If you own or operate a fleet in the transportation industry, the recent changes in fuel tax reporting due to the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) might come as a welcomed relief, but it might simultaneously send a cold shiver down your spine. With the change in regulation comes a new bundle of administrative burdens that can cause major headaches and negatively impact the bottom line of a business.
Let’s take a look at the mounting obstacles IFTA reporting presents to any size fleet operation and see how businesses can use the fuel card integration extension from Verizon Connect to help with IFTA reporting.
The problem: IFTA reporting drawbacks
In short, the IFTA is a pact between the lower 48 states and ten Canadian provinces requiring all interstate motor carriers and operators to record and report fuel taxes. These reports, filed quarterly, determine if an amount is owed by the carrier or if a refund should be issued.
While this process reduces the number of separate decals required for each state of operation for carriers, it also opens operators and business owners up to a number of regulatory problems caused primarily by human error, especially for those keeping paper-based records.
Currently, reporting IFTA taxes is a very manual, burdensome task for carriers operating across state lines and private roads that has a high risk for errors which can result in fines for the business. Additionally, with fuel prices on the rise, every gallon saved can have a big impact on the bottom line of businesses of all sizes. Business owners are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of these reports sent to IFTA Service Providers, but operators are charged with spending valuable time on a daily basis manually logging their fuel costs and compiling for quarterly reports.
The solution: Fuel card integration
Automated integration, like that offered by the fuel card extension in Verizon Connect’s platform, enables the drivers of every vehicle in your fleet - large or small - to directly connect location, calculate fuel purchase information and relay to leading IFTA Service Providers via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) transfer.
This fully-automated integration can dramatically decrease the possibility of human error on reports from operators and alleviates the added stress and burden of time on business owners so they can focus on managing without constant distraction.
When it comes to reporting IFTA taxes, inconsistencies are the kryptonite to a business working smoothly and without error. Automation can also provide the opportunity for increased tax rebates for your company. Unfortunately, the cost of human error will be paid by the employer in fines at the cost of resources that could be used to improve business.
While every step of the fleet process cannot be simplified by automation, fuel card management using integration allows for more day-to-day efficiency for operators and removes the risk of damaging the reputation of a business. To find out more on how fuel card integration can help your business, reach out to Verizon Connect today receive a free demo.
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