How to File IFTA Taxes
by Mario Tarradell | June 24, 2022
It’s a simple equation: You own a trucking company + you haul loads + you purchase fuel to haul those loads = you pay fuel taxes. That means you file quarterly International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) reports.
If you’ve never filed IFTA reports, or if you keep stumbling your way through them, we have answers to frequent questions about filing — what you need, where to get it, what are the deadlines, and where to file.
What do you need for your IFTA quarterly tax report?
To put together a quarterly IFTA report, you will need these key ingredients:
- Fuel receipts: Itemized total gallons of fuel purchased in each state or jurisdiction (48 states in the U.S. and 10 Canadian provinces) including fuel type, purchase date, purchase location, price per gallon, vehicle registration number, number of gallons purchased, total amount.
- Mileage records: Track the miles you have traveled in each state or jurisdiction, specify total mileage, total mileage per trip, and total mileage per jurisdiction.
- Trip reports: Include beginning and end trip dates, travel routes, trip origin, and destination.
All TCS Fuel Card clients are provided a quarterly summary that highlights any transaction that contains diesel, reefer fuel, or biodiesel. TCS totals the number of transactions, gallons, and cost, and then groups them by state. This fuel transaction data is a requirement for filing IFTA fuel tax returns.
Where can you find IFTA tax rates?
To calculate fuel tax for each state or jurisdiction, you’ll need the applicable fuel tax rates. The International Fuel Tax Association publishes fuel tax rates by quarter and jurisdiction. You can find the 1st quarter 2022 Fuel Tax Rate here.
Keep in mind that your taxable miles for IFTA are usually the same as the total miles driven in each state or jurisdiction. Take note, though, that certain jurisdictions do allow mileage exceptions that don’t count as taxable.
When are IFTA quarterly reports due?
IFTA reports are due quarterly, or four times a year. The deadline for filing your IFTA report each quarter is the final day of the month that comes after the end of the calendar quarter. If that day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, IFTA reporting is due the following business day. So, in 2022 those deadlines are:
- 1st quarter (January through March): IFTA due date May 2, 2022
- 2nd quarter (April through June): IFTA due date Aug. 1, 2022
- 3rd quarter (July through September): IFTA due date Oct. 31, 2022
- 4th quarter (October through December): IFTA due date Jan. 31, 2023
Why Do I Need to File an IFTA Return?
For starters, IFTA taxes are required, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will have some penalties for you if they aren’t paid. Although fees vary by state, late filing fees are usually $50 or 10% of the taxes you owe, whichever is higher. You’ll also be charged a percentage of the tax due each month until you pay it in full. There may be an administrative fee charged as well. Underpayment fees are similar.
In addition to monetary penalties, you could also lose your license, taking you off the road entirely and creating significant downtime for drivers and fleets.
The consequences of not filing IFTA taxes are significant and costly, with effects on your bottom line and your productivity. Plus, IFTA tax fees are an important part of improving infrastructure, something that truck drivers depend on. Paying IFTA taxes helps you do your part. They can seem daunting, but with the right tools, you can simplify reporting and make it easier to avoid penalties.
How Do You File IFTA Online?
You can file your IFTA quarterly reports online through a variety of electronic services such as Webfile, ExpressTruckTax, or EDI software. But you can also file paper IFTA reports.
Filing Your IFTA Taxes With a TCS Fuel Card
The TCS Fuel Card is a convenient payment method that helps make filing your quarterly IFTA reports easy by automatically providing your fuel transaction history. Everything you need to file — fuel receipts, trip reports, and mileage records — are stored on your TCS Fuel Card, so filing is straightforward and simple. Some of the things you get with your TCS Fuel Card include:
- Full visibility: Our management tool through the TCS website allows you to access this information 24/7, from any device with an internet connection. You can view personalized dashboards to get an at-a-glance view of your account and understand how you or your drivers are operating. You can even monitor your fuel savings as you go.
- Easy financial management: Check current balances, customize user permissions, and issue card limits, cash advances, and overrides as needed.
- Report generation: Easily generate the reports you need to do more than meet IFTA reporting requirements. You can also gain valuable insights about your driver activities and payment history.
- Ease of use: The TCS Fuel Card is easy to use, helping decrease the frustration associated with fuel recording. Drivers can easily record what you need without juggling papers and remembering to jot down their fuel usage.
- Free savings tools: A TCS Fuel card grants you access to TCS Fuel Finder, which can help you find the best fuel prices in your area for additional savings.
Don’t forget that the TCS Fuel Card can get you HUGE discounts at more than 1,500 in-network locations, where you pay $0 transaction fees on fuel purchases. Are you ready to save on fuel? Get the TCS Fuel Card today.
The TCS Fuel Card helps make filing your quarterly IFTA reports easy by automatically providing your fuel transaction history. Don’t forget that the TCS Fuel Card can HUGE discounts at more than 1,000 in-network locations and you pay $0 transaction fees on fuel purchases. Are you ready to save on fuel? Get the TCS Fuel Card today.