ExpressIFTA Blog

Friday, April 29, 2016

How to File IFTA Without Losing Your Mind?

How to File IFTA Without Losing Your Mind?
How to File IFTA Without Losing Your Mind
There’s nothing worse than waiting until the last minute to do vital tax forms.

It’s like you’re just asking for something to go wrong!

But you don’t need to lose your mind over paperwork. We’re here to help!

Simply follow these steps and you can file your IFTA report without losing your mind.

First, Sign up for an ExpressIFTA Account


If you’re looking for the easiest way to prepare your IFTA fuel tax return, then start by creating a free account. With our Quick Entry System, entering your IFTA taxable miles and fuel details has never been easier.

Best of all, you only need to pay ExpressIFTA when you’re ready to print your quarterly fuel tax return! No monthly fees, no contracts.


Second, Upload All Your Information into ExpressIFTA


Come on, we know fuel tax calculations can be difficult. So we’ve aimed to make it a simple process.

How is it so simple? Start by entering the details for each truck you need to file for.

After that, you just need to enter your distance/odometer and fuel receipts. That’s right, you get to skip right over those math calculations you hate.

If you keep your own trip sheets, simply upload your information into our system and we’ll take it from there.

Third, Go Ahead and Generate Your Report


Here’s the deal—you fill out your IFTA report, we run our fancy diagnostics and find any possible errors based on the estimated miles per gallon.

This is an error check on our end, making sure no details have been overlooked. It’s still up to the government cats to accept your IFTA return.

Once your IFTA return is generated, you just need to pay. And then you’re on your way.

Pretty easy, we think.


Finally, Go Do Anything Else Because That's It - You're Done!


Maybe you’ve always wanted to take up knitting, or learn tae kwan do. Since your IFTA reporting took no time at all, you’re going be able to get out there and do whatever you want.

Just make sure you hold onto your records for a while, unless you want to face the dreaded IFTA audit!




If you have any questions about generating your IFTA report, we’ll be here for you by email at Support@ExpressIFTA.com 24/7, or by phone at 704.234.6005, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


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Monday, April 25, 2016

5 Reasons Trucking Beats an Office Job

Truck driving is one of those jobs that a lot of people just misunderstand. Sure, there are plenty of four-wheelers out there who think you just hog the road without any regard for them.

But we know that without the hard work of truckers, our store shelves would be empty!

On top of that, there’s nothing better than the open road as your workplace. I mean, you could be stuck in an office job, after all.

Your Workplace is Mobile


There’s nothing more monotonous than buttoning up a boring, stiff collared shirt and headed to a boring desk job.

But when you’re a trucker, every day brings you new challenges and experiences.

Sure, sometimes it might be exhausting work, but it's better than filing those TPS reports, right?

Your Comfort Zone


All these rules about office etiquette? Throw them out the window.

Sure, there’s truck stop etiquette, but as long as you don’t park your rig in a fuel bay, you’re alright.

In your truck, you are free to blast anything—from talk radio to AC/DC—as loud as you want.

That is, unless you have a sleeping co-driver in the back of the cab.


Eat 3 Different Meals in 3 Different States


Alright, now this might sound crazy, but how many professions give you the opportunity to eat authentic New York pizza, Cincinnati Chili, and Tex-Mex in one day?

Now, we’re not suggesting you do that—but if you’re a culinary fanatic, being a truck driver isn’t all THAT bad.

Like Guy Fieri, being all over the road gives you a chance to try every diner, drive-in, and dive you find.

Of course, we advocate for trucker health and must INSIST you don’t eat like Guy Fieri under any circumstance!


See National Landmarks


We’re not saying you should stop and take a selfie near the Grand Canyon... we’re just saying it’s cool that your job as a trucker opens these possibilities.

We know you’re gonna focus on the job and get your freight to its destination on time, but if you were passing by Yellowstone and had some downtime, it wouldn’t be that hard to see Old Faithful.

