ExpressIFTA Blog

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

How to Prepare for an IFTA Audit

Truck preparing for ifta audit reporting
Worried about being selected for an IFTA audit? Well since you could be randomly selected for an audit at any time, it’s something you ought to be prepared for.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to prepare for an IFTA audit.

How the IFTA audit process works


You will be notified by your base jurisdiction in advance about an IFTA audit. 

At some point in the following 30 days, an auditor will contact you. They will request a lot of information about your organization and all of your IFTA records.

Then, they will have an in-person visit to examine your organization. This is a fairly comprehensive process that might include examinations of your record-keeping process, individual truck odometers, and more.

Finally, the auditor will compile all this information and notify you of what fees or penalties, if any, that you owe.

IFTA auditors don’t want to fine you


It’s important to remember that IFTA auditors aren’t trying to be malicious. They don’t want to hit you with penalties, though it might feel like it.

Each jurisdiction participating in IFTA agrees that it will audit 3% of its members every year. Most companies are selected at random, as each jurisdiction must meet their quota. Unfortunately, this means there’s nothing you can really do to avoid being audited.

What you can do, however, is prepare yourself for audits.

What IFTA auditors are looking for


Auditors really just want to see that you have a comprehensive, accurate system for recording mileage and fuel purchases -- and that you’ve reported accurately.

This means having a shoebox full of receipts isn’t going to good look for you.

You need accurate, readily-accessible mileage records, fuel purchase information, and odometer readings to make the reporting process as painless as possible. 

Truck preparing for ifta audit reporting

What to do before ever being audited


Establish a simple, accurate, and repeatable system for recording IFTA information. 

This might involve something like using a trucking management software (TMS) to record all of your mileage, fuel receipts, and odometer readings in one place.

TruckLogics can do all of that for you. 

For every dispatch you assign (or are assigned), TruckLogics will help you by calculating the mileage, letting you record odometer readings, and notate fuel purchases with attached documentation. At the end of every quarter, TruckLogics will also generate an IFTA report that you can use to file.

In addition to using a TMS, you should also occasionally audit your own information just to make sure it’s accurate. 

This will help you address any inaccuracies as they arise, and address the source of those problems. Not only could this help you during an IFTA audit, but it could also help save you money on your quarterly taxes.

Always file on time


If you file your IFTA returns late, this will be an immediate red flag to an auditor. It will show that you haven’t been responsible with your time.

Also, remember to keep IFTA reporting records on file for at least four years. That’s as far back as auditors can typically go in your timeline.

Use TruckLogics TMS


TruckLogics can streamline all parts of your trucking operation, especially IFTA reporting. Get a free 15-day trial so you can see just how much they’ll help you! There’s no obligation and no credit card info required.



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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

How to Handle Reefer Fuel on the Quarterly IFTA Tax

Reefer units for IFTA requirements
IFTA reporting can be awfully complicated (you’ll know this if you have ever tried to manually calculate payments due).

Just trying to work out taxable vs. nontaxable miles and exemptions is enough to make any head spin.

But let’s take a moment to consider another potential pitfall in IFTA requirements. Have you ever wondered if you are supposed to report reefer fuel on IFTA?

Reefer fuel and IFTA reporting


Let’s cut right to the chase: you do not include reefer fuel when filing your IFTA return. We repeat, do not include reefer fuel!

Since reefer fuel does not power your vehicle, it should not be considered as a part of your IFTA reporting. In fact, you really ought to pump your reefer fuel separately from your truck fuel, so there is no confusion about which fuel went where. This is important for several reasons.


Why you should accurately report reefer fuel


If your reefer and truck fuel purchases are not on separate receipts at the end of the quarter, it can be hard to remember what fuel went where. If you end up accidentally adding reefer fuel into your IFTA calculations, your final MPG number will be lower and you will end up spending paying more in taxes.

Further, if the authorities notice that you have been combining reefer and truck fuel in your calculations, you can be penalized and incur interest during IFTA audits.

But perhaps the most compelling incentive is the tax refund at the end of the year. That’s right. If you report the total amount of reefer fuel you purchased during the tax year, the IRS will refund you the amount of tax paid on that fuel.

You can even claim a back credit for the last 3 years (if you have accurate records of your reefer fuel purchases anyway). You should contact your base IFTA reporting jurisdiction for more information.

Trucks with reefer units ready for IFTA requirements

Quarterly IFTA Deadline


The quarterly IFTA reporting deadline for October-December 2019 is coming up on January 31, 2020.

Let us do the hard work of figuring out IFTA requirements for you! When you e-file with Express IFTA, we will do all the complicated calculations for you. Just enter mileage and fuel consumption and we do the rest.

Give Express IFTA a try today!




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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

A Big Thank You To American Truckers

An American trucker driving for thanksgiving
This Thanksgiving, Express IFTA wants to offer a huge thank you to truckers. As Americans, we are entirely dependent on your tireless work for our way of life.

Without you, we wouldn’t have food to eat. Without you, our society would fall apart. Without you, we couldn’t even have Thanksgiving gatherings.

Thank you for carrying the American dream on your backs.


