Before IFTA, truckers operating across state lines were required to file fuel tax in every state they passed through. The process was difficult and time-consuming which made staying in compliance challenging for truckers. It was obvious truckers need a faster and more efficient way to streamline the collection of fuel tax. This led to the establishment of the International Fuel Tax Agreement [IFTA]. Read on as Global Multi Services explain IFTA and its importance.
What Is IFTA?
The International Fuel Tax Agreement is an agreement for collecting and distributing fuel tax paid by interstate motor carriers. This agreement is made between the Province of Canada and the states in the US excluding Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia.
Under IFTA, motor carriers receive IFTA Permit and file a single Quarterly IFTA Fuel Tax Report in their base state. This information helps determine the fuel tax of each member state which is then paid by motor carriers to the base state. The fuel tax is then calculated based on miles covered by truckers in each state and redistributed to the member state.
Importance Of IFTA
Improves Efficiency And Accountability
All motor carriers and truck drivers under IFTA must meet specific qualifications. They are required to obtain their IFTA Permit and IFTA Decals annually and submit their Quarterly IFTA Fuel Tax Report to their base state. This ensures all taxes are paid on time and in a proper manner. IFTA also imposes fines and penalties for motor carrier and truck driver’s late reporting or payment. This helps everyone to be accountable, efficient and reduces error.
Research has shown that 15% of truck accidents are caused by driver’s fatigue and drowsiness. One of the things that contributed to this is the high volume of paperwork motor carrier drivers need to submit daily. Many truck drivers spend hours filing all kinds of forms and report instead of resting after a long trip. The establishment of IFTA has reduced the stress driver face with paperwork. Thus improving highway safety and reducing accidents.
How To Register For IFTA
IFTA registering is one of the most important processes to operate as a motor carrier legally in the US. All trucking company that requires an IFTA license needs to apply in their base state. The license application can be filled online and issued by the Department of Transportation for your state or other verified agencies. IFTA Permit requirements include USDOT Number, Federal Business Number, Registered Business Name, and Mailing Address.
After submitting your application, it will be processed and an official IFTA decal and IFTA license for the current year will be issued to you by the IFTA authority in your state. IFTA Permit expires every year therefore, you must register to obtain a new permit before the third month of the following year. Failure to do so can attract hefty penalties that can affect your trucking business.
Filing IFTA Fuel Tax Returns
IFTA Fuel Tax Return is filed to the motor carrier base state at the end of the fiscal quarter. The tax return shows the list of miles traveled by the motor carrier in all member states and gallons of fuel purchased there.