That View


Instead of staring at the drab walls of a cubicle, you can see this any day of the week.




Of course, being a transportation professional means you still have SOME paperwork.

Like the upcoming IFTA deadline! Instead of getting frustrated with calculating your fuel tax return with a pile of fuel receipts and trip sheets, just head over to ExpressIFTA and generate your report with ease.

Because you’re not in this job for more paperwork.


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Friday, April 22, 2016

The Minimalist's Guide to Trucking

When you’re out there on the long haul, little things can add up.

What may start as one burger wrapper tossed aside could become a stack of receipts, discarded soft drink bottles, and some old shirts with a weird smell.

Let’s not let that happen. Not only are messy trucks a safety and health concern, it’s better for your mental well being to have a neat, organized living and working space.

Instead of letting your cab get crowded, follow these tips for a minimalist approach to trucking.

The Perfect Job


Well, first of all—living a more minimalist life is pretty easy as an OTR trucker.

Instead of being tied down to one location, you live your life on the highway. Your rig is your home, so you carry your possessions with you.

You can spend all day taking in the sights, whistling your favorite tunes, and sampling cuisine in any state you park in.

But you can also end up with a cluttered rig. What should you do?

Reduce Your Clutter


We know a lot of truckers live their lives OTR, which means stocking up on goods and supplies for the journey. But how can you reduce clutter in your cab?

  • Organize: Instead of having a disorganized truck, take the time to have everything in its right place. 
  • Mobilize: Want to watch a movie, listen to music, or read a book? There are plenty of mobile services for entertainment, and streamlining your options will save you precious space in your truck!
  • Digitize: Tired of those gas receipts? Digitize your fuel receipts, invoices, and trip sheets! Try a trucking professional management system like TruckLogics
  • Prioritize: What’s the most important part of your livelihood to you? Sure, staying entertained is important—and all sorts of doodads might help, but they can also be distracting. 

Find Some “Me Time”


Sure, you need to work the grind to pay the bills—but make sure you’re paying those bills so you still have time for yourself.

Your truck might feel cluttered because you’re stuck in it most of the week.

By making sure you spend time with family, friends, or even by yourself, you will realize you have the whole world open to you.

Head in the Cloud


Instead of lugging around a filing cabinet full of fuel receipts, tax records, and invoices, look into cloud-based software solutions.

With the IFTA deadline right around the corner, using a cloud-based service like ExpressIFTA will free up your filing time.

Then you can get back to the life of a wandering road warrior.


What are your tips for simplifying your life as a trucker? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!


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Monday, April 18, 2016

3 Tips to Save Your Life: Mountain Driving for Truckers

Every haul is different. We know that for sure! But whether you’re a rookie driver or a Sherpa in a big rig, we have some mountain driving tips for you.


Pre-Trip Inspections


Safety first, right? Every trucker knows you need to do your standard check before hitting the road, but it’s a good idea to focus on your trouble areas when you’re headed into the mountains.

Of course, if you are hauling in colder climates (or it’s the winter), make sure you winterize your vehicle. Trucks should be adapted for any condition—any mountain climb or descent will always have the capacity to be treacherous.

But when you’re inspecting your truck and you’re expecting extended mountain driving, you should really examine your brakes.

I mean, the last thing you want is for your brakes to disintegrate on your way down the mountain.

Best Braking Practices


The best braking is no braking! Well, we aren’t saying DON’T BRAKE. We are saying brake smart!

First, don’t use your brakes the whole way down. That is inefficient, and would be dangerous, obviously.

Instead, make sure you remain in a lower gear as you head down. Also, four-wheelers are sure to be mishandling the road—so keep an eye out for them!

And as far as braking, snub braking is your most effective braking method.

According to John C. Glennon, Jr., snub braking works best because:

“The amount of heat energy produced is dependent upon the weight of the truck and the amount of slowing desired… [The] heat energy will be distributed among all the brakes that are working. Again, assuming all other factors constant, the more brakes the system has working the cooler each brake will be.“


So make sure you are snub braking, so you don’t struggle with the environment.

