ExpressIFTA Blog

Friday, September 23, 2016

What Every Trucker Needs to Know About IFTA Filing

What Every Trucker Needs to Know About IFTA Filing
What Every Trucker Needs to Know About IFTA Filing
Trucking isn’t an easy job. Ask any truck driver, they’ll tell you the headaches they have to deal with, day in, day out. But one headache that never seems to go away is the ongoing paperwork, certifications, licenses, permits, and tax forms a transportation professional has to deal with.

Like the International Fuel Tax Agreement - better known as IFTA. You’ve seen the decals, and you probably know you need to report your fuel taxes.

But what happens when you decide, you know what? I’ve had enough. I’m not doing it!

Let’s take a look at that - what happens when you don’t file your IFTA. Learn how to file IFTA fuel tax?


“I’m just not going to file…”


Did you know that there are a whole slew of problems that arise when you do not file your IFTA return?

First of all, if you’re considered late you’ll have to deal with late fees and penalties.

For most states, the penalty for late filing is a flat rate fee of $50 or 10% of the taxes due, whichever is greater in value. Now Nevada does things a bit different. Nevada's penalty for late filing is a $50 flat fee plus 10% of the taxes due. No thanks!

Starting the month after you receive your original penalty for late filing, you will be charged a rate of .4167% of the tax due every month until the tax amount is paid. Again, Nevada is the exception to the rule. Nevada charges the .4167% of the tax due every month as well as an administrative late fee of $100 the first time, $500 the second time, $1000 the third time, $1500 the fourth time, $2000 the fifth time, and $2500 for every time after that. Looks like I’m avoiding Nevada!

State highway patrols can access lists of fees and IFTA penalties when they find a trucker who hasn’t paid up. Unfortunately, in some states, both the fuel tax license holder and the driver can be held liable for unpaid taxes - which means leased drivers aren’t off the hook.

If your IFTA fuel tax license is revoked – you’re off the road until it’s reinstated. Do you really want to get parked?

IFTA Filing Methods


  • Method 1: Get organized. Sit down with a spreadsheet and start updating your fuel tax records daily. Let’s be real, though. If you were that ahead of the game, you’d already be doing that. 
  • Method 2: Hire someone. Basically, you can find some tax professionals who will do this sort of thing for you. You’ll still have to provide all those mileage numbers per state, fuel receipts, and then pay the person afterward. 
  • Method 3: ExpressIFTA. Sign up and try ExpressIFTA, the easiest application created to generate your IFTA fuel tax report. With ExpressIFTA, you can create easy-to-use trip logs, store all your vehicle data in the Truck Zone, and generate your IFTA taxes online.

What Are the IFTA Due Dates?


As the 3rd quarter IFTA reporting runs from July to September, it has a due date of October 31st. That means you need to file by midnight of October 31st! ExpressIFTA can at least make your Halloween a little less scary.

Instead of letting IFTA overwhelm you this year, grab the bull by the horns and face your fuel taxes head on! If you have any questions about using ExpressIFTA, call us at 704.234.6005.

Related Blog: Fuel Tax Tip: File Your IFTA in Minutes, Not Hours


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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Fuel Tax Tip: File Your IFTA in Minutes, Not Hours

Fuel Tax Tip: File Your IFTA in Minutes, Not Hours
Fuel Tax Tip: File Your IFTA in Minutes, Not Hours
Four times a year, truckers are faced with the worst thing possible - a tax deadline!

Not just any deadline, though. The dreaded IFTA deadline.

So let’s talk about how you can get through the fuel tax deadline without losing your mind.


IFTA Basics:


First of all, newer truckers (or those not in the know) might wonder, what is IFTA?

To put it frankly, the the International Fuel Tax Agreement is a system used to collect and allocate taxes on fuel usage from truckers and transportation companies per base jurisdiction.

So basically, it's the system used to distribute the tax money where it needs to go. Thankfully, this is actually the streamlined method of filing fuel taxes - it was even worse before. So maybe we shouldn’t dread IFTA reporting as much.

What Do I Need to Get Started?


