IFTA Fuel Tax – Are You Filing It On Time?
A lot of companies do not understand the importance of the IFTA fuel tax. Not filing for it on time can lead to complications for your business. To give you more clarity over this, let’s discuss a few pointers:
What Are The Weight Requirements?
- If you intend to cross state lines with your truck or semi-tractor or any trailer that has a weight of more than 26,000 lbs and if you are leased to a trucking company that is capable of providing you your IFTA fuel tax stickers and your IFTA fuel tax cab card for your vehicle, there is no need for you to register for your IFTA fuel tax.
- However, if your vehicle plate says $26,000 LBS or more than that or if your loaded vehicle, whether it is a truck or a trailer has a weight of $26,000 LBS or more, or if you drive a 3-axle truck that has a weight less than 26,000 LBS, or if you intend to cross state lines with a truck that has more than 26,000 lbs of weight, you must register for the IFTA fuel tax. You must also get an IRP license plate.
- If you drive a truck or a vehicle that has three or more axles and if the gross weight is $26,000 LBS or if it is more than $26,000 LBS when the weight is loaded upon it or if you want to cross state lines with this vehicle, you will have to register for IFTA fuel tax.
- When you drive a straight truck and pull a trailer and the combined weight of the vehicles when they are loaded is more than $26,000 LBS and if you want to cross state lines with this apparatus, you must register for IFTA fuel tax.
- Driving a commercial vehicle for hire or a private commercial vehicle and any farm plated vehicle with which you intend to cross state lines or any of the vehicles that have been described above, this requirement will apply to you.
Reporting IFTA Fuel Tax
Usually, your home state is responsible for issuing your IFTA fuel tax credentials to you. At the end of each quarter, you will need to submit a quarterly IFTA fuel tax report. This will include the mileage driven in each state and the fuel that you have purchased in each state during that quarter. This will be submitted to the IFTA fuel tax department of your home state. The first quarter is going to be January, February, and March, and the report should be submitted to the IFTA fuel tax department in April. Similarly, the second-quarter report will be completed and submitted to the department in July and the process shall continue till the end of the year and next year as well.
Understanding Various Legal Requirements
Some states across the country may require proof that the IFTA fuel tax documents have been issued to you and that you haul loads legally.
A farmer that intends to cross state lines or a commercial vehicle or a private commercial carrier or a for-hire registrant leased to a trucking company will have to register for IFTA fuel tax.
If you are working as a for-hire carrier and hauling exempt commodities, and if you have an interstate authority, the IFTA fuel tax department is in a position to ask you to show proof of your legal arrangement and the way you operate across state lines. You should also clarify to them that you will be doing your own IFTA fuel tax reporting. In any other situation, they would require you to update your DOT information displaying that you haul exempt commodities or they may require you to produce your motor carrier number or motor carrier permit.
If you are hauling any commodities on a for-hire basis or if you haul any loads that require ICC authority or trucking authority or DOT authority or MC or ICC number, then you can register for your IFTA fuel tax right away This applies to you if your vehicle or vehicle combination is more than 26,000 lbs in weight or if you have a 3-axle truck and you want to cross state lines with it.
Record-Keeping Requirements – IFTA Fuel Tax Made Simple
Yes, there are a few record-keeping requirements as well that you should be aware of. The state will require you to keep accurate records of your trips and mileages and all the fuel purchases that you have made across the states that you have traveled.
- Keep a record of all the loads that you haul or empty or pick up and drop at various locations. There will be an IFTA fuel tax state audit as well and you are expected to use your logbook to keep records of all your trips and mileages.
- Make sure that the state auditor is able to obtain all the information from your logbook. Every time you cross any state lines, the accurate mileage readings should be recorded.
- You can also use drip sheets to record this information and also the gallons of fuel that you have purchased along the way.
- The auditor may also need information about the route that you take or choose to take in addition to the mileage readings from your odometer every time you cross state lines.
- Remember that all the trucks that have IFTA stickers on them will be subject to this fuel tax audit. These can be totally random or even a result of any inaccurate reporting on your part.
- It is never advised to round off your mileages when you are about to complete and submit your tax report. Get in touch with a dependable third-party DOT Compliance facilitator for efficient fuel tax reporting every quarter.
Applying For Your US DOT Number
If you own a commercial vehicle, you may require to have your US DOT number if you want to do business with other states. If you own a vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 lbs, you must register it for a USDOT number. The majority of the states across the country need you to fulfill this requirement if you have a combination truck and trailer or a van and trailer combination and the combined gross vehicle weight rating of the entire apparatus is more than 10,000 lbs.
If you have any vehicle that is being used in your business and has a GVWR of more than 10,000 lbs or if you have a commercial vehicle that pulls a trailer or any other apparatus and the combined weight of these vehicles is more than 10,000 lbs, you must go for Unified Carrier Registration as well.
Carrier authority is known by many names such as ICC authority, DOT authority, trucking authority, MC number, DOT authority, absolute trucking authority, ICC number, ICC carrier, ICC MC, ICMC number, FMCSA authority, ICC permit, etc. If you are working for hire and intend to cross state lines, hauling either regular loads or exempt loads that require this document, do it right away. You can also register for the unified carrier registration program along with your IFTA fuel tax filing. Exempt loads are your logs, grain, and livestock. If you want to haul them across state lines, you should apply for your US DOT number as well. But if you are hauling these exempt loads, you do not need an ICC authority or DOT authority.