Focus on Your Environment


You know those funny colorful displays on the side of the road? No, not the 24-hour mountain-side buffet billboard.

We’re talking about road signs! Your standard four-wheeler zooms past without glancing at them, we’re pretty sure.

But as a trucker, you need to read your signs!

The road signs will be your first inclination of the conditions you are entering. Sure, it may be as simple as “trucks in right lane only.”

But sometimes you may see a sign giving you the road grade. You DO NOT want to miss that sign!

Your fellow truckers will keep an eye and an ear out for you, so keep the CB radio on.

And finally, keep an eye out for the runaway truck emergency ramps! If all else fails, the emergency ramp will stop you.

While mountain navigating takes a lot of work, filing your IFTA return does not. Well, at least if you file with ExpressIFTA, it’s easy!

With the deadline approaching, our customer support experts are ready to answer your questions. Give us a call at (704)234-6005 or an email at Support@ExpressIFTA.com.

What are your mountain safety tips?



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Friday, April 15, 2016

5 Fuel Tax Mistakes You're Already Making

With April having your personal income tax deadline and your 1st Quarter IFTA deadline, it sure seems like a doozy.

And other than suggesting deductions or a tax extension, we can’t help you too much on your personal taxes.

But we can guide you on generating your fuel tax with efficiency.

Unfortunately, when it comes to taxes, there are always mistakes to be made.

So are you already making these five fuel tax mistakes?

You Are Missing Fuel Receipts


Let’s not beat around the bush—receipts can pile up over time. Sometimes you just want to crumple them up and toss them out. But let’s not do that! Keeping track of your receipts is vital for recordkeeping.

We don’t think anybody likes receipts, but we like to keep them organized. Proper recordkeeping is the key to an easy IFTA filing.

So get a file storage system in your truck, or take it a step further and use trucking management software to store them online.

You Track Your Miles Wrong


I mean, things were easier when we used log books. But these days, with the ELD mandate and computers taking over, it can be tough to just operate the required devices.

But you still need to get your Trip Sheets recorded after every haul. After all, Trip Sheets are an easy way to record and add miles to ExpressIFTA.

The nice thing is, you can always find an easy-to-use trucking management software that generates and uses trip sheets.

Just make sure you’re recording the right mileage...

You Leave Miles Unreported


Recording mileage is a big deal for fuel taxes. It’s only half the process of IFTA!

It goes without saying that you need to file for all interstate and intrastate mileage, which includes loaded, empty, deadhead, and bobtail miles.

If you ignore the detailed mileage, there’s a good chance you’re gonna get audited.

Sometimes, a trucker may be in a hurry to get their IFTA report generated, and they may glaze over the last couple trips they made, resulting in some unreported mileage.

Unfortunately, those miles can’t be added next quarter. Adding them from a previous quarter will add up and most likely result in an audit!

So make sure you monitor and record the miles you drive.

And you can’t just record from the dispatched mileage because that still leaves you with unreported miles!

You Tossed Old Records


Over time, you may want to get rid of some paperwork. Do some spring cleaning and decluttering!

But don’t forget, there is a retention requirement for IFTA records.

The problem is, the requirements are set by your base jurisdiction (home state). So you’ll have to do a bit of digging before you have a solid answer for that, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

If you’re audited, you’d be out of luck without those old records! Don’t make that mistake.

You Report the Old Fashioned Way


Look, we’re against a lot of new technology but using our cloud-based software to generate an IFTA return just makes sense.

Instead of dealing with paperwork all day, just streamline the process and use ExpressIFTA.

With ExpressIFTA, you can report with trip sheets, bulk upload files, generate your return and reports, and get back on the road!

Sounds a lot easier than filing by hand. But on the slight chance you have a question about something, our customer support team can be reached at (704) 234-6005, Monday through Friday, 9 A.M. to 6 P.M.

