ExpressIFTA Blog

Thursday, January 31, 2013

4th Quarter IFTA Return Due Today


The deadline to file 4th Quarter IFTA Return is today!! You have to file a return even if you did not run during the quarter.  You would just file a “zero” report.

Failure to file a return, filing a late return, or failure to remit any or all tax due will result in a penalty of $50.00 or 10% of the net tax due to all member jurisdictions, whichever is greater.  Interest is computed on all delinquent taxes dues each jurisdiction at a rate of 1% per month.  Even if you have a net refund, interest still applies to each jurisdiction for any underpayment of fuels use tax to that jurisdiction and is calculated beginning the day after the due date of the return for each month, or fraction of a month, until paid. So the longer you are late, the more you will owe.

The deadline for 4th Quarter IFTA returns is today, January 31st, so if you have not yet filed your return, you will want to file it now to avoid penalties and interest. ExpressIFTA has made a complicated tax form easy.  To find out more about IFTA filing or get started today, contact our friendly Express Tax Support Center in Rock Hill, SC  at 704.234.6005 between the hours of 8am – 6pm EST, Monday through Friday or email us at support@expressIFTA.com.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

4th Quarter IFTA Due Tomorrow


The International Fuel Tax Agreement requires all qualified motor vehicles to file an IFTA return each quarter if the qualifying heavy vehicles were operating in at least 2 of the IFTA member jurisdictions. The IFTA jurisdictions include the 48 contiguous states of the US and 10 Canadian provinces.

Vehicles operating within these jurisdictions must have an IFTA license and file a quarterly IFTA return with their base jurisdiction. A vehicle’s base jurisdiction is the state or province in which the vehicle is registered. The deadline to file 2012 4th Quarter IFTA Returns is tomorrow, Thursday, January 31, 2013.

ExpressIFTA allows you to create an IFTA return online in minutes! The most common error on an IFTA Quarterly Tax Return is mistakes in math calculations. ExpressIFTA.com has made the process of completing trip sheets and entering fuel purchases much easier and more accurate.

Steps to prepare your IFTA Return:

  1. Set Up / Log Into Your Account

  • If you already use Express Truck Tax to file your Form 2290, when you log into your ExpressTruckTax account, you will see an IFTA button at the top of the page. Select this option, and click Go to IFTA. This will automatically register you with an ExpressIFTA Account. To Get Started, Click Begin.
  • If you have not yet used our program, simply create an account with ExpressIFTA, all you need to do is enter basic information about the filing party such as contact information and EIN. You will also be asked to enter your base jurisdiction and IFTA license number.
  • Once the business information is entered, you can select the units of measurement that you will be using (such as miles, kilometers, gallons, liters, etc.). For the vehicles on the IFTA return a unit number, gross weight, vehicle type, fuel type, and VIN number can be entered.

  1. Enter Mileage And Fuel Purchased

  • It can be entered manually, or an excel file can be uploaded to automatically record this. Using the excel upload can significantly cut down on the amount of time that it takes to submit this information. If you have records of your trips and would like to enter them manually, all that is needed is the State, Odometer reading, and amount of fuel purchased for each trip.

  1. Generate IFTA Return

  • The system will then run a diagnostic report to review any possible errors on the IFTA return based on the estimated Miles per Gallon. This audit of information does not guarantee that the IFTA return will be accepted.  It simply checks for basic errors that could have otherwise been overlooked.

The best part about organizing the IFTA return online is that our system automatically calculates the amount due based on all of the previous data entered. There is no need to get frustrated over complicated tax calculations.

You will be able to complete this form online through our program within minutes and send it to your base jurisdiction. To file your 4th Quarter IFTA Return by tomorrow’s deadline, contact our friendly Express Tax Support Center in Rock Hill, SC  at 704.234.6005 between the hours of 8am – 6pm EST, Monday through Friday or email us at support@expressIFTA.com.
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Monday, January 28, 2013

IFTA Recordkeeping Requirements

It is important to keep accurate records in case they are ever requested during an IFTA audit.  As stated in in the IFTA Procedural Manual, you are required to maintain your records for 4 years from the due date or file date of the quarterly tax return, whichever is later, plus any time period included as a result of waivers or jeopardy assessments. Records may be kept on microfilm, microfiche, or other computerized or condensed record storage system acceptable to the base jurisdiction. Non-compliance with any recordkeeping requirement may result in the revocation of the license.

