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Showing posts with label IFTA Records. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IFTA Records. Show all posts

Monday, May 1, 2017

The IFTA Deadline is Here

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Uh oh! Time is up. Today is the first quarter IFTA deadline! We hope you’re ready to file by midnight so you won’t have to deal with penalties from the IRS. Also, we hope that you aren’t freaking out while trying to get all of your calculations together. Simply take a deep breath and head to ExpressTruckTax to generate your IFTA totals in a matter of minutes.

IFTA


Just in case you need a refresher, IFTA is the International Fuel Tax Agreement that includes the 48 contiguous United States and Canadian provinces. It’s designed to simplify the fuel use reporting for motor carriers that operate in more than one state. Before IFTA each state had their own regulations for fuel tax reporting and the process wasn’t fun.

You have to file a quarterly IFTA report to get your IFTA license and two decals if you have a qualifying motor vehicle that operates between two or more jurisdictions (states). Now a qualifying motor vehicle is a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles designed, used, or maintained for the transportation of persons or property with:

- Two axles and a gross weight exceeding 26,000 pounds
- Two axles with a registered weight exceeding 26,000 pounds
- Three or more axles, regardless of weight
- Or a combination weight of over 26,000 pounds.

Remember, recreational vehicles are exempt from IFTA and you file your report in your base jurisdiction. Your base jurisdiction is the state where your qualifying vehicles are registered, records of your vehicle are kept and can be made available in the event of an audit, and some mileage is accrued by your qualified motor vehicles within the fleet traveling in that jurisdiction.

So, what exactly do you need on your IFTA report?

- You need total miles traveled by your qualifying motor vehicles per jurisdiction including taxable and nontaxable, IFTA and non-IFTA, and trip permit miles.

- The total gallons of fuel consumed by your qualifying vehicles per jurisdiction including taxable and nontaxable, IFTA and non-IFTA.

- The total miles traveled per jurisdiction.

- The total taxable gallons of fuel consumed and purchased per jurisdiction.

- And the current tax rate per jurisdiction.

That may seem like a lot, but it's actually pretty easy and ExpressTruckTax can help. Simply use the fuel tax calculator to quickly figure out how much you owe, use the quick entry screen to enter your odometer readings, get your miles  from your trip sheets automatically, and more.

Or use ExpressIFTA, the ExpressTruckTax IFTA program to enter your business details, base jurisdiction, vehicle details, and mile and fuel records to instantly have an IFTA report generated. This report will have your IFTA totals calculated so you can quickly use it to complete your IFTA return. This report can be email or printed to quickly be passed on to anyone who needs your totals too! Best of all, the step-by-step process only takes a few minutes to complete!

Why Not Handle Your HVUT Today Too?


Aren’t you tired of constantly dealing with taxes? First, your business taxes were due, then your personal taxes, now IFTA, and soon your HVUT is due! Head to our sister company, TSNAmerica to pre-file your HVUT to go ahead and knock it out.

All you have to do is call them at 803.386.0320 and they will file your HVUT for you. There has never been an easier way to handle your 2290.

Once you call them they will email you consent forms so you can give them permission to file your 2290 for you, and they will handle the rest. Your 2290 will be submitted on July 1st unless you would like for it to be transmitted on a later date. Plus, you’ll receive your Schedule 1 as soon as it’s stamped by the IRS. 

We’re Here To Help


If you have any questions about anything truck tax related please don’t hesitate to contact the dedicated ExpressTruckTax support team. We’re available over the phone at 704.234.6005 from 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM EST Monday - Friday. You can also reach us via live chat and take advantage of our 24/7 email support at support@expresstrucktax.com.
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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Don't Let IFTA Sneak Up On You

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Doesn’t it seem like you just did your IFTA report yesterday? Well, oh how the time flies because the next IFTA deadline is right around the corner! Your first quarter IFTA report is due by April 30th,  which is a Sunday, so the deadline actually falls on Monday, May 1st. That day will be here before you know it, so don’t let it sneak up on you. It’s never too early to start working on your report. Use ExpressTruckTax to calculate your IFTA totals and learn all about IFTA here.