Are you making these fuel tax mistakes?


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Monday, April 11, 2016

The Shocking Truth About Trucking Fuel & Taxes

Want to know the secrets of trucking fuel?


Of course you do, you’re a trucker!

Well, Trucking Nation, we’ve collected a few fuel tips that can help you squeeze some cash out from your coffers, and make your IFTA reporting a breeze.

Take It Easy


According to Mario Enriquez, a 61-year-old native of El Paso, he takes it easy as he drives. Instead of gunning the engine, he gradually gives it gas.

By taking it easy, you don’t burn through as much fuel with a big push. You build up momentum, and your truck does the work with you.

Avoid heavy braking the same way you’d avoid gunning the gas—a natural buildup will support your vehicle’s fuel reserves. Build towards your braking, reducing your stop as you can (barring an emergency).

Plan Ahead


Another secret is to plan ahead. If you know your route and the trouble areas for traffic, you can stay moving and avoid killing your fuel.

Honestly, the best way to do that is with TruckLogics and ProMiles!

TruckLogics has integrated with ProMiles to bring you the most accurate professional routing available.

With TruckLogics, you can calculate pay with deductions, reimbursements, or advances in a fraction of the time. Plus they have one-click Trip Sheets and fast IFTA filings!

Healthy Tires


And you’re probably tired of hearing about tires.

We know, we know. Terrible pun. But good tire health will make a huge difference for your rig and your fuel efficiency.

Keep them inflated at the right pressure. If you run loads with underinflated tires, you’re risking the tires overheating and flexing. That leads to tires blowing out!

Keep them healthy. Check them often.

Generate IFTA with Ease


You’ve probably Googled around looking for IFTA shortcuts before and came across a different result for almost every single state. Because yeah, almost every single state handles IFTA in a different way.

That’s because fuel taxes are different depending on your home state, which is why your fuel tax report is tied to your base jurisdiction.

Reporting your fuel taxes used to be a huge pain, but the International Fuel Tax Agreement simplified things. State reporting can still differ, like Illinois for example.

Every quarter, the IFTA system updates the fuel rates for each base jurisdiction. You can plan ahead with a fuel tax app, or let a tax preparation service handle your report.

So what is the shocking truth about trucking fuel and fuel taxes?

It’s that IFTA reporting isn’t difficult. The truth is, it’s simple to report your fuel taxes with ExpressIFTA.

ExpressIFTA lets you use Trip Sheets to input trip specific details, Quick Entries for entering details as you go, and GPS Upload for easy record uploading.

Basically, generating an IFTA report is shockingly easy.

If you have any questions, our awesome support team is here to help! Send us an email at Support@ExpressIFTA.com.



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Friday, April 8, 2016

Can We Really Trust E-Logs? 4 Problems Truckers See

It’s clear that e-logs are a divisive issue. You have transportation bureaus like the FMCSA pushing them, but then plenty of trucker advocates are against them.

And as the mandates kick in, we begin to wonder… can we really trust e-logs? And what headaches will they create for truckers around the country?

Search and Seizure


The 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

OOIDA is arguing that e-logs are tracking truckers without warrants, which constitutes illegal search and seizure, thus violating drivers’ fourth amendment rights.

Will e-logs grant law enforcement the ability to monitor the movement and activities of real people?

Cost of Burden


When you get down to it, new technology is cool. We’re not denying that!

But who is gonna foot the bill for e-log devices? We’ve heard from many truckers, and a lot are convinced it’ll fall on them.

How? Well, we know driver safety is the big concern, but some truckers are worried they will have to cut their schedules short if they need to worry about e-logs at the same time.

Freight needs to arrive when freight needs to arrive. That’s kind of the core concept of trucking, isn’t it?

If a driver can’t make a haul on time due to some e-log issue, that really just hurts their financial success, doesn’t it?

Safety Concerns


When you get down to it, driver intuition will always trump a glorified GPS log telling you what is best.

