It’s that time again to file the quarterly IFTA taxes filing. I’m going to guess there are a lot of new truckers out there who are scrambling, looking for free IFTA filing software programs to file their taxes. We’ve done a quick search to find them and once again, we’re not disappointed.
Those programs are out there. Or, some of them are out there. When we did this search 2 years ago, we found so-called “free” IFTA filing software options for truckers, we found some – that aren’t around any more.
I used the “get lucky” button on the search and went to a website for an IFTA filing software program that says it’s free – until you want a report.
That’s the problem with “free.” Somebody has to pay for it. Businesses – like yours – need to make money.
Why do you want a free IFTA filing software?
Well, that’s pretty obvious. It’s bad enough that we have to pay the taxes. To pay to file the taxes is just rubbing salt in the wound.
One free IFTA filing software page is offering a lot of help – if you want to file the 2019 forms. Another company has a website – but all the links are dead and the only comment at the bottom of the page said “this company don’t answer your call”- dated a year ago. Then there’s my favorite: the free version doesn’t work in Canada. (You have to pay for the premium version if you drive up north.) Or you can start now for “free” but pay later when you file.
So, free turns out to be a bad business model. Looking at some other options, you are:
- expected to enter all of your data into their program and pay to get the report.
- buy a spreadsheet, enter the miles per state, your fuel purchases AND the jurisdictions’ current tax rates.
- buy a program that doesn’t integrate with anything else, which means you’re doubling your work.
What’s really free?
Most of these options that we found when we did that Internet search weren’t free. These programs expected you to do a lot of work – work that you may not need to do.
The real “free” of IFTA filing is to use the numbers and data you’ve had to use to invoice your clients and produce your IFTA report without adding in anything else.
If you have a routing/invoicing software package for your trucking business that manages your dispatches and accounting, and it doesn’t do your IFTA report, it’s not doing the full job.
Like Deadhead Miles
There are times – like coming back from Florida – that it’s simply better to come home than to take a low-paying load. Less wear and tear on the truck, lower fuel bills with an empty trailer. You’ll find better loads at home than to deliver those cheap loads that cost you money to run.
Deadhead miles are part of the job. Nobody wants them, but they’re there, and we have to deal with them.
Truckers find a lot of ways to manage the deadhead miles. We know some long-distance truckers that won’t go more than 50 miles to get a load. Others figure they need a certain dollar per mile to the delivery site – and then double it in their bids for the load to cover the costs coming home.
Running a trucking dispatch and invoicing program that doesn’t do compute your IFTA is running deadhead miles in your truck. You’ve got space to carry something but you aren’t. That data in your software can be used to compute IFTA – but it isn’t doing the work. When you’re paying for another software to handle the IFTA, then that’s more money out of your pocket. You have to make it up somewhere.
And that’s what should be free. Your data is yours. Why shouldn’t it do all the work it can?
Yes, your data can do a lot of heavy lifting for you in your trucking business. All those numbers:
- miles per state
- miles per load
- late payments
- miles since your last oil change
- expenses like lumpers
- fuel purchases
All of that data and more is what you need to make your business a success. Knowing those numbers might feel like a lot of work, but you need to know them.
Those numbers – they’re your IFTA filing numbers. If you have a program that can tell you how much you make per mile for a load, it can compute IFTA.
So why isn’t your software doing it for you?
That’s what’s really free: when you’re paying for the software to manage your trucking business, and it handles your IFTA calculations too.
Accurate, Fast and Simple
Nobody wants to pay too many taxes. But underpaying is worse – penalties and fines.
Nobody wants to spend hours like truckers used to have to when we had to mail a check along with a report that took hours to prepare. But fail to pay and you’re off the road – with penalties and fines.
Nobody wants to worry about doing it wrong but 58 jurisdictions’ worth of tax rates that may or may not have changed in the last 3 months can get complicated. But not having the right numbers can lead to more penalties and fines.
Is it too much to ask for an accurate, fast, simple IFTA program?
Not at all. It’s already available. We call it TruckingOffice.
By putting your electronic logging device data into our trucking management software, you can be confident that you’re paying exactly the right amount of money. We maintain the tax rates quarterly, so you don’t have to worry about getting the numbers wrong or messing up the math.
TruckingOffice isn’t free – we’re a business too, just like you are – but your peace of mind is a free benefit of using a program designed to make trucking businesses like yours succeed.
IFTA is due soon. Get yours done with TruckingOffice –
And about that free thing?
We’ll let you do your IFTA report on us for free. Sign up for our free trial right now, enter last quarter’s data, and you’ll have your IFTA report for free before it the free trial expires. At the same time, you’ll find out that having a powerful tool like TruckingOffice TMS and ELD can change the way you’re driving. (That’s free too with our extensive business reports based on your data!)