Every year, just before the month of April when tax season is in full swing, we taxpayers run around like chickens with their heads cut off, trying to pull each and every available deduction and refund. Kind of in the same way, construction materials fleets have to dig through multiple reports if they want to maximize their claims in fuel tax refunds.
According to this article on ForConstructionPros.com, fleets can use the information from telematics systems to develop much more accurate fuel tax recovery recordkeeping and reporting integrity, which can provide the documentation that’s required to file for state fuel tax reimbursements. A telematics systems helps in gathering all the necessary information and data required for rock solid refund applications.
Having all of the necessary reports in one location can even streamline the complexities of applying for tax refunds for operations who service customers in more than one state.
The International Fuel Tax Agreement, or IFTA, requires drivers to record when crossing state lines; while this agreement was meant to relieve trucking companies of some paperwork, it’s become a major cause of confusion. Just to stay compliant, the agreement requires owners and operators to file a quarterly fuel tax report, listing miles traveled in all participating jurisdictions and gallons of fuel purchased there.
The report must include the vehicle mileage record, distance records, fuel records and tax-paid retail fuel purchase receipts, along with all relevant data such as gap miles and fuel receipts. It’s no easy task and errors can result in hefty fines, which is why many companies allocate time and resources to stay in compliance.
Traditionally, construction materials fleets have relied on manual recordkeeping for compliance, up until the ELD mandate required fleets to automate their HoS recording. Now, more companies are voluntarily adopting new technology that automates fuel tax reporting. However, if the solution doesn’t integrate with a telematics system, you’re still plagued by the complexities of manually digging through files and creating reports.
Telematics systems make a huge difference in construction materials fleets by optimizing multiple functions—like routing, maintenance, and dispatch.
In terms of how telematics can help with IFTA compliance, the benefits lie in the reporting ability of the devices. Telematics solutions offer more consistency and efficiency when tracking and reporting fleet movement and provide more accurate trip records. This means a lower risk of audits and compliance violations, not to mention the time it saves – time that can be given back to drivers to get from point A to point B, and to improve their satisfaction on the job.
Truck tracking technologies, such as TrackIt by Command Alkon, can provide significant operational efficiencies. Features include GPS tracking, routing, geofences and alerts for unplanned delays and other trigger events, electronic timesheets, in-cab driver training, and driver, engine and vehicle performance monitoring. Reports and analysis include fuel usage, driver performance, vehicle health, causes of non-productive time, and hours of service.
Any number of discrepancies could trigger a penalty when it comes to IFTA compliance, including: odometer issues; not recording personal miles; inaccurate information; filing late; not filing at all; and more. The data collected by TrackIt helps simplify IFTA reporting because it can help to identify miles driven in each state by vehicle, along with the total cost of fuel and amount of fuel used. When it comes time to send in quarterly reports or to apply for tax refunds, all of the information that you need is at your fingertips, rather than strewn across your back office.
Simplified reporting is just one of the many reasons why you should Track It with TrackIt! Need a little more convincing? There is more to come in our “Why Track It with TrackIt” series, but if you are hungry for more now, visit www.commandalkon.com/gettrackit to take a deeper dive!