When it's that time of the year business owners find themselves in a scramble. Yes, I am talking about the time you have to file your business taxes. In the trucking industry, this time comes 4 times a year giving owner-operators considerable stress. The road and fuel tax reports are to be filed to the IFTA for every quarter. Do you know what successful truckers do when it comes to tax reporting? They don't spend hours hunched over a desk calculating the figures in the mid of a pile of paperwork. They take advantage of technological advancements and delegate it to their trucking software system. They simply input invoice information and chill while the software is churning out the ready-to-file tax report.
Trucking software performs many of the complex business operations that would otherwise require experts from that particular field. Experts come with a hefty paycheck. Road and Fuel Tax reporting is one such complex task that involves accurately calculating and reporting the tax figures. Most trucking business are start-ups single handedly operated by the owner-operator. But to attempt to take up the calculation and reporting of road and fuel tax is going to take significant time and requires extensive knowledge about the subject.
An alternative is obtaining the service of a road and fuel tax preparation service provider. While these people are experts in the field who can get the road and fuel tax report quickly, this alternative comes at a higher price. For a business that can neither afford that much time nor the high cost, trucking software is their best bet. Manually accomplishing this task is double the work as the operator has to collect the fuel receipts and miles per state and compute it apart from generating invoices. But trucking software can get it done in a few seconds as the road and fuel tax reporting feature works in real-time when the invoices are updated. The software system can save business owners a great deal of time and money.
What is road and fuel tax reporting?
The International Fuel Tax Agreement better known as IFTA requires every carrier to file their fuel tax reports for all its qualified vehicles. This report is filed at the end of every quarter accompanied by a check to pay the tax amount due. A qualified vehicle is required to travel in at least two IFTA jurisdictions and weigh over 26000 pounds. These vehicles must hold an annual license which is granted to only vehicles that run in diesel, propane, natural gas and in some jurisdictions gas-powered.
The operator is required to file and maintain records of fuel purchases and mileage reports for each vehicle. Tax-paid fuel accumulates a tax-credit which is specified in the fuel tax report. If this tax credit exceeds the quarterly tax a business owes, the operator can get a refund or additional credit for future payments. But in order to get these refunds, receipt information from tax-paid purchases must be attached to the report. The receipt information must include the date of purchases, type of fuel purchased, seller's name and address, purchaser's name, vehicle registration number, total sale, number of gallons purchased.
The Pros of using Fleet Fuel Management System for your Trucking Business
The fuel tax reporting feature of trucking software has some immeasurable benefits over computing it manually. No wonder major trucking companies use fuel tax reporting software to take care of their IFTA filing. For one, it saves you the long hours you have to spend with a load of paperwork clicking at your calculator. Leave the task of tax reporting to trucking software and you will thank yourself for it. Let us take at look at the benefits of using a fuel tax reporting software.
Works in real-time speed
Automated computer software is undeniably faster than humans. Manual preparation of computing and filing the IFTA report may take days and sometimes even weeks. With trucking software, the reports are updated simultaneously as you upload invoice information of new loads. You can leave all the boring additions and multiplications to your software and concentrate on other business operations.
Trucking software is not just faster but also more accurate. With taxes paid to the state you can't afford errors. Eliminate the risk of errors with an enterprise trucking software in place. Just input the right information and an accurate down to the penny IFTA report will be ready in seconds. It saves up the time on correcting errors that occur in manual preparation of tax reports.
Cloud - based backup provides security and reliability
Ever had the misfortune of losing the final data to hard-drive crashes, virus or other circumstances? All that days of hard work disappearing in a second. Not to mention the extra hours you have to put to prepare the report again from scratch. Trucking software uses cloud-based backup that protects your data with anti-virus and anti-malware. Hence you need not worry about losing your data. Access your report from anywhere by just logging in on your mobile trucking software. Be assured of the safety and security of your data with trucking software.
Preparing the fuel tax report in your own without a trucking software involves a lot of paperwork. Storing all the fuel purchase receipts and miles run per state data is a strenuous work. Another disadvantage is the risk of losing some of the important information. Trucking software saves all this information on your system which you can update any time online or offline. This eliminates the paperwork. Less paperwork means lesser need to cut down trees for paper. You get an opportunity to go eco-friendly and make the experience hassle free.
A look at manual preparation of road and fuel tax reports
Before you decide to manually collect, compute and report your road and fuel tax, take a look at this grueling process of doing it.
The first step is collecting the fuel tax receipts and miles per state run from the truck drivers. Insisting the drivers to collect every information like the number of gallons purchased, state mileages, etc. Once you have the complete information you have to catalogue, review, evaluate, store and finally calculate. The calculation involves computing the figures of miles per state, miles per gallon, miles per truck and miles per quarter. Any small error here may prove costly and can be confusing enough to require starting again. All this for a single truck. If you have a fleet of trucks, you need to do it for each truck.
Then fill up the IFTA report form and determine whether you owe tax money or you are eligible for a tax-credit. The payment of fuel taxes is now going the digital way with more states favoring online payments.
If the prospect of handling all that paperwork and mathematics doesn't suit you, you can hire a tax preparation service provider and get them do it for you. Still you will have to collect the fuel tax receipts and miles per state. But the cost involved in this process is high and may not suit all businesses.
How trucking software can make it easier for you
More and more trucking businesses are now opting for transportation management system because of the ease and convenience that comes with it. Currently it is the best alternative in the industry. The software constantly monitors and calculates the total miles travelled, gallons of fuel purchased, average mpg (miles per gallon) per truck and average mpg per state. It gets all the information you need to fill up in the IFTA report form and assists in filing the report. All you have to do is input details of new loads. Sound a lot simpler right?
What else trucking software can do for you
Trucking software will take care of everything from generating invoices, accounting, filing the tax reports, scheduling maintenance and checking records. The software takes the burden off your shoulders with its all round performance. It offers a host of tools that you can utilize to analyses the performance of your trucking business. The analytical reports can be used to chalk strategies and determine the future course of operation.
As your business grows you can upgrade the software to suit your now larger fleet. The software also feature fleet management options for truckers with a fleet of trucks. The investment on a trucking software system is a one-time investment and carries no monthly or quarterly charges. You can forego the recurring expenses involved in hiring an additional staff or a tax consultant to file the report for you.
Now you may have a clear perspective of the different options you have to file your IFTA reports. The convenience offered by the transportation management system outweighs the other options by all means. A quality trucking system will help you fight all the ordeals encountered in road and fuel tax reporting. Boost the profitability of your trucking business with trucking software.
Exspeedite is completely mobile web based trucking software. It has every features that you need to make your trucking business convenient and well managed.
Want to test it? Contact us now!