IFTA Reporting in California: What Drivers Need to Know and Important Dates

Among the many important things a trucking company has to keep up with, IFTA reporting is right near the top of the list–we don’t need to tell you that. Staying compliant with national carrier regulations and ensuring that you’re meeting all the requirements is absolutely vital.

As a member of the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), California has some specific requirements for the drivers that claim it as their home jurisdiction. While it may seem like a lot at first, have no fear! TruckLogics is here to help you with all things IFTA.

Read through this blog to understand the importance of IFTA compliance for trucking business, what the specific requirements for filing in California are, and what important dates you will need to remember!

IFTA Compliance – Why Does it Matter?

The first and most pressing reason for meeting IFTA compliance is so that you avoid any potential penalties.

Failing to complete your IFTA report or fuel tax payment on time can lead to hefty penalties for your business. These penalties amount to either $50 (or) 10% of the taxes due, whichever is greater.

Beyond penalties, however, there’s also the risk of having your IFTA license suspended if your business remains uncompliant with IFTA.

While it may sound intimidating, there’s no need to fret! With the right information and TruckLogics on your side, filing your IFTA report is simple.

Who Needs to Complete California IFTA Registration?

You need to register for an IFTA license if you have met the following criteria:

  • You are operating Qualified Motor Vehicle(s) on California highways and in any other member jurisdictions.
  • The Qualified Motor Vehicles (QMVs) are California-based and registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  • You are performing business operations from an established physical location in California (post office boxes, mail drop address, and agent address boxes are not eligible).
  • You maintain the QMVs operational control and records in California or have made those records available in California.

What Counts as a Qualified Motor Vehicle (QMV)?

Your vehicle will be considered QMV if it has any of the following:

  • Three or more axles, regardless of weight
  • Two axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms.
  • A registered gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 pounds.

How Do I Apply for an IFTA License in California?

After verifying your vehicle meets the above requirements, you’ll need to apply for an IFTA license with your base jurisdiction next.

When applying for an IFTA license in California, the following is some of the basic information you must have available to complete your registration:

  • The registered name and address of your business.
  • Your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
  • Your USDOT number.

You can apply for your California IFTA license online. You will receive temporary credentials immediately, as long as the application is accurate. Along with your application, you will need to submit payment to cover the annual fees for your IFTA license and decals:

  • The annual fee for a California IFTA license is $10
  • There is an additional $2.00 per-set fee for annual IFTA decals

Once the registration is completed, the credentials will be mailed to you. Remember to make a copy of the license and carry it in each qualified motor vehicle. In addition to your license, you will receive two decals for each qualified motor vehicle.

When are the California IFTA Deadlines?

Here are the quarterly deadlines for California IFTA returns:

California Reporting PeriodsCalifornia IFTA Filing Deadlines
January – March (1st Quarter)April 30
April – June (2nd Quarter)July 31
July – September (3rd Quarter)October 31
October – December (4th Quarter)January 31

* If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the next business day is considered the due date.

Let TruckLogics Simplify Your IFTA Report Generation!

TruckLogics, the #1 Trucking Management Software, offers a hassle-free solution for you to generate your IFTA report accurately.

You’ll never have to worry about changing IFTA tax rates either, since our system is updated automatically with accurate tax rates for each quarter. You can import your trucks and fuel data easily and generate reports quickly!

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