FAQ:  Answers to common questions about TruckingOffice trucking company management software.

Why is TruckingOffice sold as an online software?

Answer:  TruckingOffice is sold as an online software because it makes it more affordable  and more versatile.  It used to be that only the “big guys” had trucking management software, but now with TruckingOffice everyone can afford it.

blog:  Online Trucking Software Is the Way To Go

Will my email address be sold to other industry advertisers?

Answer: NO.  We will never sell email addresses to anyone.

Who will have access to my account?

Answer: Only you and your users will have access to your data.

Get the FREE TRIAL or learn more about security.

Can I export my data out of TruckingOffice?

Answer:  Yes.  You can export the management reports with all of your accounting totals on them.

FAQ:  Answers to common questions about IFTA

ifta logo drops

1.  What is IFTA?

IFTA is the International Fuel Tax Agreement. Member jurisdictions act cooperatively to administer and collect motor fuel use taxes.  It allows a licensee to report and to pay motor fuel taxes to a base jurisdiction for distribution to other member jurisdictions in which the licensee traveled and incurred motor fuel use tax liability.

2.  Which jurisdictions are members of IFTA?

The 48 contiguous states of the United States and the 10 Canadian Provinces are the members of IFTA.  The jurisdictions listed below are not IFTA members and IFTA credentials are not valid for travel there:

United States:  Alaska, Hawaii and the District of Columbia

Canada:  Northwest Territories, Nunuvit and Yukon Territory

Mexico:  All states and the Federal District

If you plan to travel in these jurisdictions please contact them for information regarding their fuel tax reporting requirements.

3.  Who needs to file an IFTA return?

You need an IFTA license if you travel in two or more member jurisdictions, and if your vehicle either weighs more than 26,000 pounds, or has three or more axles, regardless of weight.  Licensees must file an IFTA return after the end of every quarter.

4.  Do I need an IFTA license?

An interstate motor carrier operating “qualified motor vehicles” between at least 2 member jurisdictions must have an International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) license and decals issued by their base jurisdiction.  An IFTA decal allows travel to any jurisdiction by a qualified vehicle.

If you usually operate your vehicles only in one jurisdiction, but make occasional trips outside the base jurisdiction, you may elect to purchase trip permits for that occasional travel. Usually permitting services can be contacted for rates from any major truck stop.

The license and decals must be renewed annually and quarterly reports must be filed to maintain valid IFTA credentials.

5.  What is a qualified motor vehicle?

IFTA defines a “qualified motor vehicle” as “a motor vehicle used, designed, or maintained for transportation of persons or property and:

  • Having two axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 pounds (11,797 kilograms); or
  • Having three or more axles regardless of weight; or
  • Is used in combination, when the weight of such combination exceeds 26,000 pounds (11,797 kilograms) gross vehicle or registered gross vehicle weight.

(The first and second bullets refer only to the power unit. The third bullet refers to the combination of the power unit and the trailing unit.)

A qualified motor vehicle does not include a recreational vehicle.  Farm plated vehicles and school buses meeting the definition of “qualified motor vehicle” will need to obtain an IFTA license and fuel decals if they are traveling in another jurisdiction where they are required.

6.  What is my base jurisdiction for IFTA licensing?  Where should I apply for an IFTA license?

IFTA defines “base jurisdiction” as the member jurisdiction where your “qualified motor vehicles” are based for vehicle registration purposes and:

  • Where the operational control and operational records of the licensee’s “qualified motor vehicles” are maintained or can be made available.
  • Where some travel is accrued by “qualified motor vehicles” in the licensee’s fleet.

7.  Can I get an IFTA license even if I don’t leave my state?

No. IFTA requires interstate travel. Zero mileage or inside your state only travel is not eligible for IFTA licensing. Quarterly returns are required for all current IFTA licensees regardless of activity. Three quarters of ineligible travel may result in cancellation and non renewal of the account.

8.  What if I have one qualified vehicle registered in more than one jurisdiction?

Contact one of the jurisdictions and see if you are able to consolidate your operations under one license. The jurisdiction you contact will assist you and give you information on how that can be accomplished.

9.  How do I obtain a return?

Your base jurisdiction will mail a return to your mailing address at the close of each reporting period. If you do not receive your return 15 days before the due date, you may contact the Motor Carrier Section to obtain the correct form.  Failure to receive the return does not relieve you from the obligation of filing in a timely manner or submitting the return.  Most forms are available on your state’s website and can often be found by Googling “ifta, form, & your state”

10.  What is information is required before I file IFTA return?

  • Total miles, taxable and nontaxable, traveled by the licensee’s qualified motor vehicles in all jurisdictions, IFTA and non-IFTA, including trip permit miles;
  • Total gallons of fuel consumed, taxable and nontaxable, by the licensee’s qualified motor vehicles in all jurisdictions, IFTA and non-IFTA;
  • Total miles and taxable miles traveled in each member jurisdiction;
  • Taxable gallons consumed in each member jurisdiction;
  • Tax-paid gallons purchased in each member jurisdiction.

