IFTA

Discover Easy IFTA with TruckingOffice

At TruckingOffice we make it easy to stay on top of your quarterly IFTA filings by keeping all of your information organized in one place.  After you get your IFTA stickers and IFTA permit staying organized is the key to keeping up with your reports. With TruckingOffice, all of your miles are calculated using PC*Miler, so all you have to do is enter in your trips and TruckingOffice will calculate all miles driven and report them back to you by state. PC*Miler is completely integrated making it very easy to use. TruckingOffice provides a comprehensive IFTA quarterly fuel tax report that displays all of your IFTA miles per state (empty, loaded, and toll) and all of your fuel gallons by state/province making your IFTA forms easy to fill out. Get Started today and discover just how easy it really is.

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What is IFTA?

The international fuel tax agreement more commonly know as IFTA, is an organization that covers both the United States and Canada. This agreement was established to simplify the reporting of fuel use by motor carriers, which operate in more than one jurisdiction.  All you have to do is apply for your IFTA permit and they will send the IFTA stickers to put on your truck.

 

How IFTA Works to Help Drivers

Before IFTA, the fuel tax reporting system was burdensome and costly.  Each state had its own system for issuing permits and enforcing tax collection.  Trucks involved in interstate commerce were required to carry special plates known as “Bingo plates” that displayed each state’s permit sticker. Today’s system is known as a “pay now or pay later” system.  Here’s how it works:

  • When commercial motor vehicles buy fuel, the taxes paid are credited to the licensee’s account.
  • At the end of the fiscal quarter, the licensee files their fuel tax report listing miles traveled and gallons purchased.
  • To determine the tax liability, the average fuel mileage is applied to miles traveled in each jurisdiction.
  • In New York, Kentucky, and New Mexico, “weight-mile” taxes apply in addition to the standard taxes.
  • The amount of fuel taxes (or refund) due are paid to the jurisdiction that issued the license.
  • Member jurisdictions then transfer the funds accordingly.
  • Fuel tax audits are performed by the base jurisdiction.

Many drivers question the IFTA and wonder if it is always fair. The fact is, the IFTA was created to be more convenient for drivers. In the past, filing was confusing because tax rates vary from state to state.  But, by issuing one fuel tax license that applies to any state you drive in, the IFTA is a more efficient way of dispersing the taxes.

 

Who Needs To File For IFTA Stickers and IFTA Permits?

You qualify for an IFTA license if you operate your qualified motor vehicle in U.S. state or Canadian province that is a member of the International Fuel Tax Agreement. To qualify, your vehicle must meet the following weight requirements:
A vehicle used or designed to transport people or property is a qualified motor vehicle if it:

  • Has three or more axles; or
  • Has two axles and a gross vehicle or registered gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms; or
  • Is used in a combination that has a combined or registered gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms.

A recreational vehicle such as a motor home or a pickup with a camper is not considered a qualified motor vehicle when an individual uses it exclusively for personal pleasure. Vehicles used in connection with a business operation are not considered recreational.

 

What Documentation is Required for Filing IFTA Reports?

Each carrier is required to keep all receipts, either hard copy or electronic. The fuel tax payments must be submitted four times a year (each quarter) to the state where the business is based.  If overpayments occurred, a refund is due. If the taxes were underpaid, the difference is due. In addition to all receipts for fuel purchases, drivers must keep trip reports for miles traveled in each state.  Also, their IFTA license number and IFTA permit numbers are required. Log books cannot be used in place of trip reports because they only document hours of service.

 

IFTA Rules That Must be Followed

Once approved for an IFTA license, there are some primary rules that apply:

  • License and decals expire on December 31st.  Be sure to renew on time.
  • An extension for IFTA license renewal can be obtained if you apply on time and your account is in good standing. The extension gives you until March 1 to display the current year’s decal on your vehicle.
  • Stickers should be displayed on both sides of your vehicle cab.
  • Pay IFTA taxes on time to avoid penalties or loss of IFTA license.
  • Keep a copy of your IFTA license in the cab at all times.
  • Replace lost IFTA stickers and IFTA permits immediately.  

The IFTA rules and requirements can be complicated, but it is much easier than the hassle of complying with individual state standards.  

 

When Are IFTA Taxes Due?

