power unit. This will lower your MPG and cost you more IFTA fuel tax. Also, if you are selected for an IFTA Audit, and it is discovered that you combined reefer fuel into your power unit file, you will be penalized and incur added interest on your IFTA audit.

IFTA & Reefer Fuel


Truck driver at a Truck stop fueling up his big rig with Reefer FuelYou are entitled to a federal tax refund on each gallon of reefer fuel. You will need the total number of gallons of reefer fuel purchased during the tax year to complete the refund form. The IRS will send you a check for the federal tax paid on each gallon of fuel. If you failed to file for this refund, you could file back for the past three years to claim your refund.

You will want to check with your base jurisdiction to see how they handle reefer fuel. In Maryland, for example, if you only have one tank that propels your vehicle and runs the refrigeration unit, then all fuel is included in IFTA. If you have two separate containers, you need to fuel separately and make sure reefer is marked on the receipt. Do not add the reefer fuel on IFTA and you will able to get a refund by filing a claim.

So if you are operating an IFTA “Qualified Motor Vehicle” with a reefer unit, make sure to have the reefer fuel on a separate receipt and don’t include reefer duel on your IFTA return.


For more trucking news and information click here.



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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

How to File Your IRS Heavy Vehicle Use Tax

How to File Your IRS Heavy Vehicle Use TaxThe Heavy Vehicle Use Tax season is coming right at us at full speed! You can try to jump out of the way, but you’ll still need to file your IRS Form 2290. Don’t let the deadline run you over. Be prepared and file now and avoid having your form rejected. Here is how to file your IRS Heavy Vehicle Use Tax.

How to File Your IRS Heavy Vehicle Use Tax

Like any other tax, if you don’t pay or file your Heavy Vehicle Use Tax Form 2290 by the deadline, you will face fees and penalties imposed by the IRS. However, you don't have to pay your taxes when you file today. Just be sure to file before the IRS Form 2290 deadline on August 31.

For example, the initial penalty for filing late is 4.5% of the tax due, and this accrues on a monthly basis for up to five months. Also, if you don’t pay your tax due you will face .05% of the total amount you owe and an interest charge of .54% per month. That can make the amount you owe quickly skyrocket.

Some authorities will revoke your license if they find out you failed to file before the August 31st deadline. However, most states are a little lenient towards first-time offenders.

More Time to Fix Mistakes and Prepare

Some people don’t realize that they need an EIN or Employer Identification Number to file. You can get one by applying online with the IRS, but it will take about 14-days to become active. During the 15 days, your form could get rejected! If you wait too close to the deadline before getting your EIN, then you’ll miss it!

Plus, what happens if your form gets rejected for a simple mistake like an incorrect VIN? By pre-filing, you will know sooner if you have made a mistake that you need to correct your form.

Our sister product ExpressTruckTax will let you know if your form is rejected and explain why. You can then make the required corrections and refile for free.

How to File in Advance?


How to File Your IRS Heavy Vehicle Use Tax
Filing in advance is incredibly easy. Go to ExpressTruckTax and follow their step-by-step guide to file in a matter of minutes. The guide tells you exactly what information to enter and where. They will also calculate the amount of Heavy Vehicle Use Tax you owe.

Or you can call TSNAmerica at 804-286-0320 to file over the phone. Their dedicated team of experts will take your information and file for you. Once your Form 2290 is transmitted to the IRS, they will send you a notification, and when approved you will immediately get a copy of your stamped Schedule 1.

It should be remembered that no matter what route you take you don’t have to pay your taxes until the August 31st deadline.


Here to Help

If you have any questions regarding how to file your IRS Heavy Vehicle Use Tax, don’t hesitate to contact our dedicated ExpressTruckTax or TSNAmerica support team. They are available Monday - Friday from 8:30 to 6 PM EST at 704-234-6005.



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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

What Should All New Truckers Know?

New trucker on the road during one their dispatches If you are new to the wonderful world of trucking, there are some truths you need to know. But by no means is this information meant to scare you away from an amazing career. We simply want to supply you with honest and straightforward information. So let’s jump right into it, what should all new truckers know?

What Should All New Truckers Know?

This is primarily meant for truck drivers just entering the industry. It is no doubt your first year will be the hardest day so far. You will need to make adjustments and get used to the job, and all that it entails. While you learned a lot during your CDL training, there is still a lot to learn that you have not learned yet.


Driving Experience and Time

In this industry experience is really key to getting the best jobs. The more experience you have on the road, the better of a driver you will become. In your first year, there will be more than one or two close calls. But with more experience, you will find yourself more relaxed, and you will enjoy your job that much more.


Minimizing Close Calls

One of the most important goals of your first year is to minimize close calls and the chance of having an accident. Accidents are unfortunately all too common for first-year truck drivers. In addition to getting used to the job, you will also need to get accustomed to your truck.

Pay careful attention to the road and do your best to avoid any accidents. These will show up on your truck driving record (CVOR, DAC report). In addition to accidents being embarrassing, they can also be very expensive. If the accident was unnecessary and easily preventable it will end up costing you your new position. So we want to avoid that at all cost.

Weeks Away From Home


New owner-operator fueling up his truck for a new loadIt is a fact that the life of a professional truck driver can keep you away from home for weeks or more. This might not sound like a big deal for any of you, but it is not as easy as you might think. If you are in a relationship or married, you will need to be prepared. Talk to your family about what to expect and how they can prepare.

In addition to being apart from your family, you will be alone for long periods of time, and this can be tough on some. Anxiety, depression, and of course loneliness is common among truck drivers. A successful trucking career can take a toll on both your physical and mental health. To combat this, you will need to prepare before leaving on a route and make adjustments each time you set out.

 

Goal Oriented (Stay Focused)

Your first year as a truck driver will be hard, and there is no denying that. But, don’t get discouraged and overwhelmed during this time, it will pass. Remember why you started this career and what your long terms goals are. Use this time to gain experience and get more time behind the wheel. The more experience and time you have on the road the better the money.
Do a good job and most importantly keep yourself safe. Practice makes perfect.

Comment down below and share this blog with new truckers. Visit ExpressIFTA for more trucking news and information.



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