Avoid These IFTA Filing Mistakes to Ensure Your Fleet Is Legal
If you own or oversee a working transportation fleet that spans multiple states (or into Canada) you must be aware of IFTA regulations. The International Fuel Tax Agreement is a series of regulations that allow a transportation company to be located and licensed in one state, while freely traveling to other states or provinces without having to be individually licensed for each area.
One of the most important aspects of IFTA compliance is quarterly reporting. Your reports must be accurately filled out and turned in, or your licensing/certification could be in danger. While we do provide IFTA filing services, these are some of the most common mistakes people make, that you should definitely avoid.
Four Common Mistakes In Quarterly IFTA Filings
1 – Missing the deadlines
You absolutely must file your IFTA reports by certain dates each quarter, or you could be looking at significant penalties. At the least, you’ll be fined an additional 10% of your owed taxes, and you’ll also open yourself to closer inspection or auditing.
As of writing, the next major due date is January 31, 2022, for all operations in October-December 2021. Mark your calendar, or make a note in your smartphone, so you don’t miss it.
2 – Using estimates rather than real numbers
Never try to “get by” with estimates on matters such as fuel use and mileage. You’re expected to file your IFTA reports using hard data taken from each vehicle’s computer system. If the numbers are inaccurate, you might get away with it – but if you’re audited, you’ll be in a lot of trouble. Always use real data from your telematics device to avoid any problems.
On that note…
3 – Failing to report GPS or odometer problems
System malfunctions happen. Even our government in its finite wisdom recognizes this. So, if a vehicle’s odometer or GPS fails to properly record milage on a job, this isn’t a major problem – as long as it’s properly reported. Be sure your drivers note any such malfunctions in as much detail as possible, so they can be recorded on your IFTA filings.
4 – Using incompatible software
Any sort of data-gathering software you use must be certified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Even if the data is accurate, if the software gathering it isn’t certified, you might still get audited or otherwise investigated.
IFTA Filing Services
If this sounds like too much hassle, look into third-party IFTA filing services. Vehicle Licensing Consultants (VLC) specializes in simplifying the bureaucracy in the transportation industry, making it easier to maintain your fleet. Click here to learn more about our IFTA filing services.