IFTA reports should be filed every quarter.  Here is a breakdown of the quarters and when the taxes are due:

Reporting Quarter: Date Due:
January – March

 

April – June

 

July – September

 

October – December

April 30

 

July 31

 

October 31

 

January 31

 

What is the Penalty for a Late Filing?

A penalty of $50.00 or 10% of the net tax liability, whichever is greater, will be assessed on late-filed reports, failure to file, or for underpayment of tax due. If the net tax liability is zero or a credit, the late filing penalty will still be $50.00. Interest rate at 1 % per month is assessed on all delinquent taxes due each jurisdiction.

 

What About Exemptions?

Some states allow exemptions depending on where you drove or bought fuel.  For instance, areas such as private roads, some toll roads, or Indian reservations qualify for an exemption.  Also, if you drove on the Massachusetts Turnpike, an additional refund can be claimed by entering those miles as “non-IFTA” miles on the IFTA form.  However, you must file an ST-10 annually and keep all toll receipts.

Here are a few more examples of fuel tax exemptions that might apply in certain cases:

  • Type of Fuel:  specific types of fuel are exempt in some states.
  • Permits:  some temporary trip permits include the fuel tax.  
  • Vehicle:  exemptions are allowed in some states for specific vehicle types.

These miles are referred to as non-IFTA miles, but you must still report them as miles driven because they affect your vehicle’s mpg efficiency calculation.  If these miles fit the criteria for that quarter in that jurisdiction, you will not have to pay taxes on those miles. You can refer to the IFTA Exemptions Table here for more information.

 

Why You Should Register for IFTA

IFTA was created to simplify the process of paying fuel taxes.  The license authorizes you to travel in all IFTA member jurisdictions.  Also, a single tax return fulfills your reporting requirements. Although the process was intended to be easier than previous reporting methods, it can be complex at times.  If you would like more information about IFTA, contact us at Trucking Office. We will be happy to answer your questions. You’ll learn how we can help with your IFTA fuel reporting responsibilities, cut down on your paperwork, keep you organized, and increase profits.  We invite you to visit our website or give us a call today.

 

IFTA

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IFTA Resource Center

Looking for answers about the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)?

The International Fuel Tax Agreement was created to reduce the complicated paperwork that truckers and trucking companies were expected to file to cover their use of highways in the various jurisdictions.

How IFTA Works to Help Drivers

Before IFTA, the fuel tax reporting system was burdensome and costly.  Each state had its own system for issuing permits and enforcing tax collection.  Trucks involved in interstate commerce were required to carry special plates known as “Bingo plates” that displayed each state’s permit sticker. Today’s system is known as a “pay now or pay later” system.  Here’s how it works:

  • When commercial motor vehicles buy fuel, the taxes paid are credited to the licensee’s account.
  • At the end of the fiscal quarter, the licensee files their fuel tax report listing miles traveled and gallons purchased.
  • To determine the tax liability, the average fuel mileage is applied to miles traveled in each jurisdiction.
  • In New York, Kentucky, and New Mexico, “weight-mile” taxes apply in addition to the standard taxes.
  • The amount of fuel taxes (or refund) due are paid to the jurisdiction that issued the license.
  • Member jurisdictions then transfer the funds accordingly.
  • Fuel tax audits are performed by the base jurisdiction.

Many drivers question the IFTA and wonder if it is always fair. The fact is, the IFTA was created to be more convenient for drivers. In the past, the filing was confusing because tax rates vary from state to state.  But, by issuing one fuel tax license that applies to any state you drive in, the IFTA is a more efficient way of dispersing the taxes.

Why You Should Register for IFTA

IFTA was created to simplify the process of paying fuel taxes.  The license authorizes you to travel in all IFTA member jurisdictions.  Also, a single tax return fulfills your reporting requirements. Although the process was intended to be easier than previous reporting methods, it can be complex at times.  If you would like more information about IFTA, contact us at Trucking Office. We will be happy to answer your questions. You’ll learn how we can help with your IFTA fuel reporting responsibilities, cut down on your paperwork, keep you organized, and increase profits.  We invite you to visit our website or give us a call today.

Rules About IFTA Permits

What is IFTA?