Make sure you have your records ready to go, basically. But in more detail, you need the following:

  • The total miles, taxable and nontaxable, traveled by your qualified motor vehicle(s) in all jurisdictions/states, regardless if they participate in IFTA, which includes all trip permit miles. 
  • The total gallons (or liters) of fuel that is consumed by the aforementioned truck, including taxable and nontaxable, in all jurisdictions/state whether they participate in IFTA or not
  • The total miles and total taxable miles traveled in each member jurisdiction;
  • The total taxable gallons consumed in each member jurisdiction;
  • The tax-paid gallons/liters that are purchased in each member jurisdiction; and
  • The current tax rates for each member jurisdiction.


How Can I File My IFTA Returns in Just Minutes?


We feature a lot of tools that can help you file in just minutes.

Like our trip logs and trip sheets, which allow you to summarize all of your fuel tax information by each IFTA quarter. You can manage each quarter by trip sheets, quick entries, GPS data upload, or bulk upload from an Excel or .CSV file.

So how do you file within minutes?

First, sign up / login to an ExpressIFTA account. Next, upload all of your information into ExpressIFTA. That includes your business details, the details for each truck you need to file for, the distance/odometer records, and the fuel receipts. Finally, you generate your report and voila! Your IFTA report is done. It’s nice to have plan as you head into IFTA due dates, isn’t it?

If you have any questions about using ExpressIFTA, our customer support experts are ready to answer you! You can always reach them at 704.234.6005.

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Let’s Get Ready for the 3rd Quarter IFTA Deadline

3rd Quarter IFTA Preparation Tips
We’re in the middle of the 3rd Quarter, which means you still have time to get ready for the upcoming deadline. We’ve gathered our best tips that can help you survive your IFTA filing.

So without further ado, here are our IFTA preparation tips:

Don’t Procrastinate!


The first thing you need to do is clear your docket! If you’ve been living under a rock, you may have missed that the heavy vehicle use tax due date for 2016-2017 is August 31st. That’s only a few weeks away!

So what should you do? E-file Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax, and you won’t have to worry about a thing.

After your IRS Form 2290 is filed, you can move on to planning out your next fuel tax return.

Keep Better Records


Basically, if you want to get ahead on your next IFTA tax return, start with better record-keeping. If you’re going to go the old fashioned way, come up with a system to keep your files organized and ready to go. Store and track your fuel receipts and mileage as the quarter moves on, and you’ll find entering your info into ExpressIFTA is easy as pie.

Of course, you could always just use trucking management software.

Trucking Software Can Help


If you really want to get ahead of the curve for your next IFTA filing, you should look into a transportation business management software with IFTA reporting capabilities.

We suggest TruckLogics, the premier trucking management software where you can capture fuel receipts with your smartphone, create and send invoices, and plan your routes with ProMiles.

When you use TruckLogics, you can go into an IFTA quarter with top notch recordkeeping skills. With just a few clicks, you can generate IFTA reports from your trip sheets—and with ProMiles, you can record the most accurate mileage for your fuel taxes.

Know Your Deadline


From here, it’s simply a matter of knowing your next IFTA deadline. The reporting period for the 3rd Quarter runs from July through the end of September. This means that your deadline falls on October 31st, which is a Monday this year.

No matter how you prepare for the next IFTA due date, know that the experts at ExpressIFTA will be here to answer your questions!

Let us know your preparation tips in the comments.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

IFTA Reporting: Upload Multiple Records

IFTA Reporting: Upload Multiple Records
IFTA Reporting: Upload Multiple Records
Have multiple odometer records to report on your upcoming IFTA return? Well, we’re here to tell you that you can upload all of your odometer records in a single place using ExpressIFTA!

About ExpressIFTA


When you use ExpressIFTA to prepare your IFTA fuel tax filing, you learn that tax reporting can be hassle free.

ExpressIFTA allows you to quickly and easily keep track of your mileage, fuel purchases and more, all conveniently online.

Best of all, you only pay when you're ready to print your IFTA Quarterly Fuel Tax return. No monthly fees or contracts.

To get started, simply create an account and begin entering your trip sheet information. We’ll take you through the rest of it, step-by-step to get your IFTA return filed!





How to Upload Your Odometer Records?


There are several ways to upload your odometer records with ExpressIFTA, including ifta trip sheets, quick entries, and bulk uploading.

For trip sheets, you start by inputting your trip details, and then simply enter the mileage traveled by odometer. If you’re using Quick Entries, our system breaks down your miles driven by odometer readings or just the distance traveled.

