I’ll bet you’re not even thinking about your IFTA right now. Most truckers can barely keep up with the loads they’ve got to haul before the holidays – they’re not thinking about anything else right now. So why are we even talking about them? Because a bit of IFTA strategy now can save you money later, if you’re using the right IFTA software.
Strategic IFTA software helps you plan
You’ve got a load in your trailer right now and you’re going to buy fuel to get it there.
Where are you going to buy that fuel? You might want to think about your IFTA when you make that decision.
If you know which state you’ll owe the most money when you pay your next fuel tax bills, you can reduce that now by purchasing your next tank in that state. It may not be the cheapest fuel or as convenient as your favorite truck stop, but by planning your purchases, you can cut your tax bills. You just need to know how much you owe and which jurisdiction you’ll have to pay.
You need a good IFTA software program to help you out.
Pretty much any program will help you figure it out. The problem is that you may have to spend a lot of time entering that data into an IFTA software program – time you’d rather not spend right now that you’ve got a load in back.
I’d say that’s the definition of a bad IFTA software. If you have to enter the data, you’re already behind.
Your Automatic IFTA
You need a program that will compute your IFTA taxes based on your mileage that doesn’t require you to do extra work. Does such a thing even exist?
Of course it does. Any trucking management software (TMS) that tracks your invoices, mileage, routes, and loads can compute the IFTA. It’s the same data. You shouldn’t have to reenter the data you’ve already put into a computer. You just need a program that will do the computations upon demand.
There are a lot of other computations that same data can help you with to make strategic decisions about loads and deadheading. These trucking reports will show your
- cost per mile
- revenue per mile
- cost per load
- revenue per load
- deadhead miles
- fuel/mileage use
- IRP and IFTA taxes due.
You’re not going to find those reports on QuickBooks or Quicken. Those trucking-specific reports require computations that the average accounting software program isn’t going to show you. And if you program something in Google Sheets to figure it out for you, the time you took to do the programming is time off the road, not to mention the regular updates you’ll need to stay on top of to make sure you’re paying the right amount. Sure, sometimes state taxes drop… but most of the time, those tax rates will be going up. You’ll have to check every jurisdiction – all 57 of them – every three months – to be sure you’re not going to get stuck with penalties and interest for underpayments.
No, an automatic system is a far better choice. Which one will you choose?