And we agree that driver safety is important. It’s one of our core beliefs!

But let’s make sure that e-logs don’t overtake driver intuition.

We like the notion that accountability will scale upwards, and that this can keep companies from forcing truckers to make dangerous choices.

But let’s make sure the e-logging devices are for the benefit of the driver, and not just a way to check a box on a company’s insurance forms.

Harassment Issues


Are drivers going to be harassed? That’s what one big concern comes down to.

OOIDA has taken on the ELD mandate before, having complained that the law didn’t provide adequate safeguards to ensure trucking companies wouldn’t use the logs to harass drivers.

And now they’re saying we’re back to the same issue.

We know the FMCSA means well, but driver harassment is going to be something the industry needs to watch even more than ever.

Unfortunately, we don’t know how the whole mandate will turn out for our industry.

And right now, we have more pressing issues. There is an upcoming IFTA deadline you don’t want to miss! If you have any questions about generating your IFTA report with ExpressIFTA, give us a call at (704)234-6005.

Where will the e-log mandate take us? We’ll have to watch out and see.



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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

5 Warning Signs That You're Not Ready for IFTA

As we finish this first week of the month, we need to look at your upcoming International Fuel Tax Agreement deadline at the end of the month.

There are plenty of early bird truckers who are going around getting their IFTA return ready, figuring it’s best to start a few weeks out than it is to wait until the last moment…

But come on, we know there’s a good amount of procrastinators out there. And we’re not here to judge, but we are going to point out… you might be a procrastinator, too!

How would you know? By checking these five signs you aren’t ready for your IFTA return.

Your Records Are a Mess


If you’re not amazing with paperwork, don’t worry. Neither are we. I mean, that’s why we make easy to use, cloud-based software.

But you do need to have some sort of organization with your fuel tax records. From well-documented fuel receipts to trip sheets, there are plenty of ways you can get your IFTA game in order.

When the deadline rolls around and our less organized truckers have a mess of papers to deal with, you’ll look up and shout "Save us!"... and we'll look down and whisper "Okay, sure."


You Don't Know Your Base Jurisdiction


Base jurisdiction? Is that fancy talk for something? It almost sounds like some kind of Airplane! talk.

“We have clearance, Clarence. Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?”

But really, it’s just a complicated way to say your home state.

So you need to know what state you’re based in, because that’s where you’ll be filing from.

And then you also need to know what the IFTA rates are for each state you traveled in… That just sounds like a headache.

You Don't Know When the Deadline Is


Alright, the IFTA deadline is… when?

Well, typically it is the last day of the month after the end of a Quarter. Since April 30th is a Saturday, you guys lucked out and have a few more days for your IFTA filing.

That means this upcoming deadline will be May 2nd!

Of course, you don’t want to wait until the last minute to get your IFTA return in the system, do you? I mean, we have all this time, right?

You Don't Have the Time for It


Okay, you don’t have time. That’s perfectly acceptable. The government is not gonna care, and your IFTA report still needs to be generated.

What do you do? Check out TSNAmerica!

TSNAmerica is a one-stop provider of authority, permits, and quarterly filing services - whether you’re new to the trucking industry or an established transportation professional, they have something to help you.

And you know what? They’re IFTA experts. If you don’t have the time to file, you should check them out.

You Haven't Created Your ExpressIFTA Account


Come on, you are going into an IFTA deadline without having an ExpressIFTA account?

You wouldn’t go on the road without your IFTA decals, so why would you go into April without the easiest way to generate and report your fuel tax miles?

I mean, you can create an ExpressIFTA account FREE of charge, or you can use your ExpressTruckTax account.

And just like that, you’re ready to go!

So don’t get caught on deadline day without an IFTA plan. Our truck tax filing experts are here waiting by the phones to answer any questions you may come across. Give them a call at (704) 234-6005 or shoot ‘em an email at Support@ExpressIFTA.com.

Are you ready for the IFTA deadline?

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