America Without Truckers


If you didn’t already know, the American economy depends almost entirely on truckers. According to the American Trucking Association, America’s 3.5 million truckers haul 10.5 billion tons of freight annually or something like 71% of all freight.

That’s equivalent to $700.4 billion in freight moved every day, according to Pride Transport. That means if truckers quit working, not only would billions in business transactions disappear but so would basically all our supplies.

It’s hard to imagine America running as efficiently as it does without truckers working hard every day.

If you still don’t believe us, check out this sobering infographic from Freightwaves:


American truckers stats if they disappeared
Source: https://www.freightwaves.com/news/infographics/world-without-truckers

Thank You, Truckers


Thank you truckers! We appreciate everything you do!

We hope you have some time to spend with your loved ones this Thanksgiving.

If you need anything from Express IFTA, be sure to let us know. We’re always here to help!






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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Can't Afford Your IFTA Payment? What You Need to Do

Gas sign for truckers late for ifta filing
Still haven’t been able to afford your IFTA payments?

We get it. IFTA payments are expensive -- especially if they put you in the red.

Unfortunately, you don’t have many options. IFTA compliance is mandatory and very strict. Failure to keep up with filing payments can land you in some pretty hot water. 

What happens if you fail to pay IFTA


If you haven’t filed for the 3rd quarter yet, you’re going to be looking at a fee of $50 or 10% of the tax you owe, whichever is greater. Then for every additional month you’re late, that amount will increase by .4167%.

Unless you live in Nevada, where penalties are much steeper. The first-month fee is $50 plus 10% of the taxes due. Things get even more interesting after that.

Nevada charges .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.

If you needed any more incentive to pay on time, your base jurisdiction can also suspend or even revoke your license if you fail to file for IFTA.

What to do if you can't pay IFTA


Basically, you have only one option if you want to stay afloat -- pay your IFTA tax.

But how?

Consider using either a credit card or get a loan to spread out your IFTA payment. Chances are you could afford smaller incremental payments. Be sure to look into low-interest options.

Unfortunately, that’s about all you can do if you want to keep trucking.

Trucker late for ifta filing payments

One last thing


Here at Express IFTA, we can help you calculate your IFTA tax. Just enter your mileage and fuel consumption information and we will generate an accurate report that you can use to file IFTA.

That way you can be sure you’re not overpaying or underpaying IFTA.




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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Best Time Management Tips for Trucking Business Success

Truckers parked using TruckLogics to improve time management tips
Whether you're a driver, an owner-operator, or a fleet manager, you know the trucking business is time-consuming.

You have to drive, respond to dispatch, track expenses, calculate mileage, and try to spend some time with your loved ones.

We could all use some help saving time for the things that matter most. Here are our top trucking time management tips.


Time management tips:



Keep track of expenses as they occur


Compliance is one of the biggest demands on your time. With HVUT (Heavy Vehicle Use Tax) due yearly and IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) due quarterly, you have a lot to keep up with.

IFTA can be especially difficult to keep up with since it requires extremely accurate mileage and fuel consumption calculations.

The smartest way to deal with IFTA is to keep track of your fuel expenses as they occur. And it’s not enough to just save your receipts.

You need to be able to update a comprehensive list every time you purchase fuel. That’s the only way to avoid combing through piles of receipts the night before the deadline.

With TruckLogics, you can do just that. You can enter the amount and cost of fuel you purchased right from their mobile app on your smartphone.


Schedule truck service intervals


It’s common knowledge that regular truck maintenance helps you avoid costly breakdowns. But it can be very hard to keep up with truck service intervals when you’re always on the road.

A software like TruckLogics, however, can automatically notify you when it is time for a vehicle to receive maintenance. You can set the service interval as a certain amount of time, or as a certain number of miles.

If you choose a certain number of miles as your service interval, TruckLogics will keep track of each vehicle’s mileage as it is dispatched. Then, TruckLogics will use that information to notify you when your vehicles are ready for maintenance.


Give your drivers access to record-keeping


As a fleet manager, one way to improve time management is to give your drivers access to record-keeping functions. This way, you don’t have to personally notate every expense and fuel charge.

With TruckLogics mobile app, you can give your drivers mobile access to mileage reporting and expense reporting. They can enter any kind of expense they have and verify it with a photo of their receipt.

This feature can save fleet managers lots of time down the line.

Parked trucks using TruckLogics for time management


Use a solid truck business management software


At the end of the day, you need a central business management software to streamline your trucking business. Thankfully, our sister product TruckLogics has been designed specifically with you in mind.

Whether you’re a driver, owner-operator, or fleet manager, TruckLogics has solutions to help you improve time management

To see just how much time TruckLogics can save you, start a 15-day free trial now! There’s no cost and no obligation to give TruckLogics a test drive!







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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

You Missed the 3rd Quarter IFTA Deadline. What Now?

Truck that missed the IFTA fuel tax report deadline
So you missed the 3rd quarter IFTA fuel tax deadline.

Is it even that big of a deal?

Unfortunately for you, missing the IFTA deadline could actually be a very big deal.