All About IFTA


IFTA or the International Fuel Tax Agreement is an agreement that simplifies the reporting of fuel in the lower 48 states. The purpose of IFTA reports are to simplify the reporting of fuel use by motor carriers that operate in more than one jurisdiction so states can equally distribute per jurisdiction.

The taxes are then used to repair the public highways that truckers frequent, by repaving roads and reinforcing bridges the routes become safer and smoother. Also, better roads mean less wear and tear on your vehicle.

Now only qualify vehicles that travel between multiple jurisdictions are subject to IFTA. You must have your IFTA license and two IFTA decals on your vehicle that are provided by their base jurisdiction.

Your base jurisdiction is where your qualified vehicles are based for registration. It’s where operational control and operational records of the licensee's qualified motor vehicles are maintained and in the case of an audit can be made available. It’s also where some mileage is gained by qualified motor vehicles traveling through that jurisdiction within the fleet.

If you don’t live in a base jurisdiction you can apply for an IFTA license from any of the jurisdictions you regularly travel in.

Qualifying vehicles are ones that are motor vehicles that are used, designed, or maintained for the transportation of persons or property having two axles and a gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 pounds, two axles and a registered weight exceeding 26,000 pounds, three or more axles regardless of weight, and a combination weight exceeding 26,000 pounds.

You need to provide the following information to correctly complete your IFTA return:

- Total miles, both taxable and nontaxable, traveled by each of the licensee’s qualified motor vehicles for all jurisdictions, including trip permit miles. This includes both IFTA and non-IFTA jurisdictions.
- Total gallons of fuel consumed by the qualified motor vehicles, both taxable and nontaxable per jurisdiction, IFTA and non-IFTA.
- The total amount of tax-paid gallons of fuel purchased in each jurisdiction.
- The current tax rate per jurisdiction.

If you don’t travel outside of your base jurisdiction a lot you don’t have to necessarily apply for an IFTA license. You can apply for a local trip permit with the local DMV of the jurisdiction you’ll be traveling in.

It’s important to have your IFTA license with you and permits properly display under your truck door windows at all time are you could be subject to getting a citation and having to buy a temporary permit.

Failure to file your IFTA reports by the deadline or to file at all will result in hefty penalties. You’ll be fined $50 or 10% of the delinquent taxes, whichever is greater. On top of that, base jurisdictions reserve the right to impose additional penalties based on the laws of the jurisdiction.

Also, base jurisdictions will assess interest on all of the unpaid taxes due for each jurisdiction except for the taxes collected directly by other jurisdictions. For US jurisdictions interest will build up at a rate of 1% per month. Interest will build at a rate equal to the Canadian Federal Treasury Bill rate, plus 2% for Canadian jurisdictions, plus the rate is adjusted every quarter.

Remember you have to complete your IFTA report 4 times a year. The quarterly IFTA deadlines are:

1st Quarter: January 1st - March 31st. Due date: April 30th.

2nd Quarter: April 1st - June 30th. Due date: July 31st.

3rd Quarter: July 1st - September 30th. Due Date: October 31st.

4th Quarter: October 1st - December 31st. Due Date: January 31st.

Note: If the deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday then the deadline is moved to the next business day.

ExpressTruckTax is Here To Help

Don’t let IFTA stress you out. Head to ExpressTruckTax.com to quickly and easily calculate your IFTA totals with their quick entry odometer entry screen, fuel tax calculator, and more. Our dedicated support team is full of IFTA experts who are ready to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any truck tax questions that you may have via live chat, phone, or email.
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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Don't Make These Mistakes When Buying a New Truck

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We made it through winter, and Spring is upon us. Goodbye dangerous, icy roads!

And not only are plants springing up from the ground, but truckers are thinking, “Hey, why don’t I get rid of my old rig and buy a new one?”