11.  Do I need to send a check to each state I owe money to?

No, the IFTA schedule form will calculate all the money paid to each state and miles driven per state to determine the total amount owed or credit due. You will write one check to your jurisdiction’s IFTA agency, the exact name will be on the Fuel Use Tax form.  If you have a credit, you can have it applied to the next quarter or have a check sent to you.

12.  When are Audits performed?

Base jurisdictions conduct audits for itself and all member jurisdictions.  Jurisdictions must complete audits on an average of 3% of its licensees each year.  Of the 3%, 25% of the audits must involve high-distance accounts and 15% of the audits must involve low-distance accounts.

13.  When are the IFTA reports due?

  • 1st Quarter due by April 30
  • 2nd Quarter due by July 31
  • 3rd Quarter due by October 31
  • 4th Quarter due by January 31

To avoid penalty for late filing, the tax reports must be postmarked no later than midnight on the date indicated. If the last day of the month falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the next business day will be considered as filed timely.

All licensees must submit the IFTA tax report every quarter. A report must be submitted each quarter even if no taxable miles were traveled and all miles traveled were in their base jurisdiction.

14.  Do I file a quarterly fuel tax report if I didn’t run during the quarter?

Yes, you have to submit a zero miles report even if no taxable fuel was used.

In order to complete the IFTA return you must maintain records of all fuel purchases and miles driven in each IFTA jurisdiction for the quarter. Failure to keep adequate records may result in disallowed credits and your fleet average MPG may be reduced to 4.0 as permitted under the IFTA Agreement.

15.  Do I need to file a quarterly fuel tax return when I am leased and operating under the lessee’s IFTA license?

If you have a current IFTA fuel tax license you must file the quarterly returns reporting all of the mileage and fuel purchases which occurred under your authority. You must file a return even if you had no activity under your license but operated under a lease agreement. In this case you would attach a copy of your lease agreement and check the No Operations box in the top right corner of the IFTA fuel tax return. Three quarters of ineligible travel may result in the cancellation or non-renewal of your license.

If you enter into a lease agreement and the lessee provides you with fuel decals, issued in their name, and they have exclusive use of your equipment they are to include your activity and fuel purchases on their fuel tax reports until the lease is terminated. Under this scenario, we strongly advise motor carrier lessors to cancel their IFTA fuel tax license. By doing this you will avoid many of the problems associated with delinquent returns and computed assessments.

Protect yourself! Review all lease contracts carefully and ensure the IFTA tax reporting responsibility is clearly defined.

In the absence of a written agreement or contract between lessee and lessor, the responsible party is determined by the operating authority under which the vehicle is being operated. For instance, if the vehicle is operated under the lessee’s (carrier) operating authority, the lessee (carrier) is responsible for filing the return. Consequently, the base jurisdiction reported on the return shall be the base jurisdiction of the lessee (carrier), regardless of the jurisdiction in which the qualified motor vehicle is registered by the lessor or lessee.

16.  Am I subject to interest or penalties if I fail to file or fail to timely file an IFTA fuel tax return?

Yes, Base jurisdictions may assess the licensee a penalty of $50.00 or 10 percent of delinquent taxes, whichever is greater, for failing to file a tax return, filing a late tax return, and/or underpaying taxes due. Base jurisdictions reserve the right to impose additional penalties based on the laws of the jurisdiction.

To avoid penalty for late filing, the tax reports must be postmarked no later than midnight on the date indicated. If the last day of the month falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the next business day will be considered as filed timely.

Additionally, base jurisdictions shall assess interest on all delinquent taxes due each jurisdiction except taxes collected directly by other jurisdictions. For US jurisdictions, interest shall accrue at the rate of 1% per month. For Canadian jurisdictions, interest shall accrue at the rate equal to the Canadian Federal Treasury Bill rate plus two percent and adjusted every calendar quarter.  Interest is not charged on the net amount of tax due on the return but is calculated on the amount of tax due to each jurisdiction.

17.  What records do I need?

You must maintain records that will adequately document all of the information you provide on your quarterly fuel tax reports.  Generally, you must maintain records to document all miles you travel – including the date of your trip, route of travel, total trip miles, and miles traveled in each jurisdiction. You must also keep all receipts for fuel you buy and place into your vehicles. If you maintain a bulk fuel storage facility, you must maintain additional records.

18.  Mileage Records Requirements:

Distance recaps for each vehicle for each jurisdiction in which the vehicle operated.  Licensee shall maintain detailed distance records which show operations on an individual-vehicle basis. The records shall contain but not be limited to:

  • Date of trip (starting and ending)
  • Trip origin and destination
  • Beginning and ending odometer or hubometer reading
  • Total trip miles/kilometers
  • Miles/kilometers by jurisdiction (recommend taking jurisdictional border crossing odometer readings or routes of travel)
  • Unit number or vehicle identification number
  • Fleet number (when multiple fleets are present)
  • Registrant’s name

19.  Fuel Records Requirements:

Fuel records must be maintained for all motor fuel purchased, received and used in the conduct of business.  Separate totals must be compiled for each fuel type. Retail fuel purchases and bulk fuel purchases are to be accounted for separately.

