To help you understand more about IFTA as you prepare your 2nd 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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