ExpressIFTA Blog

Thursday, June 19, 2014

IFTA 101: Compliance & Enforcement

IFTA Compliance & EnforcementAs discussed in our previous blog - IFTA 101: How IFTA Works - you got a general idea of the how the IFTA process is completed. In this blog we are going to go over your general compliance requirements and how IFTA Enforcement is conducted.

IFTA Compliance
To be compliant with IFTA regulations you will need keep you IFTA account in good standing. To do this you will need to stay current with your Quarterly IFTA filings, and renew your IFTA license annually. The renewal deadline is December 31st. The next filing deadline is for 2nd Quarter IFTA on July 31st. The 2nd Quarter is for reporting fuel & miles for the months of April-June.

IFTA Enforcement
To enforce IFTA Compliance, state jurisdictions will exchange quarterly listings of new and cancelled accounts. About every 10 days jurisdictions will exchange:

  • Listing of suspended licenses
  • Listing of revoked licenses
  • Listing of reinstated licenses
The administrative uses of this information ensure that a carrier with a revoked license in one jurisdiction does not receive a license from another one. This information is also available for roadside use to ensure that a carrier in a revoked, suspended, or cancelled status is not continuing operations. When you receive your IFTA license, you want to make sure and keep a copy in your cab. Also, you are issued 2 decals that must be displayed on each side (driver & passenger) of your vehicle. 

You can get an IFTA Temporary Decal Permit if you need your 'qualified motor vehicle' IFTA Compliant immediately. You would just place a copy of the license in the vehicle and your jurisdiction will fax a temporary permit until your permanent decals can be sent. This permit is valid for 30 days and is vehicle specific. 

Why Enforce? 
According to the terms of IFTA, if a carrier is operating on a suspended or revoked license, they are considered non-compliant. This includes failure to file tax returns, failure to pay a tax return, and failure to pay an audit assessment. If a carrier is operating on a cancelled license, the carrier has indicated to the jurisdiction that he or she is no longer operating.

So to sum everything up, if you stay on top of your filing quarters, annual license renewal, and mileage/fuel documentation you will be Compliant with IFTA. 


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Thursday, June 12, 2014

IFTA 101: How IFTA Works

Welcome to IFTA 101. We went over the Basics To Understanding IFTA, now we're ready to move on to the next item on your syllabus - How IFTA Works. Before we begin, here is some quick information on ExpressIFTA:

ExpressIFTA let's you ditch all that paper and allows you to easily track your mileage, fuel purchases, and automatically create your IFTA return for each quarter - all conveniently online. You can easily find information for each state jurisdiction and there is always someone available on our support team to help you out, if you need it.

Okay, back to the lesson.

How IFTA Works
To get started with IFTA, a carrier will first submit a license application to their base jurisdiction.

Question: What is a base jurisdiction?
Answer:   A base jurisdiction is the member jurisdiction/state where your truck is registered, your licenses are maintained and where you are available for auditing purposes. 

After you have submitted your IFTA license application, your base jurisdiction will review and process your application. Once you are approved your base jurisdiction will issue one IFTA license to the carrier and two decals for each operating vehicle. As long as you have your IFTA license, you will need to prepare a quarterly IFTA tax return with your base jurisdiction.

Your Quarterly IFTA Return
For every IFTA Quarter you will file a tax return with your base jurisdiction for taxes owed. You will always file an IFTA return as long as you have your IFTA license, even if you do not operate or travel outside of your base jurisdiction.
After you have submitted your IFTA Quarterly Return, your base jurisdiction will review and process your tax return. Your base jurisdiction will take care of issuing the fuel tax acquired to the states jurisdictions that were traveled.

Here is some extra information for your Distance Records Maintenance . Next week we will cover IFTA Compliance then dive into 2nd Quarter IFTA filing to get you ready for the July 31st deadline.

Before you leave, if you want an amazing processing agency to handle all your IFTA returns, compliance, and every authority under the sun, our sister product TSNA is exactly what you need. You can reach their delightful processing agents via phone: 803-386-0320 or email: support@TSNAmerica.com

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Do You Know What Is Required For Your IFTA Distance Records?

If you are new to the IFTA filing game or making sure your IFTA info is in check, it is always good to know the required information for IFTA Distance Records. You need the right information because, by law, base jurisdictions are required to audit 3% of the IFTA accounts per year.

The International Fuel Tax Agreement makes it possible for motor carriers to operate in several states and provinces while handling tax transactions in one location. Let's take a closer look at IFTA requirements...

Qualified Vehicles
A truck is considered a "qualified vehicle" if it:

  • Has two axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 pounds.
  • Has three or more axles regardless of weight.
  • Is used in combination where the combined weight exceeds 26,000 pounds.
Note: Recreational vehicles or units with Beyond Local plates that travel only in their base state or province are not included in IFTA.

Distance Records
Carriers can use Individual Vehicle Mileage Records (IMVR), also known as trip sheets or trip reports, for documenting distance records. Whatever you choose to record your distance records, they need have all travel documented whether your driving loaded, empty, deadhead, or bobtail. IFTA requires licensees to maintain all distance records used to create your quarterly IFTA return and/or annual tax returns for four years. Your records must be made available to any member jurisdiction up on request, if you are audited and have not maintained your records, you could face hefty fines and penalties. 

Here are the minimum requirements that should be present on your IFTA records:
  • Trip dates (beginning and ending);
  • Trip origin and destination;
  • Route of travel'
  • Beginning and ending odometer readings;
  • Total trip distance traveled;
  • Miles by jurisdiction;
  • Vehicle identification and fleet number;
  • Licensee's name.
Tracking Fuel for IFTA
All fuel purchased, received, and used must be recorded. For each motor fuel type, a separate total must created. Retail fuel and bulk fuel purchases are to be accounted for separately.

Pay special close attention to your fuel receipts, if they contain erasures or any alterations they will not be accepted for tax-paid credits unless the licensee can demonstrate the receipt is valid. 

Retail Fuel
Retail purchases can be documented by a receipt or invoice, credit card receipt, automated vendor generated invoice or transaction listing. Each receipt needs to include:
  • Date of purchase
  • Seller's name and address
  • Gallons (liters) purchased
  • Fuel type
  • Price per gallon or amount of sale
  • Unit numbers
  • Purchasing company's name. 
Bulk Fuel
For IFTA purposes, bulk fuel is defined as fuel delivered into a storage tank owned, leased or controlled by the licensee and not delivered directly to the fuel tank or a qualified vehicle. Like reefer fuel. There is a tax credit available for bulk fuel, you will need to contact your base jurisdiction for more information. 

For your bulk fuel records, make sure they have this information:
  • Date of withdrawal
  • Number of gallons or liters
  • Fuel type
  • Unit number
  • Purchase and inventory records to substantiate that tax was paid on all bulk purchases.
You can always contact the ExpressIFTA Support team with any IFTA questions you may have via phone: 704-234.6005 or email: support@expressifta.com

If you would rather have a professional prepare your IFTA returns, we have a sister company, TSNA, that can take care of everything for you - even all your authorities and needed registrations. You can contact TSNA via phone: 803-386-0320 or email: support@TSNAmerica.com 



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