Do you worry about having an accurate IFTA tax filing? Maybe you know what could happen if you don’t file it correctly, and that bothers you? It should.
The consequences to doing it wrong are almost as bad as failing to do it all.
What is the IFTA Reporting System & How Does it Work?
The International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) replaces the previous fuel tax system. Under the current IFTA, drivers no longer have to display a separate decal for each state on their route. In fact, today’s system simplifies the fuel tax reporting process in several ways. Here’s how it works:
- Drivers register with the IFTA in their base state.
- IFTA provides a license and decals to place on the outside of the cab. Drivers must renew these each year.
- The license and decals allow drivers to operate in more than one IFTA jurisdiction.
- The base jurisdiction collects and distributes the fuel taxes that drivers submit.
- Quarterly fuel tax reports are due to the IFTA to avoid fines or penalties.
- IFTA quarterly trucking report is due by (1st) April 30th, (2nd) July 31st, (3rd) October 31st, and (4th) January 31st.
- Drivers can file or pay online.
- Failure to file can result in a suspended license.
To qualify for an IFTA license, your vehicle must meet certain qualifications. You can find a detailed list of requirements and qualifications on their website.
If your trucking business uses our TMS, you’ll never miss an IFTA due date. You’ll avoid late payment fines, interest, or penalties. Plus, the other features of our system will make your overall job much easier.
No IFTA vs. Not Accurate IFTA
Failing to file an IFTA leads to
- citation by the State Police
- fines by the state
- potentially impounding the load
- extra penalties for late payments
- possibly pulled off the road.
If you don’t have a current IFTA sticker, you may be off the road until you get the replacement – a week at least.
So all that’s pretty bad – but what if you don’t pay your IFTA taxes correctly?
It depends on if you overpay or underpay. If you underpay, there are fines and penalties. If you overpay, your money is out of your pocket and not collecting any interest – and may be costing you money if you have to borrow funds or use a factor for a load to keep your business running.
Nope, we think an accurate IFTA is the best way to go.
Computing an accurate IFTA – minutes, hours, days?
How long does it take to compute an accurate IFTA?
Well, that’s really the $64,000 question, isn’t it? That answer is based entirely on two things:
- how good are your mileage records and
- do you have all of your fuel receipts?
We can now use Google Maps and try to recreate mileage reports. We might get a relatively correct answer on fuel purchases if you only ever use a credit card for them. But what if you’re audited and those are the evidence you have to provide to prove you filed your IFTA correctly?
Won’t you sleep better at night if that was all done for you – and done right?
How long does it take to file an IFTA payment? Minutes, since you can now do most of the jurisdictions online with a credit card. But how long does it take to compute that amount and be sure it’s right?
Less than one minute, if you use TruckingOffice trucking management system.
TruckingOffice’s IFTA Report
Filing state fuel taxes used to take an owner-operator a day off the road. Paper logbooks, maps, receipts – and then maybe a trip to the local IRS office to be sure that the forms were filled out correctly. It was a day of lost income on top of a day spent at a table with a calculator and a bottle of aspirin.
With TruckingOffice, the IFTA report is constantly available and ready in less than a minute, regardless of how many miles, how many loads, or how many tanks of fuel you bought during the quarter. By using your dispatch data, a complete and accurate IFTA report will show you the numbers you need and the amount you have to pay – even in your truck cab. Get a secure wifi connection and you can file your IFTA anywhere and at any time.
Total investment in time in your IFTA? Maybe less than 10 minutes.
Don’t believe us? Try TruckingOffice for a free trial and enter all of your dispatches into our easy to use program. Add your fuel purchases and press the IFTA Report button to see how easy it is to produce an accurate IFTA report.
We’re serious – do last quarter’s IFTA on us – for free. And when you’re done with that, look at all the other reports that use the same data – how much you’re making in a week, or per load, or per mile. Find out where your money is going and if it’s in your pocket or someone else’s. Use our maintenance module and you’ll never have to worry about a DOT audit. (And you might reduce the on-the-road emergencies as well.)
Got more questions about IFTA? We’ve got the IFTA Resource Center with plenty of answers for you.