There are numerous administrative duties to take care of when running a trucking operation. One of the most important of these is recording and tracking the proper information for quarterly IFTA reporting. It will never be exactly easy or fun to do IFTA reporting, but there are ways to help streamline it. This way, it is done faster than normal. Here are our 3 tips for streamlining your IFTA reporting.
Organization is Key
One of the most critical factors in streamlined quarterly IFTA reporting is to maintain organization in all areas involved. It can make the process much more arduous and drawn out if you have to hunt down certain bits of data or figures. Make sure you know right where to go for each figure that you need. Disorganization can lead to numerous issues and difficulties. For instance, if you do not have the right fuel calculations right in front of you, you will have to spend the time figuring these out or finding the numbers you need to calculate the IFTA fuel tax totals. It could also lead to you estimating fuel calculations, which is a dangerous mistake.
IFTA reporting needs accurate figures and sending estimated or incorrect figures could lead to an audit. Organization also includes not waiting around until the last minute to do the report. If you wait until the last minute, you are more likely to miss something or make an error. You should never be filing late if you can avoid it, as this results in a fine of $50 or 10 percent of the IFTA tax liability depending on which one is greater.
Accurately Recording Mileage
You must include every single mile in your quarterly IFTA reporting. This includes any mileage for personal use and loading or unloading. Conversely, if any of your commercial vehicles were not used, you must file a ‘Zero Miles’ report. Also, consider any vehicles with GPS or odometer malfunctions. You must account for these in your report, or it can lead to inaccuracies.
Automation Can Help
The biggest lifesaver when it comes to IFTA reporting is investing in automation. As part of the ELD mandate, your trucks likely have ELD’s that can be extremely helpful when it comes to recording mileage and fuel use. If your company was exempt from the ELD mandate, it may still be a good idea to implement these devices, as it will streamline your quarterly IFTA reporting, as well as many other parts of your operation. Automation would also include implementing a good trucking software. Trucking software can make tracking and recording any data easier than ever.
Whether you need to pull up fuel expenses, mileage, maintenance records, or anything else, you can do a simple search and have it right in front of you. Otherwise, you may be there for some time sorting through manually compiled records or quickly jotted down figures to calculate what you need. Software can help greatly reduce the risk of an audit, as it provides more accurate tracking without the potential for human error.
Bonus Tip: Anticipate the Costs that Involve Filing IFTA Reports
Two things you must do as a trucker: (1) save time and (2) know where your money is going. You want to do more than break even, so you need to get organized and have a solid business plan.
To find out where your money goes, our TMS can generate reports any time you need them. You’ll see where to cut the expenses that continue to chip away at your profits. If you’re having cash flow problems, the reports can help you pinpoint the areas you need to address to improve your cash availability.
Another bonus is that you can get IFTA reports anytime. These early reports help you anticipate how much you should save each month toward the quarterly payment. This proactive plan makes quarterly IFTA reporting less intimidating. It also reduces the end-of-the-quarter shock to your bank account.
Also, having the funds set aside for IFTA payments can save money by reducing the risk of fines or penalties for late filing. Plus, there’s a chance your license could be revoked until the taxes are paid. You don’t need that extra expense or stress to deal with.
At TruckingOffice, our IFTA software is only one of the many features we offer to make your job easier.
TruckingOffice Can Help Your Quarterly IFTA Reporting
If you are looking to implement an ELD or comprehensive trucking software, we can help. We offer reasonable pricing to help any trucking operation get up and running with ELDs. Our software can help increase the efficiency of your business by providing any figures you need at the click of a mouse. We also offer a fre trial of our software so that you can see the great benefits before buying. Contact us today with any questions you may have regarding our services.
Don’t forget our IFTA Resource Center! If you have questions about IFTA and your filing, check out our IFTA Resource Center. Many of your questions are answered there.