Questions are bound to come up with it comes to IFTA filing. This is a good thing, because mistakes can happen very easily and the last thing you need is to have your IFTA return rejected or incur penalties for late filing. Here are some of the common mistakes you need to avoid when it comes to filing your IFTA return…
Meet Bob. He is a trucker who always has a long way to go and a short time to get there. Bob is new to the IFTA filing game and isn’t too familiar with the rules. He had a friend tell him the basics of IFTA filing so he thinks he has it all figured out. Let’s ask him some questions to see how much he really knows…
1. So Bob, do you need to file a quarterly return if you didn’t operate?
Bob: No, If I didn’t operate then I didn’t buy any fuel, so I don’t need to file IFTA this quarter.
Correct Answer: Actually Bob, you do need to file an IFTA return even if you didn’t operate. It is a common mistake that IFTA license holders assume that if they do not operate they do not need to file. According to the All Mighty IFTA Regulations – if you hold a valid IFTA license, you are required to file a quarterly return by the deadline, even if no miles were traveled. You will simply file a zero return and no tax will be owed.
2. Bob, do you need to keep your receipts for all your fuel purchases?
Bob: I throw them away after I get the information for my IFTA Return.
Correct Answer: Oh Bob, that’s not what you do with your fuel receipts. You actually need to retain detailed fuel receipts or invoices for the time required by your state jurisdiction. If you are ever audited then you will need the receipts. Remember, motor carriers are required to keep IFTA tax returns, along with trip reports, fuel receipts and other supporting documentation for the amount of time required by your state jurisdiction.
3. Tell us Bob, do you report personal or unloaded miles on your IFTA?
Bob: No, I thought if I wasn’t actually hauling anything then I didn’t need to report the miles.
Correct Answer: Well Bob, according to IFTA requirements you must record all miles, whether loaded, empty or bobtail.
4. Last question Bob, can you include unreported miles from last quarter in your current IFTA return?
Bob: I thought you could, as long as the miles are reported somewhere-it should be OK.
Correct Answer: Unfortunately Bob, that is not the right answer. I’m surprised your not being audited right now. Many times carriers find themselves busier than a termite in a saw mill and end up preparing their quarterly taxes at the last minute and not including the last couple of trips in the quarter. The result is unreported miles being included in the following quarter. While there is no malicious intent, the fact remains that all miles traveled and gallons purchased in a quarter must be accurately reported. This simple misapplication can result with chaos in an audit.
Don’t be a Bob and risk hefty penalties, fines, and audits.You can easily avoid making mistakes on your IFTA return by asking the right questions. If you are unsure about any part of the IFTA filing process, give ExpressIFTA
a call at 704.234.6005 or send us an email at support@expressIFTA.com
Before you go…did you know you can have someone file your IFTA for you? Yes friends, our sister company TSNAmerica
can file your IFTA returns, UCR registration, IRP, FMCSA Interstate Operating Authority, and every permit under the sun. Give them a call and see how they can make your life so much easier today – 803.386.0320. Email: support@TSNAmerica.com
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