ExpressIFTA Blog

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Must File Zero Operations IFTA Return If No Miles Travelled


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 hold an IFTA license a return must be filed each and every quarter, regardless if you operated or not.  

Failure to to file your return could result in applicable penalties and interest.  When a licensee fails to file a return, files a late return, or fails to remit any or all tax due, the licensee is subject to penalty and interest. The penalty is the greater of $50.00 or 10% of the net tax due to all member jurisdictions. Interest is computed on all delinquent taxes due each jurisdiction at a rate of 1% per month. The Department will assess interest for a full month.

If a licensee does not operate or purchase taxable fuel, simply enter “0” when filing the return.  Many states offer electronic IFTA filing, to find out if your state offers IFTA E-Filing, click here.

ExpressIFTA makes it easy to maintain the records required for your IFTA return.  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, March 25, 2013

Tips To Help You Prepare Your 1st Quarter IFTA Return


The deadline to file your 1st Quarter IFTA Return is April 30, 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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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Information Required on IFTA Distance Records

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.

Maintaining good records will help you should you ever undergo an IFTA audit and it makes preparing your IFTA returns even easier.

ExpressIFTA enables you to prepare your IFTA return quickly and easily.  To get started today go to ExpressIFTA.com or 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, March 18, 2013

Information Required On IFTA Fuel Records

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.

Maintaining good records will help you should you ever undergo an IFTA audit and it makes preparing your IFTA returns even easier.

ExpressIFTA enables you to prepare your IFTA return quickly and easily.  To get started today go to ExpressIFTA.com or 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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Thursday, March 14, 2013

IFTA FAQ’s


March is the final month in the 1st Quarter and the deadline to file 1st Quarter IFTA Returns is April 30, 2013.  To help you prepare your return here are the answers to some of the common questions about IFTA.


What is IFTA?
IFTA is the International Fuel Tax Agreement. This is an agreement between the 48 contiguous US states and 10 Canadian provinces in place to report and maintain fuel taxes.


Who qualifies for an IFTA license?
You will need an IFTA license and you must file fuel tax returns if you travel in two or more member jurisdictions and your vehicle weighs more than 26,000 pounds or if the vehicle has three or more axles regardless of the weight.


Why should I register for IFTA?
IFTA offers several advantages to interstate motor carriers who operate in two or more member states or provinces. Under IFTA, you will:


  • Choose one IFTA-member state or province as a "base jurisdiction",
  • Obtain a single fuel tax license for all of your qualified motor vehicles, authorizing them to travel in all IFTA jurisdictions; and
  • File only one tax report each quarter with your base jurisdiction, reporting your fuel usage and mileage for all IFTA member states and provinces.
  • Your fuel tax records will generally be audited only by your base jurisdiction.


Which taxes does IFTA cover?
IFTA covers fuel taxes only. It does not cover road taxes, weight mileage taxes, or any other jurisdiction specific taxes. You must continue to pay these taxes directly to the jurisdictions in which you travel.


Which fuels does IFTA cover?
Under IFTA, you must generally report information on all fuels used to power your qualified motor vehicles. However, reporting requirements for fuel used in each jurisdiction are based on that specific jurisdiction's laws and may vary.


What are the fuel tax rates for IFTA jurisdictions?
You may view, print, or download the fuel tax rates for all IFTA jurisdictions at http://www.iftach.org.


What fees must I pay under IFTA?
The fees vary from state to state, check your state for their specific fee.


What credentials will I receive?
You will receive one IFTA license for your business and two decals for each qualified motor vehicle in your fleet. One decal must be placed on the exterior portion of the cab's passenger side. The second decal must be placed in the same position on the driver's side. Decals are obtained annually at the time of renewal for all qualified motor vehicles.  You are required to make copies of the license so that one copy is carried in each qualified motor vehicle.


When are IFTA reports due?
Under IFTA, you are required to file quarterly fuel tax reports. The reporting quarters and due dates are:
Reporting Quarter
Due Date
January - March
April 30
April - June
July 31
July - September
October 31
October - December
January 31



To avoid penalty for late filing, the tax reports must be postmarked no later than midnight on the date indicated. If the last day of the month falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the next business day will be considered as filed timely.


Do I file a quarterly fuel tax report if I didn't run during the quarter?
Yes, you must submit a "zero" report even if no taxable fuel was used.


What is the penalty and interest rate for filing a late quarterly fuel tax report?
A penalty of $50.00 or 10% of the net tax liability, whichever is greater, will be assessed on late-filed reports, failure to file, or for underpayment of tax due. If the net tax liability is zero or a credit, the late filing penalty will still be $50.00. To avoid penalty for late filing, the tax reports must be postmarked no later than midnight on the date indicated. If the last day of the month falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the next business day will be considered as filed timely.
Interest is assessed on all delinquent taxes due each jurisdiction. The interest rate is 1% per month. Interest will be calculated from the date the tax was due for each month or fraction of a month until paid.


How do I obtain a return?
Most states furnish reports each quarter indicating the current tax rates for each member jurisdiction. Failure to receive the tax report does not relieve you from the obligation of filing in a timely manner or submitting the reports.


What records will I need?
You must maintain records that will adequately document all of the information you provide on your quarterly fuel tax reports. You must document all miles you travel - including the date of your trip, route of travel, total trip miles, and miles traveled in each jurisdiction. You must also keep all receipts for fuel you buy and place into your vehicles. If you maintain a bulk fuel storage facility, you must maintain additional records.


My IFTA License expires December 31, but I've heard there is an extension until February 28. Is this true?
Yes. You have until March 1 of each year to carry a current IFTA license and display the current year's decals on your vehicles, provided you have applied on time to renew your IFTA license.

To get started simply create an account at ExpressIFTA.com and begin entering your trip sheet information. If you have any questions, please contact our US based customer support team in Rock Hill, SC at 704-234-6005 or email us at support@ExpressIFTA.com.
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Monday, March 11, 2013

Reefer Fuel and IFTA


Reefer fuel is NOT included when filing IFTA when that fuel used to power the refrigeration unit of the trailer. The reefer fuel must always be purchased 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, when the auditor discovers you combined reefer fuel into your power unit fuel, you will be assessed penalties and interest on your IFTA audit.

You are entitled to a federal tax paid 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 can file back for the past 3 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 2 separate tanks, you need to fuel separately and make sure reefer is marked on the receipt.  Do not include the reefer fuel on IFTA and you will able to get a refund by filing a claim.

Have questions? Contact ExpressIFTA and we will help you find the answers you need.  To find out more, 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, March 8, 2013

Non-Taxable IFTA Miles

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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