- Are you worried about your fuel tax report?
- Do you have all the information you need?
- Do you know the formula to calculate your report?
- Do you have a process in place or the correct devices to collect the proper fuel tax information?
- Are you missing any mileage or fuel information?
- Is your report correct?
- Do you want to avoid an IFTA audit?
- Do you trust your fuel tax data?
- Do you trust the person or company that does your fuel tax reporting?
Compliance & Safety regulations are very crucial to motor carrier businesses, because breaking any of these regulations can put a motor carrier out of business.
The outline below tells you how simple it can be to complete your fuel tax report every quarter and be compliant with IFTA.
Step 1: Collect and Keep Records of your Correct Mileage
The most important information for IFTA reporting is your miles. Auditors want to see the actual miles that you have driven in each state or province throughout the quarter.
Today there are a few ways you can record your mileage.
Due to recent legislation mortor carriers are now mandated to use ELDs (Electronic Logging Devices) or AOBRDs (Automatic On-Board Recording Devices). After December 2019 motor carriers will only be able to use ELDs, unless their company falls within any of the ELD exemptions or they haul for the Motion Picture industry (5 years exemption). There are also some waivers currently and other exemptions pending specifically for the Agricultural Commodities motor carriers. If your motor carrier company falls within any of the exemptions, then you can record your Records Of Duty Status (RODS) on paper and do not have to use an ELD.
The ELD mandate is only for HOS (Hours Of Service). However, since the ELD connects to your truck’s computer, ELDs can record much more information, including mileage. Many ELD providers are saying they record IFTA miles, but this is only useful if their ELD is pinging your location every 15 minutes or less. Whether these pings are through a GPS system or Cellular antenna network, these pings have to happen every 15 minutes or less. If, for example, your ELD is only pinging your location every hour, then it is not compliant with IFTA, and is not acting as an IFTA mileage calculator.
When it comes to miles, you can also write them down on paper, on a trip sheet, or use a GPS that does not connect to your truck’s computer.
If you are going to use an electronic systems to collect your miles and avoid the big headache of doing it manually, here is what you should consider:
- Use a reputable electronic system to collect your miles.
- The electronic systems you should use can be a GPS or ELD or AOBRD.
- Make sure these devices or electronic systems ping your location every 15 minutes or less.
- Spend less time entering data manually by using an import feature.
- Have a way to find your missing miles.
- Have a way to confirm or validate your mileage.
eTrucks IFTA mileage calculator works with any of the devices mentioned above through the import tool. It can also find any missing mileage and verify them with the PC*Miler integration tool.
Step 2: Collect and Keep Records of your Fuel Purchases
The second most important data set is your fuel purchases. The fuel you purchased through the quarter to run all your trips for your truck(s) is the fuel you have to report for IFTA. Whether you purchased fuel at the gas pump or used fuel from a bulk tank, you must report the fuel that was used to run your truck(s).
For your IFTA report, you only need to know the fuel that propels your vehicles, and nothing extra.
There are different ways to collect your fuel purchase records. These are:
1. Paper receipts from fuel stations, paper records from bulk fuel, and fuel card systems. When it comes to paper fuel paper receipts and used fuel from bulk fuel, make sure these are not misplaced and properly stored or entered in a program like eTrucks IFTA to keep records of it because the ink on these receipts tends to fade with time or can be easily misplaced.
2. If you are using a fuel card then all you need to do is log in to your fuel card system and run a report for your fuel purchases by truck or by month or by quarter. Your fuel card system should be able to let you export your fuel information in a CSV format. The fuel cards that most of our clients prefer provide them with reports in two formats. One is in a PDF and the other is a CSV (spreadsheet) format. The CSV format is the standard format to move data from program to program.
Enter your fuel purchases by hand or through the import tool or a combination of both.
Whether you use paper receipts, bulk fuel, or fuel cards to collect your fuel, here is what you should consider:
- Keep your paper fuel receipts organized and secured.
- Use a fuel card system that can produce your reports in a spreadsheet or CSV format.
- Spend less time by using an import feature for your fuel data from your fuel card to a fuel tax program.
- Have your bulk fuel organized by truck, date of withdrawal, number of gallons, purchase or inventory records on hand, and copies of delivery indicating location.
With eTrucks IFTA mileage calculator, you can enter paper fuel receipts and bulk fuel manually or import your fuel card data or do a combination of both.
Step 3: Calculate & Submit Report
When you have a program that updates IFTA rates, handles Miles to Kilometre and Gallons to Litres conversions automatically, produces per-truck, monthly, and quarterly reports, knows how things work in each state and province, and lets you run unlimited fuel tax reports – life becomes effortless using a technology with you in mind. You don’t need to continually look up changing IFTA rates and do all the math yourself when you have a trusted program that stays up to date.
- Find a fuel tax program with people behind it that want to help you
- Use a program or system that is easy to use and works with other systems like ELDs, Accounting programs, and any other program you use for your motor carrier operations
- Automate everything that you possibly can
All that you should have to do is:
- Collect your mileages and purchases for the quarter
- Hit a button
- Sit back
Remember, the reports must be filed by the due dates, which are the following:
Quarter 1: January through March, the due date is April 30th
Quarter 2: April through June, the due date is July 31st
Quarter 3: July through September, the due date is October 31st
Quarter 4: 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.