And we’re right there with you, Trucking Nation. Sometimes it’s better to just say goodbye to that old truck and hit the road on something shiny and new (to you, at least).

But beware, there are mistakes you can make when you purchase a new vehicle!

So we’ve thrown together a few tips to help you avoid those new truck-buying mistakes.


Don't Blow Your Budget

Factor in how you are using the truck, your distance traveled, and even what you will be hauling. The last thing you want is to drop all your cash on a beast of a truck and discover that you’re not even using it right.

And we know you don’t want to buy something that can barely haul an empty flatbed. So list out your truck requirements AND your expected uses on a sheet of paper, on your phone, or anywhere you can keep track.

From this list, create a BUDGET. Allow yourself time to look over it and figure out what you want to buy.

And don’t go into any purchase blind! Calculate the costs you’ll incur for the purchase, as well as your insurance, taxes, and all the accoutrement (that’s French for extra stuff).

You should probably aim your budget forward, too. You’ll need to factor in your cost of maintenance so that you don’t break the bank a few months down the road.

Don't Pick a Lemon

While we say find something within your budget, make sure you also appeal to your better creature comforts.

You’re gonna be stuck in this rig on the road for who knows how long, so make sure you can live comfortably in the thing. Check the amenities, so that you don’t end up in a truck that is hard to live in.

We don’t know if you co-drive or bring pets with you, but factor in your comfort level, your partner’s, and your pet’s.

Don't Bungle Your Taxes

Sometimes it sounds like we’re beating a dead horse, but we have to say it. No matter what, your 2290s don’t transfer!

That means you need to file for a new 2290 when you get that new truck. We’ve come across plenty of truckers who either don’t know this or think it doesn’t apply to them. It does!

And it’s an easy fix, too. You just need to e-file Form 8849 and claim a credit and you’re good!

Don't Settle

There’s nothing worse than buyer’s remorse. Don’t settle for a new rig that doesn’t meet the quality standards you know you need. I mean a deal is a deal, but make sure you’re happy with it at the end of the day.

And don’t forget, there’s an IFTA deadline on May 2nd! Head over to ExpressIFTA for the easiest way to generate your fuel tax report.

As always, if you have any questions about e-filing your HVUT 2290s or generating your upcoming IFTA report, give us a call at 704.234.6005.

Bought a new truck recently? Share it with us on Facebook and Twitter!



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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

IFTA Filing Do's & Don'ts: Part 2 Avoiding an Audit

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With just 4 days left to file 4th Quarter IFTA returns, it’s crunch time. Right about now, all of the IFTA procrastinators out there are starting to panic and hastily fill in their returns. (No judgement, truckers have way too much on their plates!)

If you happen to fall into this category, then slooooow doooown. The last thing you want is to quickly fill in your return and submit it with the mistakes below, all of which are red flags for IFTA auditors.

As it is, each IFTA jurisdiction is required to audit 3% of its registrants each year, and if you commit one or more of these IFTA sins, you’re greatly increasing your chances of becoming part of that dreaded 3%.

Before you make a mistake that could cost you your business, take a few seconds to make sure you’re avoiding these IFTA errors.


Avoiding IFTA Audits

  • DO: Make sure your trip sheets have continuity from the trip’s starting location to the destination. Every jurisdiction between the start and end points should be included.
  • DON’T: Submit a trip sheet with non-continuous jurisdictions. Unfortunately, your truck cannot teleport from New Jersey to Ohio, and IFTA auditors know it.

  • DO: Record all personal and non-taxable mileage. 
  • DON’T: Forget that your end-of-day miles to a restaurant or lodging still need to be recorded. If you don’t, then your end of day location won’t match your beginning of day location, which is known as a gap in mileage.

  • DO: Record your exact fuel use and milage. Then use these numbers to calculate your MPG each quarter.
  • DON’T: Do the reverse, which is to calculate your fuel use by dividing your mileage by a set MPG. This is cheating! For one, your MPG will fluctuate naturally based on road conditions and an infinite number of other variables, so you cannot assume it will always be the same. These kinds of over-simplified fuel calculations are huge red flags to IFTA auditors.

