Now that electronic record keeping for Hours of Services has been mandated by the Department of Transportation through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, you might find yourself wondering about other compliance paperwork like IFTA.
IFTA or the International Fuel Tax Agreement continues to use the same calculation. When submitting on time, the only changes to the calculation are the IFTA rates that can change from quarter to quarter for each state or province. As per IFTA regulation, it continues to evolve as rules get updated. The purpose for it is still that same, that is, to encourage the fullest and most efficient possible use of the highway system, by making the administration of motor fuels use taxation laws consistent among all the IFTA jurisdictions for motor vehicles that operated in multiple IFTA jurisdictions.
If the IFTA calculation is still the same, and we now have electronic devices for HOS in semi-trucks, what do you look for to find a compliant IFTA program that completes your quarterly fuel tax reports correctly?
For IFTA, electronic devices such ELDs or GPS need to ping at least every 5 minutes, if not less. The more frequent the pings, the more accurate the tracking of locations.
As you may know, the crucial element of IFTA is distance, that is, the mileage you have traveled through the states or provinces. Here is the IFTA operating principle so you can better understand how it works:
- Fuel tax owed is calculated based on where you consumed the fuel. In other words, the number of gallons / liters of fuel you used to drive from point A to point B for each state or province.
- Tax credit is determined by where you purchased the fuel.
- IFTA nets the difference between fuel consumed and fuel purchased for each jurisdiction.
Knowing this IFTA operating principle and understanding IFTA regulations, the best way to get your quarterly IFTA or fuel tax reports completed is by using a software program that has been built not only to follow these regulations. One that also continues to update itself to reflect any IFTA regulation changes. One that improves itself by integrating with other FMCSA regulations changes. Such is the case of electronic record keeping of Hours of Services or ELDs.
With ELDs in most semi-trucks, a robust software program that has been built to be IFTA compliant and that can work with ELDs to get your miles per state or kilometers per province information is the best way to complete your fuel tax reports correctly.
An IFTA program that cannot only answer all IFTA related questions through its reporting capability, but can also do other tax reporting such as weight distance tax reporting for KY, NM, NY, OR, IRP or apportioned plates report, Canadian Carbon Tax, or any other distance report. Using a program that can answer any distance questions from any jurisdiction is the best way to ensure you are doing your reports correctly.
With eTrucks IFTA, you do not have to worry, because it is the most compliant, most complete, and easiest IFTA software program to use. It can integrate with fuel cards and most popular ELDs.