Filing Your IFTA Report
The International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) is a pact between the lower 48-states and the ten Canadian provinces. It requires all interstate motor carriers to report fuel taxes. However, the agreement doesn’t affect Hawaii, Alaska or the three northern Canadian territories.
IFTA was put in place to replace the old fuel tax system. Previously, trucks were required to have a separate decal for every state they operated in. IFTA simplifies the reporting and paying of taxes.
The IFTA pact is intended to simplify the hassle of reporting fuel tax for trucking companies. This includes owner-operators who operate across IFTA jurisdictions. The agreement applies to all trucks meeting the qualifications below:
A. Those with two axles and a gross vehicle weight rating or registered gross vehicle weight above 26,000 pounds
B. Those of any weight which have three or more axles
C. Any combination of vehicles with a total gross vehicle weight or weight rating above 26,000 pounds
Who Qualifies for IFTA?
Every owner of a qualified motor vehicle must submit an IFTA application. Also, they may have their bookkeeper or accountant do so on their behalf. Quarterly reports must also be filed as the vehicle is operational. Additionally, this must be done even if the truck isn’t used for commercial purposes for one or more quarters.
The reports must be filed by the due dates, which are as follows:
A. January through March, the due date is April 30th
B. April through June, the due date is July 31st
C. July through September, the due date is October 31st
D. October through December, the due date is January 31st
IFTA decals expire every year on the 31st of December. Carriers have until the end of February of the next year to re-register.
In some cases, you might be owed a refund by one or more of the states you drive through. This is due to a principle in the agreement known as “fuel tax equalization.” However, in order to receive all refunds that are due to you, be certain to keep complete and accurate records of the mileage logged in each state. Additionally, you will need to log the amount of fuel purchased in each one as well.