Skip to content

Top 6 IFTA Reporting Mistakes

IFTA reporting is required for all carriers that travel outside of their base jurisdiction with vehicles that weigh more than 26000 pounds or have 3 or more axles. However, navigating the IFTA reporting process can be complex, and reporting errors will lead to fines, penalties, IFTA audits, and even revocation of IFTA licenses.

In this blog, we are going to break down the top IFTA reporting mistakes and provide guidance on how to avoid making these errors.

  1. Filing Late
    One of the most common mistakes is filing IFTA reports after the deadline. IFTA reports are due at the end of each quarter – January, April, July, and October. Late filings will result penalties, such as $50 per late report or 10% of the amount owed on top of your current bill, whichever one happens to be greater.

  2. Inaccurate or Incomplete Filings
    Several carriers unknowingly file inaccurate or incomplete reports! Whether it's missing fuel receipts, improper mileage recording, or incorrect state tax calculations, these errors can result in penalties. In addition, consistent filings of inaccurate or incomplete reports may lead to an IFTA audit.

  3. Inaccurate Mileage Records
    Accurate mileage records are essential for IFTA reporting. Failure to record specific mileage when entering and exiting state lines can impact your fuel tax calculations. Additionally, it's crucial to report mileage for personal use and during loading and unloading activities. Any suspicion of missing or inaccurate miles by the FMCSA could lead to an IFTA audit

    For a detailed breakdown on what is needed to properly record mileage for IFTA reports, check out our blog – Are You Prepared To Pass An IFTA/IRP Audit?

  4. Utilizing Non IFTA-Compliant ELD to Track Data
    Using a non-IFTA-compliant Electronic Logging Device (ELD) can result in incomplete or incompatible data for IFTA reporting. IFTA-compliant ELDs, like Samsara, offer real-time data and mileage tracking to ensure accuracy and streamline your IFTA reporting efforts.

    For further information on how to determine whether your ELD is IFTA-compliant, check out our blog – Is Your ELD IFTA Compliant?

  5. Inaccurate Fuel Receipts
    Fuel receipts must contain specific information to be considered IFTA compliant. Additionally, the details on fuel receipts should be clear and easy to read. If your receipts lack data, are printed too lightly, have stains, or are missing altogether, you may be subject to IFTA penalties and audits.

    For a detailed breakdown on what information is needed to ensure your fuel receipts are IFTA compliant, check out our blog – How To Ensure Your Fuel Receipts Meet IFTA Standards

  6. Not Filing Under Each Jurisdiction Properly
    While IFTA calculates fuel tax based on the fuel consumed within state lines, mileage reporting tax (MTR) is calculated based on all of the miles driven within state lines. Although MTR is part of overall IFTA reporting, only five states (CT, OR, NM, NY, and KY) exclusively use MTR. Carriers often struggle to understand the difference between IFTA and MTR and fail to recognize which states require MTR-based reporting, which ultimately leads to inaccurate reporting.

Avoid Making These Same IFTA Mistakes

To avoid these common IFTA reporting mistakes, you must pay attention to detail, keep thorough and accurate records, and ensure you are adhering to quarterly reporting deadlines. While this may seem straightforward, many carriers still struggle with filing accurate and timely IFTA reports and turn to IFTA reporting specialists to ensure they are staying compliant.