For the Express Upload feature, you choose if you are using odometer or distance records. Then add your list of odometer records to the spreadsheet we provide. Follow the onscreen tips to avoid confusion and then upload the spreadsheet into our system. It's that simple!

If you’re using the Smart Upload feature, you use your own template and format to upload your odometer details into our system.

If you have any questions about uploading your odometer records, contact our dedicated support squad at 704.234.6005.


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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Are You at Risk for an IFTA Audit?

Are You at Risk for an IFTA Audit?
Are You at Risk for an IFTA Audit?
With the 2nd Quarter IFTA deadline right around the corner, it's about time we cover one of the few things that all truckers fear.

The dreaded IFTA audit!

Let's recap what an IFTA audit is, and then establish what you'll need to survive one.

All About IFTA Audits


An IFTA audit is the evaluation and verification of mileage and fuel figures reported on your quarterly IFTA tax return.

Basically, when an IFTA audit occurs, the state is determining if you’ve maintained acceptable records, filed the correct application, and paid the correct registration fees and taxes as required.

We try our best to help you in these situations! ExpressIFTA keeps all your returns on file so that you can easily access them if an audit occurs.

IFTA Qualified Vehicles


Only qualified motor vehicles are required to register for IFTA, and can therefore be subject to an audit. Qualified vehicle is categorized as any vehicle that:

  • Has three or more axles
  • Has two axles, and a registered gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds 
  • Is used in a combination that has a registered gross weight of over 26,000 pounds
  • If you’re driving a camper (or) a motor-home, don’t worry! They do not count as qualified vehicles when individuals use it for personal pleasure only. In order to count as a qualified vehicle, they must be used in connection with a business operation!

IFTA Fuel Records


For fuel records and IFTA purposes, it is necessary to keep track of all fuel purchased and used. A separate record must be kept for each fuel type, such as retail fuel and bulk fuel purchases.

You also should pay very close attention to all of your fuel receipts, and be sure that you are not only keeping track of them but taking care of them properly as well.

Your fuel receipts or invoices need to contain the following information:

  • The date of purchase
  • The address and name of the establishment where the fuel was purchased
  • The amount of fuel purchased and the type of fuel purchased (in gallons)
  • Price per gallon or the total amount of sale
  • Unit numbers for the truck the fuel was purchased for

Mileage Records and IFTA


If you’re undergoing an IFTA audit, your mileage records may be requested (as well as any other data related to your IFTA operations).

This means you need to make sure you have access to your mileage records. If you use any software to calculate your trip mileage based on routes of travel, you’ll need to generate and have your records at hand (we recommend TruckLogics).

The good news is, when you generate your IFTA report with ExpressIFTA, the simple entry for odometer readings and the ability to maintain distance and fuel records online makes it easy to keep track of your mileage and fuel purchases.

Are you prepared for an IFTA audit? If you have any questions about e-filing for the upcoming 2nd Quarter IFTA deadline, give us a call at 704.234.6005. We’d love to hear from you!

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What Are the IFTA Late Filing Penalties?

IFTA Late Filing Penalties
IFTA Late Filing Penalties
Nobody likes late fees. That’s especially true when you’re a truck driver who spends most of their life on the road.

Some people get so frustrated with their IFTA filing, they shrug off their responsibilities until it's too late.

While you might think IFTA is an annoyance, you need to report your fuel tax miles. After all, you could be slapped with major IFTA penalties if not!

What Are the Penalties for Late Filing?


In most states, the IFTA late filing penalty is a flat rate fee of $50 or 10% of the taxes due, whichever is greater.

However, Nevada is a bit different. In Nevada, the penalty for late filing is a $50 flat fee plus 10% of the taxes due.


How Does This Affect Me?


Starting the month after you receive your original penalty for late filing, you will be charged .4167% of the tax due every month until the tax amount is paid.

Again, Nevada is the an exception to this rule. Nevada charges the .4167% of the tax due every month, as well as an administrative late fee of $100 the first time. After that, filers will be charged $500 the second time, $1000 the third time, $1500 the fourth time, $2000 the fifth time, and $2500 for every time after that.

What's the Worst That Could Happen?


As it turns out, many states will actually revoke an IFTA license if a quarterly return isn’t filed or if multiple returns are filed late.

So if you’re not careful, you might get your state IFTA license revoked! Then you’re not considered roadworthy. Then you can’t pay the bills.

