The International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) is an agreement among the 48 contiguous states in the U.S. and 10 provinces in Canada to simplify the collection and redistribution of fuel taxes paid for by interstate and international motor carriers. If you operate a fleet that crosses state lines, you are required to complete IFTA reporting quarterly, and the process can be burdensome. But it doesn’t have to be. By leveraging the right tools, you can save time and make filing your IFTA fuel tax report easier.
The History behind IFTA
Prior to IFTA, each state had its own licensing and fuel tax reporting system. Drivers had to purchase fuel permits from every state in which they traveled and follow the various requirements imposed by those states. Acquiring fuel permits was costly and inefficient as permits could only be purchased at select ports of entry. Not only did the process delay deliveries, but it added additional miles to what would have been direct routes.
Beginning in the 1980s, U.S. states started consolidating multiple permits into one that would allow access across member jurisdictions. What began in Arizona, Iowa and Washington was eventually adopted by other states, except Alaska and Hawaii, and by Canada. And so, the International Fuel Tax Association was created to manage IFTA fuel tax returns. Rather than requiring fleets to navigate the intricacies of multiple state-run permitting systems, the process was somewhat simplified with a single organization.
Filing for IFTA
For all the problems that IFTA resolves, filing an IFTA fuel tax report is still far from simple. With IFTA filing, you must specify the total miles traveled and total gallons purchased for each vehicle for each state. That can be enough of a challenge with just a few vehicles, and for larger fleets, it’s an ongoing burden for admin personnel.
Those that have filed IFTA fuel tax reports know that tracking down receipts for every fuel purchase is a painstaking process. Receipts must accompany reports and include date, fuel type, seller, purchaser, vehicle, sale amount and gallons. Receipts can be easily lost, and drivers sometimes forget to enter necessary information into their log books. Even when all the information is properly accounted for, it takes a considerable amount of time and effort to complete IFTA reporting.
How P-Fleet Makes IFTA Filing Easier
The first step for streamlining how you handle IFTA is to set up a fuel program that captures the fuel information you need to complete filing. P-Fleet offers different card systems for capturing vehicle information at the time of fueling, and all fleet fuel card options provide Level III data, including gallons, price, amount, date, time, location, fuel type, odometer, driver and/or vehicle. All transaction details are displayed on invoices and available online to download into Excel. With extensive fueling data automatically captured as part of your fuel card program, you don’t have to rely on drivers for receipts.
What sets P-Fleet apart, however, is how we report fuel card data to customers to accommodate their information management needs. While you can certainly download fuel transactions for any time period through your online customer account, we provide free IFTA fuel reports, among other fleet card reporting solutions. Our IFTA tools sort your fuel purchases by state with totals displayed for each vehicle. We include the date, time, location, fuel type, gallons, tax rate, amount, among other details. With all fleet fuel purchases grouped by state and vehicle in a single quarterly report, you can greatly reduce the time it takes to sort through paperwork and complete IFTA filing. And like our other reporting solutions, we can customize our IFTA reports to fit your specific needs.
Topic: Fleet Fuel Cards