The International Fuel Tax Agreement more commonly know as IFTA, is an organization that covers both the United States and Canada. This agreement was established to simplify the reporting of fuel use by motor carriers, which operate in more than one jurisdiction.  All you have to do is apply for your IFTA permit and they will send the IFTA stickers to put on your truck.

What does IFTA do?

IFTA allows truckers and trucking companies to streamline their reports of miles per state and fuel taxes paid per state. When a trucker files the quarterly IFTA, the calculations to redistribute the fuel taxes among the jurisdictions are simplified and allow the trucker or the company to make one payment instead of one per state.

How does IFTA work?

A trucker tracks the number of miles per jurisdiction and where they purchased fuel. Then the taxes due per state are computed based on the tax rates per mile per state. Then the fuel taxes paid to the states must be balanced between the states where fuel was purchased and miles driven per state. IFTA makes the process of balancing the fuel taxes between the jurisdictions simpler.

How does IFTA help drivers?

Before IFTA, the fuel tax reporting system was burdensome and costly.  Each state had its own system for issuing permits and enforcing tax collection.  Trucks involved in interstate commerce were required to carry special plates known as “bingo plates” that displayed each state’s permit sticker. Today’s system is known as a “pay now or pay later” system.  Here’s how it works:

  • When commercial motor vehicles buy fuel, the taxes paid are credited to the licensee’s account. At the end of the fiscal quarter, the licensee files their fuel tax report listing miles traveled and gallons purchased.
  • To determine the tax liability, the average fuel mileage is applied to miles traveled in each jurisdiction.  (In New York, Kentucky, and New Mexico, “weight-mile” taxes apply in addition to the standard taxes.)
  • The amount of fuel taxes (or refund) due are paid to the jurisdiction that issued the license. Member jurisdictions then transfer the funds accordingly. Fuel tax audits are performed by the base jurisdiction.

Many drivers question the IFTA and wonder if it is always fair. The fact is, the IFTA was created to be more convenient for drivers. In the past, the filing was confusing because tax rates vary from state to state.  But, by issuing one fuel tax license that applies to any state you drive in, the IFTA is a more efficient way of dispersing the taxes.

Is IFTA for the whole United States?

The IFTA agreement covers all the US states except Alaska and Hawaii, and does not include the District of Columbia.

Is IFTA for all of Canada?

The IFTA agreement covers 10 Canadian provinces but does not include

  • Yukon Territory
  • Northwest Territory
  • Nunavut.

Is the IFTA for all of Mexico?

The IFTA agreement does not cover any Mexican state or federal territories.

Do I need an IFTA permit if I only drive in my home state?

No, but you may have to pay an additional state tax. Consult your local authorities for specific information for your state.

Do I need an IFTA permit if I only drive into another state once in a week?

Make it easy on yourself.  Get the IFTA fuel sticker and use TruckingOffice to produce your IFTA report.

Do I need an IFTA permit if I only drive into another state once in a month?

Yes. Twelve trips per year will have to be reported.  TruckingOffice trucking management solution software can do it for you very quickly!

Do I need an IFTA permit if I only drive into another state once in a year?

Yes. but obtaining a specific state temporary fuel tax permit may be a better choice for your situation. 

Are there any exemptions from IFTA?

Yes. 

Some states allow exemptions depending on where you drove or bought fuel.  For instance, areas such as private roads, some toll roads, or Indian reservations qualify for an exemption.  Also, if you drove on the Massachusetts Turnpike, an additional refund can be claimed by entering those miles as “non-IFTA” miles on the IFTA form.  However, you must file an ST-10 annually and keep all toll receipts.

Here are a few more examples of fuel tax exemptions that might apply in certain cases:

  • Type of Fuel:  specific types of fuel are exempt in some states.
  • Permits:  some temporary trip permits include the fuel tax.
  • Vehicle:  exemptions are allowed in some states for specific vehicle types.

These miles are referred to as non-IFTA miles, but you must still report them as miles driven because they affect your vehicle’s mpg efficiency calculation.  If these miles fit the criteria for that quarter in that jurisdiction, you will not have to pay taxes on those miles. You can refer to the IFTA Exemptions Table here for more information.

Who Needs To File For IFTA Stickers and IFTA Permits?

