Glostone Newsletter March 2015
What Are IRP & IFTA Auditors Looking For?
International Registration Plan (IRP) and International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) auditors from nearly every state and Canadian province recently gathered in San Antonio, Texas. The purpose of this annual meeting is to review audit standards and methods used to ensure carriers are in compliance and are paying their proper fees.
The International Registration Plan and the International Fuel Tax Agreement both apply to trucks over 26,000lbs that travel interstate. The IRP deals with how states register vehicles and distribute the registration fees accurately and fairly to the states traveled. IFTA is the system used to collect and distribute fuel tax monies based upon where the fuel was used. To ensure every carrier is paying the appropriate fees, each state is required to audit 3% or more of their carriers registered in these programs every year.
Compliance with both IRP and IFTA depends heavily upon carrier’s ability to accurately track and report distance traveled. Carriers are required to maintain records that allow their base state to verify the distances they have reported and the accounting system used to determine their reports. IFTA goes beyond IRP record keeping requirements by also requiring fuel purchase records. The records are used by auditors to verify that each carrier has an adequate record keeping system in place and uses those records to pay the proper registration and fuel tax fees. Auditors can request records going back 3 years.
Here is a list of required records common to both IRP and IFTA:
1. Distance recaps for each vehicle for each jurisdiction in which the vehicle operated.
a. An acceptable distance accounting system is necessary to substantiate the information reported on the tax return filed quarterly or annually. At a minimum, must include distance data on each individual vehicle for each trip and be recapitulated in monthly fleet summaries. Supporting information should include:
* Date of trip (starting and ending);
* Trip origin and destination;
* Route of travel;
* Beginning and ending odometer
* Total trip miles/kilometers;
* Miles/kilometers by jurisdiction;
* Unit number or vehicle identification number;
* Vehicle fleet number;
* Registrant’s name; and
* May include additional information at the discretion of the base jurisdiction.
Additional fuel records are required for IFTA. The fuel records shall contain:
1. The date of each receipt of fuel;
2. The name and address of the person from whom purchased or received;
3. The number of gallons or liters received;
4. The type of fuel;
5. The vehicle or equipment number into which the fuel was placed, and
6. If applicable, details of taxable and non-taxable usage of fuel;
These are the minimum records needed for an IFTA and/or IRP audit. Just having the document does not mean it will be acceptable. Auditors will verify the accuracy of the records plus ensure the correct numbers were actually calculated and reported.
Common mistakes carriers make with IFTA and IRP record keeping:
* Recording miles from dispatch records and not balancing them with odometer readings
* Recording miles using mapping software and zip code references
* Not recording odometer readings
* Not recording routes of travel
* Not recording empty or bob-tail miles
* Not recording personal miles
* Not keeping fuel receipts or accepting fuel receipts without the required information included.
* Using a GPS system that does not maintain location coordinates for at least 3 years.
* Using a GPS system that does not record location frequently enough to verify routes of travel
* Using a GPS system that does not reconcile distance to odometers
When inadequate records are found, auditors can apply error percentages to the entire three year audit period and to all vehicles which can result in substantial fees plus penalty and interest assessments. When it comes to compliance, being proactive is the key. Have systems in place that will guarantee records compliance and promote safety. If you need help with a proactive plan, give us a call!
Pre-Employment Screening Program
The DOT makes available to carriers their Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP). The information contained in the PSP reports is a summary of each drivers roadside violations going back 3 years. This information can prove invaluable when trying to select the right driver for your company.
Carriers can enroll in the PSP program or avoid the annual fee by having us run the PSP report for you! Glostone is an authorized 3rd party provider for PSP reports. Give us a call for more information!
Driver Physicals Available
The DOT requires commercial drivers to be physically qualified to drive a motor vehicle. To be qualified to drive, a physical exam is required and valid medical examination certificate obtained. The exam requirement applies to all CDL drivers and to non-CDL drivers of commercial vehicles over 10,000lbs that travel interstate. Non-CDL drivers driving strictly intrastate are exempt from required physical exams.
Our sister company CleanFleet has teamed up with Dr. Julia Wilber D.C., Dr. Angela Ozeruga D.C., and Dr. Kristen Livingston, D.C. to provide driver physical examinations here at our office in Clackamas and at our Jubitz Travel Center location. All examiners are DOT certified. Other services can be performed as well including fitness agility testing and general chiropractic services. Cost for a standard DOT driver physical is $85.00. Walk-in’s are welcome but appointments are encouraged by calling 503-479-6082.