IFTA: What to Keep in Your Distance Records

If you’re filing an IFTA return, it can get a little tricky and there are several things you’ll need to know to be sure your report is prepared properly. The most important of which is the information that must be included on your distance logs. There’s a lot of data required for trip sheets, and some things you might not already know, so keep reading to make sure that you’re keeping track of everything you need!

Distance Records

Distance records can be kept a variety of different ways, but most carriers do so by using trip sheets. Although, regardless of how they are kept, they still must include all of the same information.

For IFTA purposes, all loaded, empty, deadhead, and bobtail miles must be accounted for. Not only will you have to keep accurate distance records for the year, but you will also have to keep those same records for four years in case you are ever audited. Trust us, if you ever do face an audit, you’re going to want to have those documents to avoid paying huge fines and penalties.

Trip Sheet Requirements

For your trip sheets, you will required to have the following information included:

Trip Information: For your distance records, you’ll need to include all of your relevant trip information like the beginning and ending trip dates, trip origin and destination, and the route of travel.

Odometer Readings: To prove the validity of your trip information, you will need to keep track of all mileage on your odometer. For each trip make sure you’re recording both the beginning and ending odometer readings.

Mileage: Your logs will need to include the mileage of the trip, including the total mileage, total mileage for each trip, and the total mileage traveled in each jurisdiction.

Vehicle and Licensee’s information: You must also have the vehicle identification number, the fleet number (if applicable), and the licensee’s name included somewhere within your trip sheets/logs.

Fuel Record Requirements

For fuel records and IFTA purposes, it is necessary to keep track of all fuel purchased and used. A separate record must be kept for each fuel type, such as retail fuel and bulk fuel purchases.

You also should pay very close attention to all of your fuel receipts, and be sure that you are not only keeping track of them but taking care of them properly as well. Now you may be asking yourself, why would I need to take good care of my fuel receipts? That’s because if a fuel receipt has anything erased, washed off, or that looks like it’s been altered in any way (like if you accidentally spilled a cup of coffee or wrote some personal notes on one), they may not be accepted for tax-paid credits. In order to receive credits for a receipt that is unclear, you will have to be able to prove that it’s valid. So don’t put yourself through that hassle, and take good care of your receipts by keeping them organized in a safe place.

All of your fuel receipts or invoices will need to contain all of the following information:

  • The date of purchase
  • The address and name of the establishment where the fuel was purchased
  • The amount of fuel purchased and the type of fuel purchased (in gallons)
  • Price per gallon or the total amount of sale
  • Unit numbers for the truck the fuel was purchased for 

Be sure that you are following our tips and including all of the necessary information to avoid dealing with an audit. If you have any other questions about your distance records or generating your IFTA report, don’t hesitate to give our support team a call. You can reach us by phone at 704.234.6005, by email at support@expressifta.com, or you can live chat with them directly from our website!

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