Our software makes IFTA reports easier to file. This is important because staying on top of IFTA matters is one of the most important duties of a transportation professional. Fortunately, TruckingOffice makes the task fast and easy, giving you more time to do the one thing that actually puts money in your pocket: driving.
The ABCs of IFTA
IFTA stands for International Fuel Tax Agreement. It refers to a plan set up between 48 US states and 10 Canadian provinces. However, this doesn’t apply to Alaska, Hawaii, or the three northernmost provinces. It serves the following purposes:
- Simplifying the payment of taxes across state and national borders.
- Ensuring that each entity receives its share of tax revenue.
- Reducing the number of decals, forms, etc., that truckers must keep track of.
The IFTA is designed to make tax matters simpler for everyone involved. Filing IFTA reports on a timely basis and making sure your fuel taxes are paid is your responsibility as a transportation professional.
Who the IFTA Applies to
The IFTA applies to you if you meet the following criteria:
- Your truck has a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 26,000 pounds or has three or more axles or both. For example, if your truck has a GVW of 25,000 pounds but has three axles, then you fall within IFTA jurisdiction. Or say your truck has only two axles but has a GVW of 27,000 pounds – in that case you are also under the IFTA. This includes so-called “piggyback” combos that have a GVW of at least 26,000 pounds.
- You use the truck across state lines for commercial purposes; i.e. transporting goods.
Personal or recreational vehicles, such as RVs, are not covered by the IFTA.
What the IFTA Requires You to Do
Complying with IFTA basics requires you to do a few important things:
- Display a current IFTA decal on your truck at all times. Each year’s decal expires on January 1st of the following year. For example, a 2014 decal will expire on the first day of 2015. The DMV allows a grace period until the end of February to renew the decal. In the prior example, a driver whose 2014 decal expired would have through February 28, 2015 to get a new one. After this date, drivers who do not comply will be subject to fines.
- Complete and submit an IFTA report every 90 days. The deadlines for these IFTA reports are April 30th, July 31st, October 31st, and January 31st.
- Pay all the IFTA taxes due by the deadlines.
- Maintain all fuel tax records for a period of at least four years.
- Have records on hand in your office at all times.
- Allow a DMV auditor access to these records upon request. The auditor may examine your forms and receipts to ensure that you are complying with the law.
The Key to Complying with the IFTA
Above all else, the following things are vital to understanding IFTA:
- Be organized.
- Be organized.
That point is so important that it’s worth repeating. Keeping all your ducks in a row is essential for staying on top of fuel tax matters. If you don’t, then the consequences can include heavy fines and other problems. Luckily, TruckingOffice makes keeping track of these regulations simple. Our software’s cutting edge features do all the busy work for you, making sure that you pay exactly what you owe and not a penny more. And you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to use. Find out for yourself by taking TruckingOffice for a free test drive starting today. You won’t even need a credit card or checking account to get started.
You Get What You Pay For
There are plenty of websites out there offering free IFTA calculators. But are they really free? Anything of value costs something. When it comes to the credibility of your business or the potential for costly errors, a solid trucking management system is an investment worth paying for. By regularly inputting the relevant data you can manage so much more than your IFTA filings. This includes mileage, fuel receipts, and other pertinent information. And those IFTA reports will be stored in the TruckingOffice system, along with everything else. If you ever need to pull up an old file or record, you can with ease. No other free IFTA calculators come with free storage. If you ever find yourself in the middle of an audit or need to correct a discrepancy, an online management system sounds a lot more appealing than sifting through piles of paperwork and old receipts. Recalculating an IFTA report you thought you were done with is no easy task. A proper management and storage system is imperative.
Use Our Free Online Software to Calculate Your Miles
Some companies offer free programs online that will calculate your miles by state. So why should you bother paying for TruckingOffice? Well, you get what you pay for. Free programs will not provide the same level of service that TruckingOffice will. You can input your travel data into a free online program, but once your miles by state is calculated, the services end there. If you have a question a few weeks or months down the line, there will be no records for you to cross-reference.
With TruckingOffice, we maintain records of everything you put into the software. If a discrepancy arises somewhere down the line, you can easily access that information. If you have any questions or difficulty utilizing our IFTA software, our support staff is available to help. This is not the type of service you can expect with a free online service. We are so confident that TruckingOffice can make calculating your miles by state easier that we offer a 30-day free trial. So why not give it a shot?