  • DO: Keep an eye on your MPG. If your MPG changes drastically from quarter to quarter, there needs to be a reason, like a change in your vehicle, your operations, or your load type & weight. 
  • DON’T: Submit a return with a MPG below 5 or above 10. If your MPG is outside this range, there is likely an error in your recordkeeping or calculations. IFTA auditors know this, which is why many states won’t accept your return until your MPG falls in this range.

  • DO: Follow the tips for recordkeeping that we covered in Part 1. Keeping precise trip sheets will help you avoid all of the above errors.
  • DON’T: Get lazy with your documentation. Your business depends on complying with IFTA filing requirements, so use a program like TruckLogics to keep your trip sheets organized and up-to-date everyday.

  • DO: Be proactive and file on-time. The best way to do this is by using a program like ExpressIFTA which calculates the taxes and fills in the return for you. 
  • DON’T: Wait until the last minute and then rush to fill in your return the night before. Obviously, this leads to mistakes, which lead to audits. If you’re that pressed for time, have a processing service like Truck Services of North America file your quarterly IFTA return. They prepare your return based on your trip sheets, and then submit it directly to your base jurisdiction. And since they’re IFTA Pro’s, they know to avoid all of the red flags above.

  • DO: Remain calm & cooperate if you are selected for audit. Original documentation for the past 12 quarters should be kept in your base jurisdiction for the auditor to access.
  • DON’T: Avoid the auditor’s phone calls, shred your documents, or flee to Costa Rica. The 4-year retention requirement for documentation will be extended indefinitely until you cooperate. This means that legally they can keep coming after you with no statute of limitations. And the less you cooperate, the more likely you’ll face steep penalties, or worse, revocation of your IFTA license. 
Ready to get started? Whether you need help creating an ExpressIFTA account, or you have questions about having a processing service prepare your return for you, call us and we can give you advice or connect you to someone you can trust.

We’re available 8-6 pm EST at 704.234.6005 or on live chat. Or for 24/7 assistance, just email us at support@expresstrucktax.com. With the deadline looming so close, it’s nice to know that you can reach out for help at all hours of the night. When crisis strikes, the Support Team will be ready for you!

Ready for More? Check out Part 1, chock-full of Tips for IFTA Recordkeeping!

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

IFTA Filing Do's & Dont's: Part 1

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There’s just 10 days until 4th Quarter IFTA reports are due.

Are you ready? If you’re trying to get your act together at the last minute, then ExpressTruckTax can help you prepare your return, quickly & correctly– all while keeping your sanity in tact!

We’ve got do’s & don’ts for IFTA record-keeping & return preparation. So please do avoid these don'ts (and don't ignore these do's) to ensure IFTA-filing success!


IFTA Recordkeeping Do’s & Don’ts


  • DO: Record fuel use and fuel purchases every day. Your records should include the amount and type of fuel purchased, the name & address of the gas station, the cost per gallon, total of the sale, and the original receipt.
  • DON’T: Assume you can recreate a record of your fuel transactions later using your pile of receipts. If a receipt goes missing, you’ll have no way of knowing without a fuel record to check against.


  • DO: Keep all original fuel receipts in good condition for at least three years after the close of the quarter.
  • DON’T: Wrinkle or write on your receipts. If they’re stashed in the crevices of your cab or mashed into a shoebox, it’s time to buy an accordion file folder.

  • DO: Maintain accurate distance records including your mileage per jurisdiction, the routes you took, and any detours or out-of-route mileage accrued.
  • DON’T: Record your estimated mileage for a trip as your actual mileage. Not only will this leave out personal miles you drive (to the grocery store, etc), but it’s also likely that in the course of your trip, you will deviate from the route your estimate was based upon. Detours happen. Record them all. 

  • DO: Use a program like TruckLogics to keep precise trip sheets. Be sure to update them daily.
  • DON’T: Wait until the end of the quarter to fill in your trip sheets. This leads to imprecise records and to red flags that could trigger an IFTA audit. 