In fact, now that you've missed the IFTA deadline, there are serious penalties making a beeline for your pocketbook right now.

But you still have a few options if you want to hang onto some of that money.


What happens if you miss the IFTA deadline


First, there are penalties. Pretty hefty ones. You will be hit right after the IFTA deadline with a fee of $50 or 10% of the total tax you would owe, whichever is greater.

Unless Nevada is your base jurisdiction, where the penalty for missing the IFTA deadline is $50 plus 10% of whatever you owe. 

It's hard to know if that 10% will be greater than $50. The fuel tax you actually owe will vary depending on factors like mileage and amount of fuel purchased and consumed.

You’re also going to be looking at a .4167% fee for every additional month you are late filing for IFTA. It adds up pretty quick.

Say you actually owe $300 for your IFTA tax. Within three months, you’ll be looking at IFTA fuel tax charges totaling $353.50. But worse than that, if you continue to ignore IFTA deadlines, your base jurisdiction can suspend or even revoke your IFTA license.

This effectively grounds your operations until you can get your IFTA compliance squared away.


So what do you after the IFTA deadline?

Trucker pumping gas and filing with Express IFTA for his IFTA tax report
File. Right away.

Filing now is the only way to keep from incurring bigger fees. Use the IFTA fuel tax report generator at Express IFTA to accurately file.

Express IFTA is easy to use and we do all of the complicated calculations for you


Keep track of IFTA information with TruckLogics


If you’re struggling to keep up with all the mileage and expenses and fuel charges coming at you, our sister product TruckLogics has a solution for you.

You can easily keep track of all your mileage and fuel charges in TruckLogics. As long as you enter all your loads into the system, we will automatically calculate mileage for you.

Plus, with the TruckLogics mobile app, you can enter information while on the go. When the quarterly IFTA deadline comes around, you can generate a report with all the information you need to file.




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Thursday, October 17, 2019

2019 3rd Quarter IFTA Tax Rate Changes You Need To Know

Trucker fueling his vehicle and logging fuel records for the IFTA fuel tax.
Recently, there have been changes made to the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) tax rates.

The states that made changes in IFTA tax rates include Alabama, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia.

The 3rd quarter IFTA tax deadline is coming up on October 31, 2019. Here’s what you need to know about IFTA tax rates in regards to generating your IFTA tax return.

IFTA Tax Rate Changes

IFTA Fuel Tax Rates

Each state has different rules and regulations regarding fuel tax. IFTA fuel tax rates vary by state.

This year, the state of Alabama has made some changes in IFTA fuel tax rates for the month of September, but not for the months of July and August. That means that Alabama will have a split rate for the 3rd quarter of 2019.

Virginia has also made changes that will affect the upcoming quarter, by altering the surcharge for the 3rd quarter of 2019.

Refer to the table below for all 2019 3rd quarter IFTA fuel tax rate changes:

3rd Quarter IFTA Reporting Deadline


The IFTA fuel tax due date for the 3rd quarter is October 31, 2019.

Generate your IFTA tax return now with ExpressIFTA, the industry’s leading online IFTA reporting software.

Follow these simple steps to generate your IFTA tax return in minutes:

-  Create your free account
-  Add your basic business details
-  Select your base jurisdiction
-  Add you vehicle details
-  Enter your miles and fuel records
-  Generate your IFTA report

Once you’ve generated your report, simply file it with your base jurisdiction. For more information about IFTA reporting, please visit https://www.expressifta.com/, or select the button below to get started!





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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Trucking Industry News: Recent Changes You Need To Know About

The trucking industry has undergone significant changes recently.
The trucking industry has undergone significant changes over the last few years as it has grown into one of the most important industries in America.

Trucking regulations, DOT hours of service rules, and paperwork have kept truck drivers on their toes.

Are you up to date with the latest trucking news?

Here’s all the trucking industry information you need to know.

Trucking Industry Information

Trucking Regulations

One of the biggest changes to trucking regulations has been the introduction of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD).

There was plenty of fear and worry surrounding this topic in 2017, as truck drivers were unsure how ELDs would affect the trucking industry as a whole.

While some concerns regarding ELDs, such as increasing van rates, have proved true, the trucking industry has seen steady growth through 2018 and 2019 due to ELDs.

Trucking HOS

Hand in hand with the creation of the ELD is the government’s attention to drivers’ HOS, or Hours of Service.

ELDs are intended to make drivers more accountable for their trucking HOS, or drive time. This includes accountability for the 14-hour DOT hours of service rules.
The 14-hour rule specifically says that the driver, “May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.”

Although these DOT hours of service rules have been around since 2013, drivers commonly “doctored” their logs to circumvent this regulation.

With ELDs, this log manipulation is impossible.


Staying Up To Date

The trucking industry is constantly changing, and it’s important to stay up to date with trucking business news in order to remain profitable.

Keeping up with trucking industry news is critical to your success. Check out our other blogs to get the inside scoop!

Are you an owner-operator, fleet manager, or leased operator? Manage your entire trucking company from one place with TruckLogics.

Schedule maintenance, track finances, generate invoices, and more with this trucking management software solution.

Get started with a free 15-day trial today!











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