Many of you have been working or running your own business in the motor carrier industry for countless of years. You have seen the many changes not only with trucks, but also in regulation, and most recently in the technology to operate in this industry.
Long gone are the days when everything was completed with a pen and paper. However, for IFTA you can still keep track of your fuel tax information on paper if you do not require electronic systems to comply with other regulation.
Paper records are acceptable by IFTA auditors as long as they are complete and true. In other words, you must keep exact paper records of your miles per state to match your odometer readings so auditors can verify your mileage against each truck’s odometer. When it comes to fuel paper records you must keep your fuel receipts and only account for the fuel that is used to propel your truck. No oil purchases, no reefer fuel, no additives. You should make sure you make copies or take pictures of these paper fuel receipts so you can maintain records of it for 4 to 5 years in case of an audit. This way you will make sure that even if the ink in the receipt fades you still have a good copy of it.
When it comes to complying with other regulation like Hours of Services (HOS) you will have to use electronic logging devices or ELDs. So, if you are already using an ELD you should use it to keep track of your miles per state and stop worrying about keep track of your mileage manually or on paper.
The best bang for your buck are those ELDs that keep track of your miles per state and synchronize with the odometer of your truck. All ELDs should have a GPS component to them for not only tracking your vehicles and navigation but for keeping records of your mileage. These mileages can then be used to generate reports that provide you with the miles you run in each state or province so you can use it for IFTA and IRP compliance as well as for your internal accounting purposes.
If you do not require an ELD but do not want to bother writing things down or keeping paper records, then you can use a GPS that provides you with at least pings of latitudes and longitudes of your where abouts. However, the best commercial GPS devices are not only for navigation but for tracking and can synchronize to the truck’s computer or odometer. These better GPS systems or devices will provide you with a miles per state report.
Whether you use an ELD or GPS, these are the most accurate and reliable ways to keep track of your miles per state and require the least effort for you or your drivers. You just have to make sure the GPS or ELD you are implementing is a well-known and trustworthy device.
So, the best way to keep track of your miles per state that requires the least effort from you is to use electronic systems that function properly and that can have a backup plan if the device malfunctions.
The best way to keep track of your miles per state from an IFTA audit viewpoint is to have complete and true or exact data of your mileage whether is paper records or electronic records.
Remember that auditors will hold you accountable for the fuel tax information. They will not hold your drivers or GPS or ELDs accountable. They will examine the way you collect or keep track of your fuel tax information and they will make sure that the information you have collected is correct.