Are you eligible for IFTA extensions? What about your IRP? Some jurisdictions are giving them to truckers who have hauled medical or other essential materials during this crisis. What do you plan to do?
Owner-operators, trucking companies, brokers – everyone’s feeling a pinch right now. It seems like a good choice to postpone paying IFTA right now if you’ve got the choice.
Looking down the road, though, is it a smart idea?
We’re not advocating for holding off or for paying now. But consider this: we don’t know the future at all. While we might hope for the summer without major problems as the states and provinces open up again for business, holding off on making this payment may make this month easier – but what will it look like in July? Or October?
We know that some businesses work pretty close to the break-even line. Instead of saving up for the IFTA payments, they just take money from that’s month’s income and pay it. But if we don’t know – and frankly, we can’t even come close to predicting based on last year’s or even the last 10 years’ data – should you take the risk of not having cash on hand to make the payment then?
Saving for IFTA
How do you manage your cash flow? Do you save up for IFTA? Will IFTA extensions change your plans?
If you use TruckingOffice trucking management system, you can run an IFTA report whenever you want to know what you can expect your current bill to be. Examining your report on a regular basis will keep you up to date on that inevitable bill and help you get prepared. Setting aside the funds on a dedicated debit card or credit card can help you manage your business’s cash flow and prevent you from spending that money on other things.
In this uncertain time, setting aside IFTA funds after every trip makes some sense, even if you got IFTA extensions. It’s the one bill you don’t want to fail to pay on time – the fines and penalties are pretty harsh and can stop you from hauling freight. Like your fuel bill, you could use a factor for a load if you were short on cash, but that’s the first domino that could lead to a cash crisis. We have enough crises right now, thank you very much.
Online Reports VS Paper Reports: Which Method is Best to File IFTA Reports?
Whether you file your IFTA report manually or online, it’s always a tedious process. The main difference between the two methods is the time you’ll save with online filing. But, whichever way you choose to file requires a lot of detailed information. For instance, you’ll need:
- All fuel receipts for each state.
- Up-to-date duty logs (HOS).
- Beginning and ending odometer readings.
- Total miles and taxable miles for each jurisdiction.
- Current fuel tax rates for each state.
- Trip reports with dates, routes, and start and stop points.
Many truckers aren’t comfortable with technology and prefer filing IFTA reports manually. But, many things can go wrong with the calculations, especially if the person is tired or stressed. Errors on the reports can result in fines, penalties, or revoked licenses. Also, simple math errors can raise flags that may result in an audit and added fines.
The best method for guaranteed accuracy on IFTA reports is to use an online method such as our TMS program. It does the math for you and provides accurate IFTA reports in a matter of minutes. Our system also alerts you when it’s time to file so you never miss the deadlines. With TruckingOffice, you’ll be IFTA compliant, less stressed, and making more money.
How long does it take to run an IFTA report in TruckingOffice TMS?
Got a minute. No? How about a half of a minute? That’s about all you’ll need for a TruckingOffice IFTA report to be created.
Because we use all of your data from your dispatches and invoices to create the IFTA report, you don’t have to upload any extra data. Nor do you need to worry about the rates per jurisdiction or state – we keep those numbers up to date. Your report will be accurate and current.
Once you run the report, you can decide to set aside your funds. Just being aware and able to make some educated about what you’ll owe when it’s time to pay IFTA is smart.
Use TruckingOffice on us for your IFTA
Maybe you didn’t get any IFTA extensions. It’s not too late to use TruckingOffice to finish your IFTA if yours is due this week. Just sign up for the free trial of TruckingOffice trucking management software and enter your data. We’ll take care of the rest in a fast, accurate report that you can use to pay your fuel taxes before the deadline.
IFTA Resource Page
If you have questions about IFTA, check out our IFTA Resource Page. We may have the information you’re looking for, as well as links to many jurisdictions’ websites and pages.
In the meantime, stay healthy. Stay safe!