Heads up, truckers! You’re approaching the end of another IFTA reporting quarter. Are you ready to file your report? Or, are you still procrastinating because you dread the task? One thing is for sure: the longer you wait, the more stressed you’ll become, and the chance of making costly mistakes on the report increases.
The purpose of IFTA is to simplify the process of reporting mileage and fuel use. But, the vast number of rules and regulations can easily befuddle a person. No trucker we ever met said he looks forward to IFTA reporting. It’s no one’s favorite part of the job.
So, before you start this quarter’s IFTA reports, let’s talk about the 5 common mistakes truckers make on IFTA reports so you can avoid them.
#1. Late filing or not filing an IFTA report at all.
It’s easy for a busy trucker to let the IFTA due date sneak up on them. But, this oversight can result in a fine of $50 or 10% of the net taxes due, whichever is greater. It will also put you at risk for an audit and the potential for more expenses.
Here’s a reminder of the IFTA quarterly due dates for 2021:
- 1st quarter: January – March (due by April 30)
- 2nd quarter: April – June (due by August 2)
- 3rd quarter: July – September (due by November 1)
- 4th quarter: October – December (due by January 31)
So, memorize these dates. Or, set a reminder on your smartphone. Do whatever you can to make sure you don’t forget to file.
#2. Estimating mileage and gallons.
Like most people, you hate math and want to avoid it if possible. So, it’s tempting to estimate your miles per gallon and miles traveled. But saving a little time may cost you a lot of money, so don’t do it. Your information must be accurate to receive any refunds or tax credits. Plus, if your calculations appear to be in error, you could be audited. Avoid shortcuts and recheck your figures. You’ll be glad you did.
#3. Failure to document odometer or GPS issues.
Calculating accurate mileage is your responsibility. If you’re having problems with your vehicle’s odometer or GPS during the reporting period, make a note of it for the report. The issues can affect your final numbers and may cause an auditor to take action.
#4. Not logging every mile.
IFTA requires you to log every mile, even personal miles or unloading miles. If you run personal errands or drive to get food, these miles must be included. Any gaps in mileage between daily trip logs can raise a red flag and trigger an audit.
#5. Using non-compliant software.
When buying your trucking software, be sure to ask questions, and make sure it uses up-to-date tax tables. Also, make sure your ELD device is FMCSA compliant. Faulty software or hardware won’t be accepted as an excuse or save you from an audit.
TruckingOffice Helps You Avoid IFTA Reporting Mistakes
Truckers are vital to our American way of life. They keep us supplied with all our favorite things by transporting those goods day after day. That’s why the folks at TruckingOffice do all they can to make truckers’ jobs easier. We created an ELD and TMS program that ensures accurate IFTA reports on time every quarter. You’ll save time and money and avoid a lot of stress.
As former truckers, we know what it takes to succeed in this competitive industry. Allow us to share our knowledge and provide the solutions you need for all aspects of your operation. Contact us today to learn more about how TruckingOffice can help you run an organized and profitable business.