You qualify for an IFTA license if you operate your qualified motor vehicle in U.S. state or Canadian province that is a member of the International Fuel Tax Agreement.  To qualify, your vehicle must meet the following requirements.

A vehicle used or designed to transport people or property is a qualified motor vehicle if it:

  • Has three or more axles; or
  • Has two axles and a gross vehicle or registered gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms; or
  • Is used in a combination that has a combined or registered gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms.

A recreational vehicle such as a motorhome or a pickup with a camper is not considered a qualified motor vehicle when an individual uses it exclusively for personal pleasure. Vehicles used in connection with a business operation are not considered recreational.

Why You Should Register for IFTA?

 IFTA was created to simplify the process of paying fuel taxes.  The license authorizes you to travel in all IFTA member jurisdictions.  Also, a single tax return fulfills your reporting requirements. Although the process was intended to be easier than previous reporting methods, it can be complex at times.  If you would like more information about IFTA, contact us at Trucking Office. We will be happy to answer your questions. You’ll learn how we can help with your IFTA fuel reporting responsibilities, cut down on your paperwork, keep you organized, and increase profits.  We invite you to visit our website or give us a call today. 

Can I drive my truck without an IFTA sticker?

Yes, but only if the truck never leaves its home state.  If you need a temporary fuel tax permit, there are services that can help you arrange them. 

What happens if I drive outside my state without an IFTA permit?

Short version:  you may be fined according to state law, but the state can also impound your load and/or your equipment.  State laws vary.  Our advice?  Don’t do it. 

If I don't drive outside my state during a quarter, do I still have to file the IFTA for that quarter?

Yes.  Failure to file can lead to penalties, fines, and shutting you down until you file, regardless of your in-state only driving.  The IFTA report must be filed every quarter.

What happens if I drive outside my state without a current IFTA permit?

State laws vary, but in general, a truck is off the road until the current IFTA sticker is attached to the truck.  Short version:  you may be fined according to state law, but the state can also impound your load and/or your equipment.  Our advice?  Get your IFTA sticker early. 

Do I need an IFTA permit if I am hauling livestock?

Yes, if you are crossing state or jurisdiction lines.

Do I need an IFTA permit if I am hauling food?

Yes, if you are crossing state or jurisdiction lines.

Do I need an IFTA permit if I am hauling for a trucking company?

Yes.  If you are an owner-operator, consult the company you have leased onto for their policies regarding the IFTA stickers.  If you are a driver and do not own the vehicle, it is the trucking company’s responsibility to get and affix the sticker.  

Do I need an IFTA permit if I am hauling for a moving company?

Yes, if you are crossing state or jurisdiction lines.

IFTA Stickers

How do I get an IFTA sticker?

You can find an application for the IFTA on any state or jurisdiction tax websites.  TruckingOffice lists every jurisdiction’s rules.

How do I get an IFTA permit?

You can find an application for the IFTA on any state or jurisdiction tax websites.  TruckingOffice lists every jurisdiction’s rules.

How many IFTA stickers do I get?

You should receive 2 stickers – one for each side of your cab. 

Where should I place my IFTA stickers?

Yes, an IFTA sticker should be displayed on both sides of your cab (ideally at eye level for the law enforcement officers to be able to see it clearly.)

Should I put my IFTA sticker on the driver or passenger side?

You should receive 2 stickers – one for each side of your cab. 

What if my IFTA sticker starts to peel off?

Contact your state ITFA authority to get a replacement.

What do I do with last year's permit?

Keep it safe. You may be audited in the future and will have to prove you had the license that year.

What do I do with last year's sticker?

We’ve seen truckers put the stickers in a notebook they keep in their cab. We’ve seen others keep them at home. As long as you keep them, you’re good to go.

Can I throw away my old IFTA sticker or do I have to destroy it?

After four years, you can destroy your IFTA sticker. The method is up to you.

Why do the IFTA stickers change colors every year?

It’s easier for law enforcers to see that you’ve got the current year’s permit.

What's the best IFTA sticker color?

We like red the best.

How many years of IFTA stickers do I have to keep?

You need to retain 4 years of IFTA stickers.  After that you can destroy them.

How long do I have to keep my IFTA permits?

You need to keep your IFTA permits for  4 years.  After that, you can destroy them.

What do I do if my IFTA permit comes off my truck?

