How to File & Report Motor Fuel Tax

by Francis Aiello; Updated September 26, 2017

Reporting and filing fuel usage information to your state's tax agency and paying a Motor Carrier Fuel Tax can keep you from being fined and your business from being investigated. State tax agencies requires a record of all fuel used in commercial trucks. The record required by the state depends on where your vehicles travel.

Items you will need

  • Fuel purchase records
  • Record of miles traveled
  • International Fuel Tax Agreement forms
Step 1

Collect information about the number of gallons purchased for your trucks. If trucks do not travel out of state, the non-International Fuel Tax Agreement tax form requires a yearly total of fuel purchases. This number comes from totaling receipts at fueling stations or bulk fuel purchases.

Step 2

Out-of-state operations by your trucks mean your business must file an IFTA/MCRT quarterly report to your state tax agency. This report differs from the non-IFTA requirements because you need to tally in-state and out-of-state fuel purchases with original receipts to back up the fuel purchase tallies. Fuels of different types such as natural gas or liquid propane used to travel are included in the tax.

Step 3

Mileage reports for non-IFTA records include miles traveled by all trucks in the base state for the year. A total number of miles traveled can be recorded off of daily inspection reports from the previous year for the trucks around the start and stop dates included in the yearly filing.

Step 4

Recording IFTA miles means checking reports of travel outside the base state and totaling the miles traveled in each state. Manifests or other trip documents should also be retained to show how you reached the total IFTA miles for different states.

Step 5

The non-IFTA form uses individual business information such as Employer Identification Numbers and other information about the company for filing purposes. Use the form to calculate the miles per gallon by dividing the miles traveled by the gallons purchased. Report how many non-IFTA vehicles you have and pay a flat fee for new decals.

Step 6

Filing the quarterly IFTA requires two forms. The quarterly IFTA schedules must be filled out first, one schedule for each type of fuel purchased. The schedule calculates MPG by using your business's IFTA and Non-IFTA miles traveled as well as total gallons purchased. The schedule uses these figures and your breakdown of IFTA miles by state to calculate interest due per state traveled in.

Step 7

The quarterly IFTA report totals interest due for each fuel purchased from the IFTA schedules. The business fills out and factors in other penalties or credits to determine the money owed by the business for that quarter.

About the Author

Francis Aiello began writing in 2000. He has written for publications including "Small Business News" in Pittsburgh, Pa., as well as the "Warren Times Observer" and several websites. Aiello earned a Master of Arts in journalism and mass communication from Point Park University.