If you want to move loads on vehicles or trucks that are not yours, you are going to need broker authority.
IFTA Fuel Tax Quarterly Reporting Is A Must
Remember that your IFTA fuel tax reporting is a must, especially when you are hauling loads across state lines with vehicles or trucks that have a weight of more than 26,000 LBS. You must register for it and remember to file the quarterly report on time with your home state.
BOC-3 List Of Process Agent
A lot of people get scared of this name probably because they are not aware of it. The BOC-3 list of process agents is a very simple requirement to comply with. If you are a “for hire” carrier and want to apply for your ICC authority or trucking authority or MC authority, you must also register for the BOC-3 list of process agents.
Unified Carrier Registration
If you own a commercial vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 lbs or above or if you run a commercial vehicle that pulls a trailer and the combined weight rating is 10,000 lbs or more and if you intend to cross state lines with it, you must register for UCR.
Private carriers, exempt carriers, and any vehicles or carriers with ICC authority, MC number, DOT authority, trucking authority, etc. are also required to register for the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) program.
Single State Registration
You should be aware that the unified carrier registration system has effectively replaced the single state registration system. The former was implemented in September 2007. All the carriers are required to register under this unified program instead of their home state which was the previous requirement.
New York Highway Use Tax Registration
New York requires you to register for a highway use tax. It is a weight distance tax state that requires your vehicle to comply with these requirements if your vehicle has a weight of more than 18,000 lbs. It applies to your truck and trailer combination, tractor and trailer combination, and other commercial vehicles as well. You should apply for this before you enter the state of New York.
Kentucky KYU Registration
If you want to enter Kentucky with a vehicle that has a weight of 60,000 lbs or more than that, you should get registered for a Kentucky KYU number. This process must be completed before you enter the state.
New Mexico Entry Requirements
New Mexico is also a weight distance tax state. You are required to register for this tax before you enter New Mexico. As, You have to pay a mileage rate to cross this state. You can either do it at the border or you can pre-register for the New Mexico weight distance tax. You just have to pay once every quarter. It is a great idea to pre-register with the state for this tax because otherwise, you will be paying a lot more for it. Whether you are going east or west on I-40 with your commercial vehicle that has a weight of more than 80,000 LBS, you can enter this state by just paying $16.50 instead of $60 if you choose to pre-register.
Oregon Weight Distance Tax Registration
Oregon is the only state that does not have the IFTA fuel tax. If you require to travel through this state, you can either pay at the border when you are about to enter Oregon or register for the weight distance tax and pay a monthly amount.
Texas DOT/ TX DOT/ Texas DOT Authority
Texas also issues DOT numbers do commercial vehicles. They are known as Texas DOT, TX DOT, DOT Texas, Texas DOT license, DOT State TX, and many other names as well. They are required by different types of businesses to conduct various operations. You can easily pick or deliver loads inside Texas by applying for a Texas intrastate authority for your commercial vehicles.
This applies to your truck and semi-tractors, trailers and tractors, and other vehicle combinations. If you intend to pick loads in Texas and want to convey them out of the state or if you want to bring any loads back into the state, you will need to have a US DOT number. If you intend to transport loads out of the state or bring back any loads into Texas, applying for interstate authority which is commonly known as ICC authority or MC number or DOT authority is also important.
There are certain loads that are exempt from any requirements and to haul them you will not need ICC authority or DOT authority or trucking authority. You can cross state lines with them without any such legal formalities but if you are traveling with a vehicle that has a weight of more than 10,000 LBS, you must register for a USDOT number. Also, if the vehicle has a weight of more than 26,000 LBS and you want to cross state lines with it, you will need an IRP license plate. Make sure to register for your IFTA fuel tax and unified carrier registration program as well.
The 2290 Federal Highway Use Tax
If you have a tractor-trailer combination or any vehicle that has a weight of more than 54,999 LBS, you will be subject to an annual 2290 federal highway use tax.
Federal ID Number
The federal ID number is also known as EIN and if you are looking to file employment taxes as an employer, you will need your federal ID number. If the trucks, trailers, or your tractor and trailer combination have a weight of more than 54,999 LBS when they are loaded, you must file the 2290 federal highway use tax as mentioned above. Remember that your social security number will not be acceptable for filing.
Understanding Farm Truck And Trailer Regulations
Every state across the US has its own farm truck and trailer regulations. There are different registration requirements as per the state that you live in. You need to get in touch with your state office to know more about these requirements. If you intend to cross state lines with any farm plated trucks, any trailer and tractor combination, or any semi-tractor combination with trucks or trailers, you must register for a US DOT number and IFTA fuel tax.
IRP license plates are important for any trucks and tractor-trailer combinations that have a weight of more than 26,000 lbs and intend to cross state lines. They will also need a US DOT number and will have to file for IFTA fuel tax as well. Any commercial license plate requirements will be primarily based on the weight of the truck or the tractor and trailer combination or any commercial vehicle that you use.