Make sure you have your paper copy of your IFTA license with you in your cab.  Contact your state IFTA department to get another one right away.

How do I replace my IFTA sticker?

Contact your state IFTA department to get another one.  There may be a charge.

Do I need 2 IFTA stickers on my cab?

Yes, an IFTA sticker should be displayed on both sides of your cab (ideally at eye level for the law enforcement officers to be able to see it clearly.)

When does my IFTA permit expire?

All IFTA permits expire on December 31 of the current year. Be ahead of the curve and order your replacement IFTA sticker early.

I ordered my IFTA sticker on time, but it didn't arrive by January 1. Can I still drive?

An extension for IFTA license renewal can be obtained if you apply on time and your account is in good standing. The extension gives you until March 1 to display the current year’s decal on your vehicle.

Is there paperwork that I need to keep in my cab with my IFTA sticker?

Keep a copy of your IFTA license in the cab at all times.

The IFTA Filing

How do I file my IFTA report?

Most jurisdictions now allow online filing. Go to the state website where your truck or business is registered to fill out the form and submit it with your payment method. The report from an IFTA software program may only provide the numbers you need to enter, or it may provide an actual form for you to submit (programs vary.)

How do I file my IFTA taxes?

For online filing, you can copy or cut and paste the numbers from your IFTA reporting software or your personal mileage calculations. You will also have to provide a method of payment – usually a credit or debit card, sometimes you may use PayPal or another online payment system. States vary as to their requirements.

How do I pay my IFTA taxes?

When you submit your mileage and gallons purchased, you will be asked to submit a method of payment. We don’t know any states that take Bitcoin, so you will be asked to provide a credit or debit card number. Apple Pay or another online payment system may be offered in some states or in the future.

How do I pay my IFTA fuel taxes?

The online forms will compute your taxes that are due and provide a way to make the payments through credit or debit cards or another form of payment on the state tax website.

What documentation is required for filing IFTA reports?

Each carrier is required to keep all receipts, either hard copy or electronic. The fuel tax payments must be submitted four times a year (each quarter) to the state where the business is based.  If overpayments occurred, a refund is due. If the taxes were underpaid, the difference is due.

In addition to all receipts for fuel purchases, drivers must keep trip reports for miles traveled in each state.  Also, their IFTA license number and IFTA permit numbers are required. Log books cannot be used in place of trip reports because they only document hours of service.

What if I lost my fuel receipts?

If you pay for fuel with your credit card, debit card, or fuel card, you likely have access to records online. If you paid with cash, you may find yourself making some educated guesses and risking an audit. 

What if I don't have accurate miles per state?

We recommend using a trucking management software solution such as TruckingOffice that will compute the miles per trip per state for you by using PC*Miler, which is the government standard for computing miles.  You can use this tool to produce an acceptable miles per state number for your filing.  We don’t guarantee you won’t be audited, but you’ll be better prepared.

Can I sklp reporting miles in a state if it's not very many miles?

No.  You must file every quarter, even if you haven’t driven outside your home state during the quarter.  Failure to file has penalties and fines.  If you haven’t driven, you don’t owe anything – so file with the state anyway just to avoid paying the penalties.

When are my IFTA payments due?

IFTA filings and payments are due four times a year:

  • January 1 through March 31 filing is due on April 30.*
  • April 1 through June 30 filing is due on July 31.*
  • July 1 through September 30 filing is due on October 31.*
  • September 1 through December 31 filing is due on January 31* of the following year.

*This date may change due to holidays or weekends. Consult the calendar on your state’s IFTA tax information.

What if I don't owe any IFTA taxes this quarter?

Lucky you! You’re good for another quarter.

What happens if my payment is late?

penalty of $50.00 or 10% of the net tax liability, whichever is greater, will be assessed on late-filed reports, failure to file, or for underpayment of tax due. If the net tax liability is zero or a credit, the late filing penalty will still be $50.00. And interest rate at 1 % per month is assessed on all delinquent taxes due to each jurisdiction.

I forgot to file last quarter. What happens when you forget to file?

You will be charged a penalty for failing to file. You might be off the road until the filing, the taxes due, and the penalties are all complete. We recommend filing early and using TruckingOffice trucking management software to accurately and quickly create your IFTA report.