FUEL TAX FILING
As a registrant under the International Registration Plan (IRP) and a licensee under the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) you are required to prepare and maintain detailed and complete fuel tax filing records of your operations on each jurisdiction. The Individual Vehicle Distance Records (IVDR) must support the mileage reported on your IRP renewal and/or fuel purchases reported on your IFTA tax returns. Adequate records are also important to support requests you may make for credits or refunds for tax-paid and nontaxable uses of fuel. All records used to support reported fuel tax filing, mileage reports and fuel must be retained for a period of four years for California IFTA. Other jurisdictions may require you to keep your records for a longer period of time.
The record retention years vary on each state and each impose an assessment for inadequate/incomplete records from 20% to 100% plus a penalty fee. In addition, if you do not maintain records or provide requested information you may be charge with a criminal violation, you may be fined $5,000 per each violation or you may be subject to appropriate administrative action or both.
In addition, a lien, suspension of authority, and seizure of vehicles could be filed against your company.
The acceptable source documents to report mileage consist of trip log sheets or electronic logging devices (ELD) approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). It has been suggested and preferred by auditors from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) to maintain records using trip log sheets as the ELDs can malfunction and stop recording your trips and miles at a certain point without notice, making this an inconvenience when reporting your records on the quarterly returns.
Daily log books are only for auditing purposes for the Department of Transportation (DOT). The information provided here does not comply with the Distance Records requested for the CDTFA quarterly reports.
You are required to file an IFTA report filing quarterly tax return even if you do not travel during a given quarter known as “zero-mile report”. Moreover, once your IFTA decals are placed on your vehicle you must report all miles traveled including local miles such as taking your truck to a repair shop.
You must maintain complete records of all fuel purchases. If using a fuel card system for your fleet you must be able to identify each qualified vehicle in your fleet that was fueled. It is recommended that each fuel card be assigned to a specific unit to avoid reporting gallons under the wrong unit.
Road Ready specializes on analyzing your trip logs for accuracy verifying that the records provided comply with CDTFA regulations not limited to discrepancies on odometer readings, gaps between states, over and under reporting miles and gallons, to mention a few.
Road Ready also assists with IRP, IFTA audits and IFTA report filing. We developed a system to effectively work with the auditor’s expectations meeting their deadlines. From document examination, sorting, organizing, printing, running summaries and compiling the records to present to the auditor for review. Road Ready will continue to support tax payer through audit until finalized.
Form 2290 also known as Heavy Highway Use Tax is a weight permit required by the state to operate any vehicle that weighs over 54,999 lbs. Commercial vehicles traveling fewer than 5,000 miles annually are exempt from filing a Form 2290. Filing your 2290 on time is important due to the fact that the IRS penalizes you if you are late. The covered period is from July 1st of the current year and goes through June 30th of the following year. You will need a Federal ID# to file a 2290. There are no restrictions on type of registration. This form applies to all that meet the weight requirement. The IRS deadline to file a 2290 is 30 days from registration and the DMV deadline to file is 60 days from purchase date of the vehicle. Road Ready obtains 2290’s for our clients in a matter of minutes.