Detailed distance records which show operations on an individual-vehicle basis must contain, but not be limited to:
  • Taxable and non-taxable usage of fuel;
  • Distance traveled for taxable and non-taxable use; and
  • Distance recaps for each vehicle for each jurisdiction in which the vehicle operated.

An acceptable distance accounting system is required and supporting information should include:
  • Date of trip (starting and ending);
  • Trip origin and destination;
  • Route of travel (may be waived by base jurisdiction);
  • Beginning and ending odometer or hubodometer reading of the trip (may be waived by base jurisdiction);
  • Total trip miles/kilometers;
  • Miles/kilometers by jurisdiction;
  • Unit number or vehicle identification number;
  • Vehicle fleet number;
  • Registrant's name; and
  • may include additional information at the discretion of the base jurisdiction.

Complete fuel records of all motor fuel purchased, received, and used in the conduct of its business must be maintained. Separate totals must be compiled for each motor fuel type and retail fuel purchases and bulk fuel purchases are to be accounted for separately.

The fuel records shall contain, but not be limited to:
  • The date of each receipt of fuel;
  • The name and address of the person from whom purchased or received;
  • The number of gallons or liters received;
  • The type of fuel; and
  • The vehicle or equipment into which the fuel was placed.

Retail purchases must be supported by a receipt or invoice, credit card receipt,
automated vendor generated invoice or transaction listing, or microfilm/microfiche of the receipt or invoice. Receipts that have been altered or indicate erasures are not accepted for tax-paid credits unless the licensee can demonstrate the receipt is
valid. An acceptable receipt or invoice must include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
  • Date of purchase;
  • Seller's name and address;
  • Number of gallons or liters purchased;
  • Fuel type;
  • Price per gallon or liter or total amount of sale;
  • Unit numbers; and
  • Purchaser's name

A licensee may claim a tax-paid credit on the IFTA tax return for bulk fuel only
when the bulk storage tank from which the fuel is withdrawn is owned, leased or
controlled by the licensee; the fuel is placed into the fuel tank of a qualified motor
vehicle; and either the purchase price of the fuel includes tax paid to the member
jurisdiction where the bulk fuel storage tank is located or the licensee has paid
fuel tax to the member jurisdiction where the bulk fuel storage tank is located.

Bulk fuel records must contain the following:
  • Date of withdrawal;
  • Number of gallons or liters;
  • Fuel type;
  • Unit number; and
  • Purchase and inventory records to substantiate that tax was paid on all bulk purchases.

There are specific requirements necessary to maintain accurate IFTA records. ExpressIFTA makes it easy to maintain the records required for your IFTA return and and have them readily available, should you ever be audited. To find out more about IFTA filing or get started today, contact our friendly US based customer support team in Rock Hill, SC at 704-234-6005 or email us at support@ExpressIFTA.com.
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Friday, January 25, 2013

2012 IFTA 4th Quarter Filing Deadline is Almost Here!

IFTA is the International Fuel Tax Agreement between the 48 contiguous States and 10 Canadian Provinces, where the member jurisdictions act cooperatively to administer and collect motor fuel use taxes.

The purpose of IFTA is to establish and maintain the concept of one fuel use license and one administering base jurisdiction for each license holder (licensee). Under IFTA, you only have to report to one state and the state allocate the fuel tax payments.  For more details see http://www.iftach.org.

The deadline to file your 2012 4th Quarter IFTA Return is January 31st, which is next Thursday.

What you need to file:

  • Mileage log
  • Fuel Receipts
  • Any IFTA correspondences pertaining to your account (if applicable)

Late Filing or Not Filing could result in the following:

  • IFTA filing (late fee) plus interest (if applicable)
  • Possible suspension of IFTA license
  • Possibility of having IRP/Apportioned Plate account affected
  • Citation from DOT if caught operating on a delinquent and or suspending IFTA license
  • Threat of having your entire transport operation shut down

The IFTA filing process may be vary slightly depending on your base jurisdiction state.  

