International Fuel Tax Agreement
IFTA Tax Reporting
Each tax quarter, the licensee must complete and file an IFTA tax return and Schedule 1. In order to report taxes correctly, the licensee must view, print, or download the applicable tax rates for the quarter being reported. These tax rates are posted by IFTA, Inc., and can be found at www.iftach.org.
The booklet How to Calculate the IFTA Quarterly Tax Return (85800) provides step by step instructions for completing the tax return.
Approximately 30 days before each filing due date, the Bureau of Commercial Vehicle and Driver Services (Bureau) mails a courtesy tax filing notice with a personalized tax return form to all licensed carriers. This paper return should be completed, signed, and submitted before the applicable delinquent date. Carriers are responsible for maintaining operating records, upon which they can rely to make sure their filing is based on the accurate status of their account. Therefore, if there is any financial information on the paper tax return regarding past amounts due or tax credits, it should be carefully reviewed and updated, as needed. However, if any of the personal carrier information needs to be updated, the Bureau should be contacted. Mailing address updates require a Change of Address Form (85041).
Note: If the IFTA account is new and was not established until after the Bureau’s tax filing notice was mailed, the licensee will need to file the first tax return using a blank IFTA Tax Return and Schedule 1 (85921/85922).
E-File for IFTA Tax Returns
All carriers are encouraged to report their IFTA taxes online. This paperless method ensures more efficient processing and provides instant confirmation when returns and applicable payments have been filed timely. Also, online account information is real time, unlike the preprinted return, that is only current as of the date it was generated (generally 30 days beforehand). Another convenience is that copies of all tax returns filed online can be retrieved by the carrier at any time, without contacting the Bureau.
Quarterly Reporting Periods and Due Dates
Tax returns must be filed for every quarter, even if no operations or purchase of fuel in an IFTA jurisdiction occurred during that particular quarter.
|Tax Return Reporting Quarters||Due Dates|
|January thru March||April 30|
|April thru June||July 31|
|July thru September||October 31|
|October thru December||January 31|
If the due date above falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or state legal holiday, the next business day is considered the due date. Note: Due to current technical limitations, the due date that appears on the pre-populated tax returns mailed to carriers each quarter will only reflect the normal due date, even if an extended due date applies.
The postmark date on the envelope containing tax returns submitted by mail will be used to determine date of receipt. Note: Tax returns submitted by mail should have a legible postmark, imprinted by the post office that took custody of the mail package. If a tax return is being submitted close to the due date, it is the tax filer’s responsibility to ensure the post office cancels the postage with a postmark that indicates the date of cancellation. Sometimes mail placed in drop boxes is not postmarked until the next business day. Tax returns submitted online are considered filed upon completion. To ensure your online tax return is completed properly, follow all E-File instructions.
Each tax return (and any payment due for the applicable quarter) must be postmarked, filed online, or hand delivered by the reporting quarter’s due date or extended due date, or it will be delinquent and subject to a late penalty. Note: Due to current technical limitations, tax returns submitted online will be charged the late filing fee if filed on the extended due date. This fee will be refunded to the taxpayer. However, you can avoid this by filing online on or before the normal due date or filing by mail with a postmark on or before the extended due date.
Penalty and Interest
The penalty for late filing and/or late payment is the greater of $50.00 or ten percent (10%) of the net tax due to all member jurisdictions. In addition, IFTA requires that interest be charged, and this interest shall be set at an annual rate of two (2) percentage points above the underpayment rate established in the Internal Revenue Code. The interest rate is adjusted on January 1 of each year. It will accrue on delinquent payments monthly, at 1/12 of the annual rate.
Dave Kerner, Executive Director