ExpressIFTA Blog

Thursday, August 29, 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 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, August 26, 2013

Understanding IFTA


What is IFTA?
IFTA is the International Fuel Tax Agreement and is a tax collection agreement by and among the 48 contiguous States and the 10 Canadian Provinces bordering the US, in which motor fuels use taxation laws are uniform with respect to qualified motor vehicles operated in more than one member jurisdiction.

Who Must File?
An interstate motor carrier operating "qualified motor vehicles" between at least 2 member jurisdictions (The 48 contiguous states of the US and 10 Canadian provinces) must have an international fuel tax agreement (IFTA) license and decals issued by their base jurisdiction.

If you have the IFTA license, you must file the Quarterly IFTA Return to your base jurisdiction.

Qualified motor vehicle means a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles used, designed, or maintained for the transportation of persons or property having:
  • Two axles and a gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 pounds;
  • Two axles and a registered weight exceeding 26,000 pounds;
  • Three or more axles regardless of weight; or
  • A combination weight exceeding 26,000 pounds.
Recreational vehicles are exempt from IFTA fuel tax reporting.

Base jurisdiction means the member jurisdiction where:
  • Qualified motor vehicles are based for vehicle registration purposes;
  • Operational control and operational records of the licensee’s qualified motor vehicles are maintained or can be made available in case of an audit; and
  • Some mileage is accrued by qualified motor vehicles within the fleet travelling through that jurisdiction

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.

When to File?
Under IFTA, you are required to file Quarterly Fuel Tax Returns.  IFTA Returns are due on the last day of the month following the end of each calendar quarter. 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. A quarterly fuel tax return must be filed even if the no fuel was used.  You submit a “zero” report.

Penalties for Late/No Filing
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 computed on all delinquent taxes dues each jurisdiction at a rate of .4167% 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.


You also have to renew your IFTA decals, annually.  Most states mail out the renewal papers, but it is your responsibility to renew.  All quarterly returns must have been filed and all taxes must be paid in full in order to renew.

How to File?
Some states offer online filing for quarterly filing, while others require paper filing.  Check your state requirements.

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, August 22, 2013

Why E-File With ExpressIFTA?


ExpressIFTA is an industry leader offering truck tax solutions with the best value and pricing in the trucking industry.
ExpressIFTA benefits:
  • Easy to use
  • No cost to sign up and there are no monthly fees or contracts
  • Provides accurate fuel tax calculation
  • Supports 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.
  • You can use ExpressIFTA right from your ExpressTruckTax 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.
  • Option to enter mileage manually or uploading an excel file
  • System runs 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.
  • Automatically calculates the amount due based on all of the previous data entered. There is no need to get frustrated over complicated tax calculations.

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, August 19, 2013

All About IFTA


IFTA FAQ’s
To help you understand more about IFTA as you prepare your 3rd Quarter IFTA returns, 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 computed on all delinquent taxes dues each jurisdiction at a rate of .4167% 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.

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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