Wednesday, September 26, 2012

3rd Quarter IFTA due by October 31, 2012

IFTA is the International Fuel Tax Agreement and is a tax collection agreement by and among the 48 contiguous States and the 10 Canadian Provinces bordering the US, in which motor fuels use taxation laws are uniform with respect to qualified motor vehicles operated in more than one member jurisdiction.

Who Must File?
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.

Qualified motor vehicle means a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles 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; or
  • A combination weight exceeding 26,000 pounds.
Recreational vehicles are exempt from IFTA fuel tax reporting.

Base jurisdiction means the member jurisdiction where:
  • Qualified motor vehicles are based for vehicle registration purposes;
  • Operational control and operational records of the licensee’s qualified motor vehicles are maintained or can be made available in case of an audit; and
  • Some mileage is accrued by qualified motor vehicles within the fleet travelling through that jurisdiction

If you have the IFTA license, you must file the Quarterly IFTA tax return to your base jurisdiction, even if the licensee does not operate or purchase any taxable fuel in an IFTA member jurisdiction during the specific quarter. You will need to separate your mileage and fuel records for each fuel type. September 30, 2012 is the end of the 3rd Quarter for IFTA and the deadline to file your return is October 31, 2012.
If you operate in New York, Kentucky, New Mexico, or Oregon you will also need to file a Weight Distance Tax Return, in each state and that deadline is also October 31, 2012.

What you need:
  1. Mileage log-whether you use manual trip sheets, GPS, or electronic trip sheets; it is not only necessary to have in order to file your quarterly IFTA, but you will need these if you are ever audited.
  2. Fuel Receipts-you will need to know how many gallons of fuel were purchased in each state.

Options to prepare and file your return:
  1. Do it yourself, you can calculate your own return by hand and mail or e-file the return. To find out the current tax rate for each state go to
  2. Use a software program that will calculate your return for you, like, which will reduce the chances of miscalculations.
  3. Use Truck Services of North America and let us take care of preparing and filing the return for you.

Regardless of the method you choose to file your quarterly tax returns, it is crucial to maintain accurate records and file your returns on time to avoid fines and penalties. As a premier processing agency, Truck Services of North America can set up your accounts and file your Quarterly Taxes for you.  TSNA takes the paperwork out of your way. For more details contact us at or call 803.386.0320.

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