Tax Paid Retail Purchases, the following items are required:

  • Date of purchase
  • Seller’s name and address (including town/city and jurisdiction)
  • Number of gallons/liters
  • Fuel type
  • Price per gallon/liter
  • Unit number (recommend recording odometer at time of fueling)
  • Purchaser’s name

Tax Paid Bulk Fuel Purchases, the following items are required:

  • Copies of all delivery tickets and/or receipts must be retained, and indicate fuel tax has been paid to the jurisdiction where the bulk tank is located.
  • Bulk fuel inventory reconciliation must be maintained, including all disbursements for both qualified and nonqualified vehicles.
  • Record shall include date of withdrawal, number of gallons/liters and unit number (recommend recording odometer at time of fueling).
  • Maintenance of purchase and inventory records to substantiate that tax was paid on all bulk purchases.

20.  How long to I have to keep the records?

Records upon which the quarterly tax return is based must be preserved for four (4) years from the tax return due date or filing date, whichever is later, plus any time period included as a result of waivers or jeopardy assessments.

21.  I have an IFTA licensee and mailed my renewal application but I haven’t got my license or decals for next year. Can I keep driving without them?

The IFTA Agreement allows a two-month grace period from January 1st – February 28th for current IFTA licensees to operate under the prior year license if they have already submitted their application to their base jurisdiction.  Check your jurisdiction to find out when the application is due.

Beginning March 1st all qualifying vehicles must carry the current year license and decals. The IFTA Agreement requires that vehicle operations during the grace period must be reported on the 1st quarter IFTA report.

22.  I submitted my RENEWAL application on time. Why haven’t I received my license and decals?

Allow at least 30 days for processing your application. There may be several reasons for extended processing time. Incomplete sections on the application may result in delays.  Here are some of the most common errors:

  • Incomplete officer/partner/member
  • Missing or invalid FEIN or Social Security numbers
  • An incomplete or invalid address
  • Incomplete bulk fuel or jurisdiction information
  • Amount of decal sets left blank

Review your application for completeness and accuracy before submitting!

23.  Can my IFTA license be revoked?

If you do not comply with provisions of the IFTA Agreement, your base jurisdiction may revoke your license and they may take this action if you do not:

  • Comply with all provisions of the IFTA Agreement and your respective base jurisdiction fuel tax laws and regulations
  • File a quarterly fuel tax report
  • Pay all taxes due all member jurisdictions
  • Pay the amount due on an audit billing or fail to petition for reconsideration within the established time period
  • Operate interstate

Your base jurisdiction will notify all IFTA jurisdictions if they revoke your license. If you operate a qualified motor vehicle in an IFTA jurisdiction after your license has been revoked, you may be subject to a penalty, fine or citation, depending on the jurisdiction’s laws.

24.  What is a tax paid gallon purchase?

Any gallon of fuel purchased that had tax paid at the pump. The purchase must be supported by a detailed fuel receipt unless the fuel was removed from a metered bulk storage tank containing tax-paid fuel you used in your qualified motor vehicles for the particular quarter.

25.  What miles are non-taxable?

Fuel trip permit miles are not taxable miles in any jurisdiction. Include fuel permit miles in the return’s total miles section but do not include them in the taxable miles for the jurisdiction that issued the permit. Toll miles are taxable miles; toll fees are not fuel taxes. They are fees in exchange for the opportunity to use a toll road.

26.  Can Total Gallons and Total Tax Paid Gallons be different?

Generally speaking Total Gallons and Total Tax Paid Gallons will agree, but if you can not account for all tax paid fuel (i.e. missing fuel receipts), fuel records do not have the required elements, or fuel was used during the reporting period but the tax was not paid (example: fuel purchased on an Indian Reservation) the gallons should be included in Total Gallons so the MPG calculation will be accurate, but would not be included in the Tax Paid Gallons. The Total Gallons used during the reporting period would be greater than the tax paid fuel. Tax Paid Gallons can NOT be greater than Total Gallons.

27.  Will exempt miles show in my IFTA return?

Exempt miles will be shown while you are filing for your company’s IFTA, but it will not show in the actual IFTA form that you will submit for your tax purpose.

In the IFTA fuel use tax schedule you will see the total miles and the total taxable miles which will include the calculation of the exempted miles.  It is your responsibility to contact jurisdictions, individually, to determine exempt miles. It is also your responsibility to maintain records of exemptions for future review.

28.  I have an IFTA license and both a diesel and gasoline unit. Do I have to file a tax return on both fuel types?

Yes, you must file a separate return each calendar quarter for each fuel type indicated on your initial or renewal application even when no miles were accrued that quarter.