To find out more about IFTA filing or get started today, contact our friendly Express Tax Support Center in Rock Hill, SC  at 704.234.6005 between the hours of 8am – 6pm EST, Monday through Friday or email us at support@expressIFTA.com.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tips To Help You Prepare Your 4th Quarter IFTA Return

The deadline to file your 4th Quarter IFTA Return is January 31, 2013. A Quarterly IFTA Tax Return must be filed even if the licensee does not operate or purchase any taxable fuel in an IFTA member jurisdiction during the specific quarter.


If you travel in New York, Kentucky, New Mexico, or Oregon you will also need to file their Weight Distance Tax Return.

What you need:

  1. Mileage log-whether you use manual trip sheets, GPS, or electronic trip sheets; it is not only necessary to have in order to file your quarterly IFTA Return, but you will need these if you are ever audited.
  2. Fuel Receipts - you will need to know how many gallons of fuel were purchased in each state.  You will need to separate your mileage and fuel records for each fuel type.

Options to prepare and file your return:

  1. Doing it yourself, you can calculate your own return by hand and mail or e-file the return. To find out the current tax rate for each state go to http://www.iftach.org.
  2. Using a software program that will calculate your return for you, like ExpressIFTA.com, which will reduce the chances of miscalculations?
  3. Paying someone else to do it, you can use a CPA or a process agent, like Truck Services of North America and let them take care of preparing and filing the return for you.

Regardless of the method you choose to file your quarterly IFTA tax return, it is crucial to maintain accurate records and file your returns by the January 31st deadline to avoid penalties. To find out more about IFTA filing or get started today, contact our friendly Express Tax Support Center in Rock Hill, SC  at 704.234.6005 between the hours of 8am – 6pm EST, Monday through Friday or email us at support@expressIFTA.com.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

What Are Non-Taxable IFTA Miles?

What miles are non-taxable?
Fuel trip permit miles are not taxable miles in any jurisdiction. Include fuel permit miles in the total miles section on the return but do not include them in the taxable miles for the jurisdiction that issued the permit. Toll miles are taxable miles; toll fees are not fuel taxes. They are fees in exchange for the opportunity to use a toll road.

Will the Exempt Distance (in miles) show in my IFTA return?
Exempted Miles will be shown while you are filing for your company's IFTA, but it will not be shows in the actual IFTA form that you will submit for your tax purpose.

On the IFTA Return; you will see the total miles and the total taxable miles which will include the calculation of the exempted miles.

It is your responsibility to contact jurisdictions, individually, to determine exempt miles. It is also your responsibility to maintain records of exemptions for future review.

To find out more about IFTA filing, contact our friendly Express Tax Support Center in Rock Hill, SC  at 704.234.6005 between the hours of 8am – 6pm EST, Monday through Friday or email us at support@expressIFTA.com.
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Friday, January 18, 2013

How To Avoid Paying Quarterly IFTA Taxes

We receive many calls about how carriers can avoid paying Quarterly IFTA taxes at the end of the quarter.  While we hear many ideas and suggestions, the simple answer is to purchase your fuel where you run your miles.

The way IFTA works is as a "pay now or pay later" system. At the end of the quarter, the licensee completes their fuel tax report, listing all miles traveled in all participating jurisdictions and lists all gallons purchased, then the average fuel mileage is applied to the miles traveled to determine the tax liability to each jurisdiction.  When the majority of the fuel is purchased in states where the fuel tax rates are lower, it will cause the tax due at the end of the quarter will be higher. When you purchase the fuel in the states where you run the miles your tax due at the end of the quarter will be lower; hence the pay now or pay later system.

ExpressIFTA can answer th
is question and many more. To find out more about IFTA filing, contact our friendly Express Tax Support Center in Rock Hill, SC  at 704.234.6005 between the hours of 8am – 6pm EST, Monday through Friday or email us at support@expressIFTA.com.
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