That’s just an all around bad idea. Instead of getting frustrated and giving up on your IFTA return, go to ExpressIFTA.com and create your IFTA report with their easy-to-use software. You can upload with trip sheets, quick entries, or even your GPS data!

If you get stuck reporting your IFTA return, the helpful customer support crew at ExpressIFTA would be happy to lend you a hand at (704)234-6005.

Related Blog: IFTA Late Filing Penalties


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Friday, July 22, 2016

Trip Logs: ExpressIFTA Tips & Tricks

Trip Logs: ExpressIFTA Tips & Tricks
Trip Logs: ExpressIFTA Tips & Tricks
We know plenty of truckers who groan when they remember they have an IFTA deadline right around the corner. But what exactly is it that’s so irritating about reporting your fuel taxes?

Well, probably all the fuel receipts, trip logs, and paperwork that is involved in reporting a quarter.

Understanding Trip Logs


Trip logs summarize all of the IFTA information you have entered each IFTA quarter. You can manage each quarter by trip sheets, quick entries, GPS data upload, (or) bulk upload from an Excel or .CSV file.

  • Trip Sheet: Trip sheets are one of the easiest ways to report your IFTA return. They allow you to report trips by driver, vehicle, odometer reading, and starting and ending location, as well as the start and end date. You can also add any additional information you like, including load description, carrier, trailer number, and more.
  • Quick Entries: These work exactly like they sound - quick and easy! Select your vehicle and add your mileage and fuel details one month at a time. Quick Entries gives you plenty of options for reporting, and even lets you breakdown your miles by odometer readings or distance traveled. 
  • GPS Data Upload: At the moment, ExpressIFTA only natively supports Fleetmatics GPS output, but our programmers can upload other GPS outputs through our backend system. Simply contact them at Support@ExpressIFTA.com for more details. 
  • Bulk Data Upload: Need to file for your whole fleet? With the Express Upload feature, you can choose add your data to the spreadsheet we provide. The Smart Upload feature allows you to use your own template and format. Simply select the file from your computer and match the required fields to ensure your data is imported correctly.Follow the onscreen tips to avoid confusion and then upload the spreadsheet into our system. It's that simple!




Let ExpressIFTA Help You


The nice thing about ExpressIFTA is that it is an easy to use system, designed with the average trucker in mind.

By organizing your trip logs into these 4 formats, generating your IFTA report is easy. That way you can stop worrying about fuel reports and get back on the road! Can’t argue with that.

You don’t have time to waste, and we don’t want to waste it! Sign up for an ExpressIFTA account today, before that deadline sneaks up on you!

Related Blog: 3 Tips to Save Your Life: Mountain Driving for Truckers


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Thursday, July 21, 2016

When Is Your IFTA 2nd Quarter Return Due?

IFTA 2nd Quarter Return Due
IFTA 2nd Quarter Return Due
While some taxes are due annually, the unfortunate thing about the International Fuel Tax Agreement is that you have to pay quarterly.

Yup. Four times a year. Which means you see an IFTA report 4 times as much as your annual federal heavy vehicle use tax return.

Do you know your IFTA due date, though?

Wait, What's IFTA Again?


What’s IFTA? It’s the International Fuel Tax Agreement, which is an agreement worked out between the U.S. and Canada created to simplify the reporting of fuel use by carriers who operate in more than one state.

Each state determines their own IFTA filing state tax rates, which means they may vary from state to state. For this reason, to obtain or cancel an IFTA license you must contact your state (also called your base jurisdiction) directly.

IFTA tax return due dates are on a quarterly basis. IFTA Tax returns are due to your base jurisdiction on the last day of the month following the end of the quarter you’re filing for.

The Due Dates for IFTA Second Quarter


What are the IFTA due dates? Well, the 2nd Quarter runs from April through June.

This means that the you need to generate and report your IFTA return by August 1st, or you will incur late penalties.

But wait, if you know about IFTA, you know the 2nd Quarter is due on the last day of the month after the quarter ends. That would normally mean July 31st, but that falls on a Sunday.

Thankfully, that gives our late filing procrastinating friends a little more time!

If you have any questions about your IFTA due dates, feel free to reach out to our dedicated customer support specialists. They’re based right here in Rock Hill, SC, and are ready to answer your calls at 704.234.6005!

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