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 your vehicles cross state lines, you are required to complete IFTA reporting quarterly, and the process can be burdensome for your accounting and management teams. Read our complete guide to IFTA reporting. But it doesn’t have to be. By leveraging the right tools, you can save time and make filing your IFTA fuel tax report simple.
The history behind IFTA
Prior to IFTA, each state had its own licensing and fuel tax reporting system. Drivers had to purchase permits from every state in which they traveled and follow the various requirements imposed by those states. Acquiring these permits was costly and inefficient, as they could only be purchased at select ports of entry. Not only did the process delay deliveries, but it added additional miles to what should have been direct routes.
Beginning in the 1980s, U.S. states started consolidating multiple permits into one that would allow access across member jurisdictions. The agreement that began in Arizona, Iowa and Washington was eventually adopted by other states (excepting Alaska and Hawaii) as well as by Canada. And so, the International Fuel Tax Association was created to compile and manage fuel tax returns. Rather than requiring fleets to navigate the intricacies of multiple state-run permitting systems, the process was somewhat simplified with this 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 in 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 card program that automatically captures the information you need to complete filing. P-Fleet offers different vehicle card and driver card systems for capturing information at the time of fueling, and all of our cards 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 data automatically captured as part of your program, you don’t have to rely on drivers for receipts.
In addition to providing comprehensive transaction statements for any time period through your online customer account, we provide free IFTA fuel reports and many others. 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, and other supporting 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, greatly simplifying the filing process.