Preparing your Return: Do's & Don'ts


  • DO: Use ExpressIFTA to prepare your return faster than ever before, and with way less work than you’re used to.

    With ExpressIFTA, you simply input your fuel use and mileage, and then kick back while the program calculates your tax and MPG for you. And the perks don’t stop there. Not only will it perform all calculations, but it will also plug all of the numbers into a completed IFTA return appropriate for your state.

    Pro Tip: If you use an IFTA-approved GPS that records your trip sheets, you can import that information and use it to create your return. 
    After importing or entering your mileage and fuel use, all you’ll need to do is print the return– and mail it, of course (and they even include instructions on how to do it).

  • DON’T: Waste your time calculating your tax and tediously filling in a long and scary IFTA return. Hair pulling, insomnia, and loss of sanity are all common side effects.


And here’s one last DO for you! DO call the ExpressTruckTax team for help filing your 4th Quarter IFTA returns. They’re available in our sunny hometown of Rock Hill, 24/7, and they’d be happy to walk you through the ExpressIFTA set up.

Call them at 704.234.6005, message them on live chat, or email them at support@expresstrucktax.com. No matter how you get in contact, you’re guaranteed the support experience of a lifetime!

Check out Part 2 for Tips to Avoid an IFTA Audit. You don’t want to miss this! 


For Tips on HVUT Recordkeeping, mosey over to:

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax 2290 & IFTA: an Overview

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What are they?
Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (or HVUT) is, just as it sounds, an annual tax on Heavy Vehicles that operate on public highways. The IRS Form 2290 is what is used by the government to collect this tax. It is a fee that the IRS requires all vehicles with registered gross weights equal to or exceeding 55,000 pounds to pay annually on heavy vehicles operating on public highways. The tax collected is a significant source of transportation funding in the U.S. In 2006 alone, the HVUT generated more than $1.4 billion in Federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) revenue.

IFTA is short for the International Fuel Tax Agreement, which is an agreement between American and Canadian jurisdictions to simplify the reporting of motor fuel taxes purchased and consumed. Under this agreement, one quarterly fuel use tax report is filed representing miles traveled, fuel purchased and used, and taxes/credits due in each member jurisdiction. The base jurisdiction then distributes the funds to each affected jurisdiction according to information contained in the quarterly fuel use tax reports. An interstate motor carrier operating "qualified motor vehicles" between at least 2 member jurisdictions (The 48 contiguous states of the US and 10 Canadian provinces) must have an International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) license and decals issued by their base jurisdiction. If you have the IFTA license, you must file the Quarterly IFTA Return to your base jurisdiction.

How do they Work?
Besides the fact that they are both fees imposed on heavy vehicles, these are both similar in that they are both very complicated through the traditional paper-filing process. The complications with IRS Form 2290 come from the difficulty of actually filing one. The trouble with IFTA is that it is an incredibly detailed system.

The IRS Form 2290 includes a Schedule 1 which must be stamped by the IRS. This can either be mailed to the IRS, which can take up to several weeks to process. It can also be taken directly to the IRS office, which can take several hours of your day. This must be accompanied by the proof of EFTPS payment.

IFTA requires drivers of Heavy Vehicles to keep trip logs of miles traveled as well as how much fuel was purchased in each state or province. IFTA must be filed quarterly and the filing date is the 30th of the following month. These trip logs are difficult to keep up because they require very detailed information. As mentioned earlier, these forms are then filed with their base jurisdiction. Most states do not provide E-Filing as of yet. Therefore most of the time these forms are mailed to the state.

One Solution for Both
A simple solution for both of these is to use an online E-File Provider. The most advanced of the available services is www.expresstrucktax.com. Express Truck Tax acts as a one stop shop for all truck tax needs. Through them, you can E-File your Form 2290 with the IRS. It also provides a way to keep online records of your mileage and fuel purchases for IFTA reporting. This can make the IFTA process much easier.
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E-file your HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.