As three million drivers will be impacted by the upcoming ELD mandate, many have been motivated to make better use of telematics systems for managing their fleet. This was on many people’s minds at the 2016 Annual IFTA / IRP Audit Workshop, where the focus was the future of IFTA reporting. IFTA is the International Fuel Tax Agreement for reporting and paying taxes on fuel by interjurisdictional carriers (IJCs). At the workshop, there was a special emphasis on the use of electronic logging and how to audit these systems.
Leveraging ELD Devices for IFTA Reporting
Since all IFTA fleets will also be using electronic logging devices (ELD) for Hours of Service compliance, they should leverage their ELDs for automating IFTA reporting.
Benefits of Automating IFTA Fuel Tax Reporting:
- Automatically calculate distance traveled by jurisdiction for each vehicle.
- Eliminate manual entry.
- Reduce audit risk by removing inconsistencies.
- Reduce fleet management processing time and increase driver productivity.
- Easily import fuel card data, rather than calculate manually based on receipts.
Suggested Post: Quick Guide to Creating an IFTA Report in MyGeotab
Will My New ELD System Comply with IFTA Reporting?
Confirming your ELD provider can support all of your telematics needs prevents having to support two (or more) telematics systems in vehicles. Here are some questions you can ask to help determine if your ELDs comply with IFTA reporting:
- Can my ELD system run detailed trip reports?
- The ELD mandate requires 1 GPS log per hour. Detailed and highly accurate IFTA reporting will require more frequent GPS logging, especially for short haul.
- Do the trip reports identify the origin and destination of travel?
- Are routes of travel identified in the report?
- Will the report calculate total trip distance along with distance within each jurisdiction?
- Does the telematics solution backup your data for the next four years in case of an audit?
- Will the ELD system notify you if the device fails? You must failover to manual records if your telematics solution fails.
IFTA Auditing and the 3% Standard
Each jurisdiction in IFTA has agreed to audit 3% of its licensed base annually. You may be more likely to see an audit if you still maintain a manual recording system, to ensure your records are accurate. If you do get audited and use a telematics solution for your IFTA reporting, auditors will be pleased since electronic systems eliminate manual errors and calculation logic does not vary for each trip.
Common mistakes with manual record keeping:
- Mileage gaps
- Travel to non-contiguous jurisdictions
- Erroneous MPG
- Insufficient trip data
- Arithmetical errors
- Odometer values differ from GPS distance
- Incomplete fuel receipt records
Comparison of Manual vs. Automated IFTA Reporting
Manual IFTA Reporting
- Drivers records odometer values at border crossings for all trips.
- Company personnel gather trip data from drivers and aggregate data.
- Fuel receipts are gathered and totalled.
- Fuel manager analyzes the reported trip data and fuel receipts, recording the data for each jurisdiction.
- Company personnel fill out and file the necessary tax forms for the base jurisdiction.
Automated IFTA Reporting with MyGeotab
Geotab’s software integrates IFTA mileage collection. It saves time by removing the manual process of tracking miles by state, and it also improves accuracy.
- Telematics device logs vehicle odometer and GPS position at a high resolution, accurately capturing each vehicle’s daily trips.
- MyGeotab calculates entry and exit odometers. MyGeotab also helps to identify any vehicle or device issues to bring to attention of auditor.
- Upcoming: MyGeotab’s automated fuel card import will be added to the IFTA report to further streamline IFTA reporting.
- Automated IFTA report can be sent to Geotab partner to automate populating tax forms.