ExpressIFTA Blog

Thursday, May 30, 2013

IFTA Fuel Tax Filing Made Easy With ExpressIFTA


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.

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. For questions about IFTA, 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, May 27, 2013

Required Information for 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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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Reefer Fuel & 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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Monday, May 20, 2013

IFTA FAQ’s

To help you understand more about IFTA, here are the answers to some of the most common questions.

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?
You are required to renew your IFTA license by December 31st each year, but you do have a grace period in which to display your decals.  This grace period is through February 28th. Be advised, some states have a “paperwork” deadline that is earlier than December 31st and if all paperwork is not received in the office, by the imposed deadline, you may incur a late fee.

To get started, go to ExpressIFTA.com, create an account and begin entering your trip sheet information, it’s that simple. If you have any questions along the way, please do not hesitate to 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. We have Spanish Support too!
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Preparing for 2nd Quarter IFTA

We are almost midway through May, which is the half way through the 2nd IFTA Quarter.  The deadline to file your 2nd Quarter IFTA return is July 31, 2013.  Prepare now to avoid rushing around at the last minute.


What is Required?

The following information is required on the IFTA quarterly tax return:
  • Total miles, taxable and nontaxable, traveled by the licensee’s qualified motor vehicles in all jurisdictions, IFTA and non-IFTA, including trip permit miles;
  • Total gallons of fuel consumed, taxable and nontaxable, by the licensee’s qualified motor vehicles in all jurisdictions, IFTA and non-IFTA;
  • Total miles and taxable miles traveled in each member jurisdiction;
  • Taxable gallons consumed in each member jurisdiction;
  • Tax-paid gallons purchased in each member jurisdiction; and
  • Current Tax Rates for each member jurisdiction.

Our program provides accurate fuel tax calculation and we support all 48 states that participate in IFTA. This will eliminate the most common errors that occur with the IFTA Quarterly Tax Return, which are mistakes in math calculations. Our 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.

If you already use Express Truck Tax to file your Form 2290, there’s no need to set up another account. 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.

To get started simply create an account and begin entering your trip sheet information. If you have any questions along the way, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly US-based IFTA Fuel Tax Team at 704.234.6005 or email us at support@expressIFTA.com.
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Monday, May 13, 2013

ATTN California IFTA Filers!

If you hold a California IFTA, you are required to file quarterly IFTA returns. The paper return your received in the mail for 2013 1st Quarter IFTA, is the last IFTA return that the Board of Equalization will mail to you.  Beginning 2nd Quarter 2013, you will be required to E-File IFTA your returns.

See the full notice, you should have received in the mail.  It explains how to set up your account in detail.  

ExpressIFTA.com will guide you through the process to prepare your IFTA Tax Return with easy steps. To find out more about IFTA E-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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